Honestly, by the time I reached Montreal I was just exhausted. Prince Rupert, my last real break, despite being only a few weeks ago, was 3500 miles, 4 stops and 100 hours on a train behind me. I just wanted to stop travelling and repackaged my bag and enjoy being somewhere for a few days without feeling like I needed to do everything. I am now doing this, I’ve pushed Quebec City to later in the trip and am having a few days downtime in Halifax to recover.
Saying that I still did rather a lot in Montreal (because I am a crazy person who can’t take her own advice)
- The McCord Museum – By Montreal my tolerance for modern art had run art. There are apparently some wonderful art galleries here, but I ignored them all and went to the McCord museum instead, which might prove to be my favourite museum of the trip. It’s composed primarily of a private collection of First Nations textiles (but also had an Aislin exhibit on while I was there) and it’s just a very well designed and presented space. I have stolen some ideas for future textile projects…
- Mont Royal – Firstly I navigated the metro system, in French, and managed to successfully get myself to Mont Royal station (a feat I am exceptionally proud of), where Nei and her friend Sarah showed me round the wonderfully eclectic shops that make up that part of town. Then I climbed the mount itself for some wonderful views and to see the Montreal cross. Tourist sites done!
- Aura at Notre Dame – when I first tried to visit Notre Dame it was closed (some inconsiderate person was getting married) but there were posters for an event called Aura. Completely in French so I had no idea what it was, but I went back to the hostel and googled it, cringed at the words “multimedia installation” and then decided to book it anyway. I really wanted to see Cirque Du Soleil’s new show in Montreal, but the cheap tickets sold out weeks ago, do I booked Aura as my consolation treat. I honestly can’t properly do it justice with a description. Some moments were over the top, but mostly it was a stunning use of the space and the work that must have gone into programming it makes my mind boggle. Check out the promo video here
- Poutine – I finally tried poutine. We need this in England. Chips topped with curd cheese (which is somewhere between mozzarella and halloumi) then topped with hit gravy so the cheese melts over the chips. Drool… Why have we not cottoned onto this yet? Seriously who wants to start a poutine shop with me?
That’s mainly it. I did lots of other things but those are the highlights, but while I wasinMontteal something else happened… I passed the one month mark! I am a third of the way into my trip! So here are some quick thoughts after one month.
- Taxes suck. The number you see on the price tag should be the amount you pay, not the amount minus a percentage which varies depending on what it is and where you are. My wallet is crammed with change because I never have any idea what the total if anything is going to be so I just hand over a large note and hope fir the best. It’s endlessly confusing.
- Hostel living is making me appreciate things I never did before, like when showers are hot, or I’ve been assigned the bottom bunk. When no one snores too loudly, although I do appreciate some snoring… being in a room with a bunch of people making not a sound is strangely unnerving
- I love stations and hostels that have lifts or escalators rather than stairs. The cluster bruise on my right new is also thankful when I don’t have to drag my bag upstairs and add to its beautiful purple colour
- Canadians do make me feel incredibly ignorant, even the ones in non French dominated provinces mostly all speak excellent French, but they are mostly all very nice about it
That’s all for now, I’m off to relax in Halifax, which is finally sunny!