Canada's new snow village

Montreal's Snow Village
You've got to love Montreal - it builds Canada's newest Snow Village and Ice Hotel and all you have to do is jump on the Metro to go see it. So we did. OK I couldn't feel my toes due to the cold for most of the visit (wrong boots). Despite this , I hate to sound all Canadian,  but it really is fun. I am an old hand at ice hotels of course, having previously slept in Quebec City's establishment while recording a feature for the BBC on couples who marry there.

Montreal carved out of ice
We leapt out of the Jean Drapeau Metro Station into the park which is situated on two islands in the St Lawrence. We joined the queue, waited for 5 minutes and then found out we were in the wrong queue. We left the Fete des Neiges (mainly for kids) and walked to the Snow Village just as the sun was setting. The location gives you a wonderful view of Montreal's skyline not just downtown but Old Montreal and the mountain too.

Some of the same buildings as carved in ice above 
The village itself is a treat - if only to marvel at the artistry that's gone into carving all the furniture and beds - tables, chairs, pews in the chapel, chandeliers, etc. We could have done without the long wait at the ticket office but it was a weekend and you can book online if you are organised to avoid the queues (line-up to you).

The bar is another useful way of keeping warm

We had enjoyed a good snoop in the bedrooms and were feeling a bit chilly. Where's the bar, I asked in my best French. Hot chocolate and Amarula (a kind of Baileys) awaited us - which does warm bits of you that were previously frozen.

Good time to go
Our photographer friend had suggested we go late afternoon and it is a great idea. You catch the last rays of light over the Montreal skyline and then the snow village itself is illuminated as night falls. Two views for the price of one. Here's a quick tour...for the authentic experience - sit with feet in bucket of ice water while watching.


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