the lone adventure of the montreal bagel and the royal hike

first of all, i never like bagels. i always find them too dense and heavy, i like my bread fluffy and soft. but somehow i convinced myself that i should give it a second chance since i’m in montreal and it’s famous for its bagels, supposedly. so i googled ‘best bagel in montreal’ and a few ‘st viateur bagel‘ came up. i just picked the closest one. got there 15min bus ride later only to realise i went to the shop instead of the café! it’s a little bakery that only sells takeaway (smells awesome btw) and the café is 30min walk away. then i remembered fairmount bagel which was also recommended is nearby so i walked there… to find out it’s a takeaway shop too! my bruised ankle (too much walking in my boots the day before) didn’t help in the situation.

for someone who doesn’t like bagel, i don’t know why i was so adamant about eating bagel for brunch that day! i still don’t. sometimes i drive myself crazy. determined, or stubborn, some might say :p, i continued on my bagel quest. after 15 min of walking (i swear i’d have walked barefooted if not for the cold winter), i saw a cab and hopped in! when i finally got to st viateur bagel café, i ordered myself a hearty brunch, to fuel up for a hike at mont royal (yes with my bruised ankle). for someone who doesn’t like bagel or salmon at all, i ordered from a menu of great choices… the traditional smoked salmon bagel! what’s up with me today?! it was delicious, i have to say. the side crab salad was yummy too. still, that did not convert me to a bagel or salmon fan. but for bagel-loving travellers, it’s a must-try. just make sure you go to the right one!

not everyday you get beautiful lights in the winter... so, as i wandered the streets in downtown and saw this beautiful sunset, i couldnt resist but detoured towards mont royal, even when i had planned to hike here the next day.

not everyday you get beautiful lights like this in the winter… so, as i wandered the streets in downtown and saw this beautiful sunset, i couldnt resist but detoured towards mont royal, even though i had planned to hike there the next day.

so after the hearty meal, i was all ready for a hike, despite my nagging ankle! mont royal is a 200-hectare park, easily accessible from downtown. frommer’s recommended starting at the corner of rue peel and avenue des pins, which is a few train stations from where i was, which, was my original plan if not for the “eventful” morning. and since i was 15min walk from the east side of the park, i decided to just walk and see where it leads me. there wasn’t any marked trail where i started. i just kept walking towards the top of the hill.

at some point, there was just fresh snow, no other footprint except for mine. i was surrounded by pretty trees covered with snow, occasional squirrels ruffling the leaves and snow falling to the ground. kinda magical. there were times when i wondered if i was lost and should have taken the proper trail. but i just wondered and wandered on, following some snow shoe trails, asking a couple of cross country skiers if i’m on the right track to the top.

squirrels in the forest

it was grey the next day but still beautiful. the world in natural black and white…

me & frosty

hello, mr frosty.

40 min later, i reached the first lookout. it was grey and foggy but city views never fail to take my breath away. well, i was a little out of breath too, hiking up with my bruised ankle. after asking some people at the lookout, i continued on to find mont royal cross and met mr frosty there.

finally following the main trail now, i made my way to chalet du mont royal and the lookout. from there, i headed back down to rue peel downtown with the proper stairs mentioned in frommers. i’m glad i decided to wander the “off beaten” path. i would not have experienced the “wild” hike up and enjoyed the magical moment if i’ve climbed up the stairs.

sometimes, wandering without a plan can get you lost but mostly, it surprises you. of course, my sensible self wouldn’t have done that if it was a hike in the wilderness. mont royal is right in downtown afterall and all roads leads to the top. so perhaps, it was just a “wild” adventure in my mind. ;) most importantly, never stop wandering.

montreal. canada ♥ 22 december 2014




  1. Wonderful white winter scenes.

  2. Make sure you get a poutine while you’re there! It should warm you up :)

    1. thanks, i did! at le gros jambon… YUM. so sinful though. :p

  3. I’m shivering just looking at the snow & ice :-) Beautiful scenes and a nice hike, always good after eating. Cheers!

    1. haha i’m freezing my ass off here! hope you are enjoying the year in asia. may the new year brings you more photography adventures! australia perhaps? :)

      1. Australia would be great…I have yet to visit ~ need to. I’m back in Seattle for the holidays, weather here cold but sunny :-) Cheers!

  4. […] royal // croix du mont royal in the world of black and white #nofilter. do check out my previous post for more […]

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