After a fairly hectic week at work it was time to see a bit more of Canada. So after finishing work at 3 pm on Saturday, I rushed home, quickly packed some clothes in my bag and headed to downtown Ottawa, where I jumped on a coach to Montreal. The journey to Montreal took just over 2 hours so I passed the time reading, napping and eating possibly the most disgusting jelly beans that I have ever tasted. We arrived in Montreal at about 8:30 pm, and by this point I had eaten most of the bag of jelly beans (even though they were grim) and was feeling a bit queasy. Therefore the first thing on my agenda was finding some proper food. However, my quest for ‘proper’ food somehow turned into a chocolate milkshake from McDonald’s and some chips with gravy and cheese (a Montreal specialty called poutine). I also managed to have a whole conversation in French (whilst buying a red bull) using my rather limited vocabulary of hello and thank you. Whilst this is not a huge achievement, I was still rather proud of myself. Most of the bars and clubs are situated on St. Catherine’s street so this seemed like an ideal starting point. We quickly vacated this part of Montreal and instead had a look around some normal shops before choosing the MVP bar to get the night started.
At the MVP we watched some hockey on TV, Montreal won their game and Ottawa lost to Toronto on penalties. A couple of pints later I checked my watch. 10:30 pm. Suddenly staying up all night, in my t shirt and light jumper seemed pretty stupid (it was freezing outside by this point). So we headed to a hostel, set the alarms for 5 am and grabbed a few hours sleep. The following morning, I found it surprisingly easy to get up, so after a quick wash I got changed and headed out into the early morning. The hike to Mount Royal was about 45 mins, so assisted by a hot chocolate (it was still freezing at this point) I powered up the never ending hill and reached the look out over the city. I arrived at the look out at about 6:30 and the sun was only just starting to rise, so I also got to look over the city with all it’s lights on which was pretty spectacular. Then slowly at first, the clouds began to change Swarovski colour as the sun started to creep up from behind t Swarovski he mountains on the horizon. It was a beautiful sun rise and it was so relaxing, just sitting and watchin Swarovski g the view transform, whilst munching on the remaining (still disgusting) jelly beans.
The next day I had the opportunity to explore Old Montreal, with it’s cobbled streets, cathedrals and various monuments. This part of Montreal is really strange because it is a combination of old and new, some of the old monuments were surrounded by new buildings, and even the square with Montreal Notre Dame was overlooked by a new skyscraper. I wasn’t really a fan of the way this has been developed and in my opinion keeping the old and new separated would have given this part of the city a nicer, more authentic feel. However, I still had a great time exploring Swarovski the cobbled streets near the old port (this part was more secluded) and even though the weather was pretty rubbish it was a fantastic morning. After popping into an Irish Pub for a quick lunch and an update on the football scores we headed out to experience shopping in Montreal.