On the Blue Bird to Montréal

For our family vacation this year we decided to head over the Atlantic to Canada, precisely to Montréal and Quebec. My wife has relatives there and we thought it was about time that we paid them a visit.

After some searching I found suitable flights for us, that means with at least one connection and a different route on the return legs. Well, flying non-stop is just too boring, at least for us aviation enthusiasts. So we got a KLM/Air France combo, from Stuttgart via Amsterdam to Montréal, and return with AF via Charles-de-Gaulle. Also 4 different plane types, so enough variety. On this post I will mainly focus on the long-haul KLM flight and also show some pictures of the city of Montréal.

Amsterdam to Montréal

 Route  AMS - YUL
 Distance  2980 nm / 5519 km
 Departure  24.05.2018 15:20 
 Airline  KLM Royal Dutch Airlines 
 Flight No  KL 671
 Equipment  Airbus 330-200
 Registration     PH-AON
 Seat  34J

We arrived in Amsterdam Schiphol after a pleasant short flight from Stuttgart on a cityhopper Embraer 175 (PH-EXG). We had a bit more than two hours here and on the way to our gate we saw this thing, a 747 made completely out of chocolate, yeah:

But there were also metal planes to be seen:

After a small snack we went over to our gate, and there it was, the airplane that would take us over the pond:

An Airbus A330-200 as scheduled, registered as PH-AON, also known as Museumplein, built in 2008 and in KLM's fleet since 2013. Boarding started, everything was orderly and it went quite smoothly. We settled down in our seats with a Delta bird next to us:

Pushback then right on time, and after a nice welcome by the Captain and the cabin crew we started the long taxi all the way to the Polderbaan. We even had to cross a little canal on the way:

Finally there, and lining up for departure on 18L ahead of a company 737:

And so the 7 hour long journey across the Atlantic began. It was quite hazy at the beginning, so the views weren't too good:

Crossing England and then the coast line:

In the meantime the crew started to prepare the hot meals. There was a choice of beef or pasta, I went for the pasta today and that's how it looked:

The pasta was a bit bland, but with added pepper quite good actually. There also was a nice little mixed salad and a lovely dessert. All in all a descent enough meal.

Despite having done many transatlantic flight this was the first time I got a good and clear view on the coast of Greenland. Just stunning:

A little later the crew came around with a second dessert, an ice cream cone. It was a little hard and frozen, but still a nice touch:

Flight time passed quite quickly, I played around with the inflight entertainment a little, but there wasn't much for my taste anyway. And the pretty cheap plastic headsets didn't help either. So I had it on the airshow most of the time and enjoyed the views outside. Like this one, already over the desolate and cold area of North Eastern Canada:

Cabin view:

Shortly before descent started there was another snack, this time a small but quite delicious pizza:

Then descent began over the flat area of Québec, along the St. Lawrence river and finally over the suburbs of Montréal:

And back on the ground after a little more than seven hours in the air:

Only a short taxi time later we parked at the gate, just as this Swiss airbus was about to depart back to Zurich:

And so we arrived in Canada. Immigration was fairly easy, our bags arrived rather quickly and so we were out of the airport in almost no time to pick up our rental car for the next days.


Now we had two days to explore the city of Montréal. It is the biggest city in the Canadian province of Quebec, and with almost 2 million habitants the second largest french-speaking city in the world.

First highlight here was the Cathedral, or the Basilique Notre-Dame, built in the 19th century:

While the outside of the church is already quite interesting, it is absolutely stunning inside, with the wood panelling and the cool blueish lighting:

The place outside of the Cathedral:

Loved this one, the North American style school bus with French titles :-) :

Moving towards the more modern part of the city:

And into Chinatown, where we had a quite delicious Dim Sum lunch

More impressions:

A bit outside of the center, on the Ile Sainte Helene, there is this structure:

It is the so-called Biosphère built for the Expo in 1967. The dome with a diameter of 76m metres should symbolise the Earth and it nowadays houses a museum about the environment. There is a platform inside from where you have quite some good views, it is just a bit difficult to take pictures from there because of the metal structure of the Dome:

After this we went to the Mont Royal, the famous hill after this city was named. There is a pretty big and nice parc there today with a lot of green and also some art:

This guy also enjoyed the nice weather:

But the highlight here certainly is the viewing platform on top of the hill with some really gorgeous views over the city:

And that's it for now. Of course we have seen and done a lot more during our stay in Canada, so there is more to come in this blog.