photo of the day (we visit the biodome and the bontanical gardens)
We woke up this morning with the promise of a lovely day and decided to spend it at Montréal’s Olympic Park, home to the Biodome, the Insectarium and the Botanical Gardens.
We started our tour in the Biodome, a nature museum that houses several ecosystems in a large building that was once a stadium for the 1976 Olympics. We wandered through rainforests, mixed forests, marine and arctic climates.
We saw creatures of the land and of the sea all housed under one large roof. (No creatures in that picture, in case you are wondering. Just the bubbles of the scuba divers cleaning out a large tank.)
After we traversed the globe enclosed in the Biodome, we wandered into the Montréal Tower, the highest inclined tower in the world. The tower houses several pools used during the olympics and also a glass elevator that climbs to the top so you can see Montréal from on high. We skipped the elevator ride but lingered for a few minutes to watch people swimming in the pools. I can only imagine how exciting it must have been to be sitting in one of these seats and watching the world’s greatest athletes competing in those pools.
Today the pool was filled with children with swimmies and inner tubes and their parents enjoying the water.
We left the tower and the Biodome behind and walked across the park towards the Insectarium and the Botanical Gardens.
The Insectarium was much more fascinating than I could have imagined a museum devoted to bugs could be. Every inch of this museum was filled with butterflies, ants, bees, beetles and insects of every shape and size. Did you know that those scarabs immortalized in Egyptian hieroglyphs and jewelry were dung beetles? I sure didn’t.
After we had had our buggy fill, we walked out of the Insectarium and into the Jardin Botanique de Montréal. It was a magnificent day to be wandering through themed garden after themed garden and my only regret was not having more time to spend there. And more energy.
The gardens were filled with late summer lushness.
We meandered through a Japanese garden complete with tea house and lotus blossom filled streams.
We came upon a pond filled with enormous koi and we sat and marvelled at their exquisite colors and how they came up on shore in their search for food.
The Japanese garden was a peaceful spot and we could have spent the rest of the day sitting by the koi pond and enjoying the sun and the summer breeze, but there was more to see so we pressed on.
We walked until we reached China (the next themed garden.) The garden was much more bold and colorful than the sedate and peaceful Japanese garden. The Chinese Garden was filled with buildings of red and gold and brightly colored magical statues.
We walked and we walked so much that by the end, I was too tired to take another picture. Believe me, for me, that’s tired! At every turn, I caught a glimpse of something else I wanted to see but just the thought of having to walk back towards the other side of the park where we left the car was enough to make me cry. Oh, poor tired feet! We made it back to the parking lot and drove back to the hotel where we had a brief rest before heading out to dinner just a block away. Tomorrow is Clare’s birthday and our last day in Montréal. I’m going to bed early so I can have the energy to make it through whatever adventures lie ahead.