Thursday, 4 September 2014

Amazing Race Canada 2 - Week 9: Montreal (YUL)

In Week 9, the teams visited the fabulous Canadian city of Montreal.

Here are a few highlights, from where the teams went, to other things we think are worth doing if you visit Montreal:

Did you know that Montreal has a 2nd airport? Montreal Mirabel  Airport (YMX) is used for cargo and general aviation only, but the show managed to visit it, not to fly, but for a precision driving competition!Air Transat Airbus A310 C-GVAT
Next was a visit to the Atwater Market. Doesn't the idea just make your mouth water? If you visit Montreal, here are 2 tours that include a visit to the Atwater Market:Montreal Food Truck Tour by Bike
Montreal Half-Day Bike Tour
If you were taken with the poses made by the teams for their sketches at the Parisian Laundry Art Gallery, then why not subscribe to their newsletter? Perhaps you'll find an exhibit you want to see when you visit.Parisian Laundry Art Gallery
Parisian Laundry newsletter
Parisian Laundry Montreal 02
Also on the arts front, was a visit to Espace VERRE, where glass bead making was demonstrated and practiced. If you visit on a weekend, why not take a class yourself?Espace VERRE
Weekend classes
Or maybe you fell for all those wonderful cheeses that sounded so tasty during the grilled cheese sandwich challenge! If you fancy wine, as well as cheese, check out this fabulous tour that includes both: Small-Group Quebec Wine Tour from Montreal with Optional Gourmet Lunch and Cheese Tasting
Montréal - La Petite-Italie: Marché Jean-Talon - Fromager Affineur
The pitstop for week 9 was at the Montreal Science Centre. You can see and explore the centre when you buy a Hop On Hop Off bus pass - the centre is an included stop!

If you're a real science buff, you might enjoy the ecosystem in Montreal's Biodome, which can be included as part of an admission ticket to the Montreal Tower Observatory (it's fun too):
Montreal Science Centre
Montreal City Hop On Hop Off Bus Tour

Montreal Tower Observatory Admission plus Optional Ticket to the Biodome
Centre des sciences de Montreal - 01
Created with the HTML Table Generator

Now, to the airports... we've already mentioned Montreal Mirabel  Airport (YMX), which you are unlikely to visit unless you have a friend with a private plane - so let's talk about YUL...

The Amazing Race Canada has visited Montreal Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (YUL) previously. In case you missed it, here is our Season 1 post on Montreal Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (YUL).

If you go, the easiest way to get to/from Montreal Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (YUL) is by bus. Or book a private transfer from IHateTaxis and arrive stress free!

That's our post for Week 9 - merci, and we hope you have some good tips for visiting Montreal, and doing what the teams did. We're looking forward to Week 10. Go teams, go!

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Monday, 1 September 2014

Amazing Race Canada 2 - Week 8: Paris (CDG)

Want to go where the teams did, and do what the teams did in Paris?

Teams emerged from last week's pitstop in Normandy to begin this leg of the race from Bayeux, and the beautiful Bayeux Cathedral. With clues in hand, the teams took the train from Bayeux (Gare de Bayeux) to Paris (Gare Saint-Lazare).Private Tour: Bayeux Sightseeing and Caen Day Trip from Bayeux
Cathédrale de Bayeux - extérieur, chevet
Paris! The Arc de Triomphe! How thrilling for the teams, who once in Paris were met with the Detour, requiring them to choose between "Haute Couture" and "Plat du Jour".  Arc de Triomphe Walking Tour with Access to the Summit
Arc de Triomphe (7704412402)
In Haute Couture, teams made their way to the Ecole de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne. Once there, teams had to cut and sew  a Haute Couture dress. We're guessing these dresses will never hit he runway, or the stores, but it was fun to watch. Paris L'Open Hop-On-Hop-Off Tour
In Plat du Jour, the teams searched the streets of the historic Marais District to find specially marked chalkboard signs outside three cafés - quite a task, considering there are a couple of cafés on every corner! At each, they purchased a menu item, delivering all three to guests outside another café - pronouncing them correctly. Not spilling the coffee seemed to be the larger challenge. Paris Walking Tour: Discover the Marais District

Heart of Paris Bike Tour
Café la Comète, Le Marais, Paris 13 April 2006
Faced with the Speed Bump, Ryan and Rob had to learn how to play the accordion! When they could perform the "Au clair de la lune" in unison for an audience outside the Centre Georges Pompidou, they could proceed.Centre Pompidou

Paris Pass
Centre Georges Pompidou
The Roadblock took place at Pont de Grenelle (the bridge over Île aux Cygnes), where one team member had to replicate a local modern art painting using Mentos candies (courtesy of the sponsor). "Race" sponsor Mentos candies. Seine River Cruise and Paris Canals Tour
Vue sur Seine, de la Tour Eiffel, 2013
When they were done, teams raced to Week 8's pitstop on the Pont de l'Archevêché (this is the bridge that couples place padlocks symbolizing their love).Paris Layover Tour: City Highlights between Flights from Charles de Gaulle Airport
Love padlocks on the Pont de l'Archevêché April 2014
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Now, to the airports...

As we mentioned in last week's post, to Paris via Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG), but this is just one of several airports serving the City of Lights? Your trip itinerary may say "Paris", but your airport may be a long way from the city - especially if you are flying on one of Europe's low cost carriers. Needless to say, it's important to know which airport is "yours":
Paris is, unfortunately, prone to transportation strikes, so we suggest that it is a good idea to have both a Plan A and a Plan B for your airport transfers.

That's our post for Week 8 - hopefully you have some good tips for visiting Paris, and doing what the teams did. We're looking forward to Week . Go teams, go!

Related resources: