Being born and grown-up in a city like Rio de Janeiro where majestic mountains raise over 1000 meters high, with vertical big-bare-rock-walls stretching up to 600 meters right in the middle of the city, I couldn't help it and to the dismay of my mother, I turned out to be a rock-climber.
Now, eight thousand kilometers distant, two children and twenty-something years later (ten of these living in Québec), I still find the Mount Royal
rather boring on its geography. It's just 233 meters, gentle slopes that are good for a Sunday evening walk with grandma but like most Montrealers do, now I feel somewhat proud of our little, err... lets say... bump on the landscape so, we use to call it "the mountain" with a capital M (as if it could help and make it bigger).
A bit of history about it: Long before the establishing of the first catholic cemetery at fort Ville-Marie
, which centuries later would become the city of Montreal, French navigator and explorer Jacques Cartier climbed the Mount Royal, naming it in honor of François I, king of France.
Today, the Mountain
is the site for one of Montreal's largest greenspaces officially know as Parc du Mont Royal. Inaugurated in 1876, the park was originally designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, whom also designed New York's Central Park.
Uh? What did I just say? That Jacques Cartier climbed
it? Go figure...