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Montreal, where sun rises in the south

Dancing and drag queens

The second largest city in the world having French as mother tongue, Montreal, is the cultural and economic capital of Quebec. It's situated on an island of St. Lawrence river, that basically changed the compass to the Montrealers: for them, when you are in downtown, the river is south, when it's actually east, and Mount Royal is north, when it's actually west. For this reason, Montreal is said to be the only city in the world where the sun "rises in the south".

In the downtown, you will find many skyscrapers, churches, as Mary Queen of the World Cathedral, and museums, as Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Many of the block over there are connected by a 30Km underground shopping malls and passageways. The Underground City, as it's called, is a convenient alternative to walk around in wintertime. Close to the centre of the city, the Old Montreal, a zone with cobblestoned streets and buildings from the 17th century, offers many history museums, old French restaurants and the Old Port, the door to the first Europeans in that region.

In Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, a neighbourhood to the east (real one) of downtown, you're going to find the Olympic Park, build for the 76's Olympiads, the Botanical Garden, so big that it's impossible to see everything in one visit. It includes the Chinese Garden, the largest outside of Asia, the Japanese Garden, many themed gardens and greenhouses. But the star of that neighbourhood is the Biodome, a showcase of different ecosystems in the Americas, with over 4500 animals from 250 different species and about 750 plant species.

Montreal is also a great city to ski. The city has many skiable parks, like the Parc regional de l'Ile-de-la-Visitation and Parc du Mont-Royal, and even ice skating lakes. In St. Lawrence River, even though it's ice frozen for five months a year, it's possible to surf and kayak. About the nightlife in Montreal, I'll have you know that it's great: the Rue St. Laurent becomes very busy at nightime for its numerous bars and clubs. Also, the gay community there is huge, in St Catherine Est you can find many clubs filled with dancing and drag queens, and complete with fun and drinks your visit to this incredible city!

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