Posted by: TheAuthor | 01/10/2011

Days 15, 16 and 17 – Montreal

Day 15: Myself and Shell left the house early, saying our final farewells to our host for the past couple of days (Shell’s cousin) to meet with the rest of our road trip crew. From the old prison hostel, Ottawa, we drove off to find our way to Montreal. We had a fairly uneventful drive, with the only notable moment being the Quebec provincial sign. Photograph time for every one.

As soon as we approached the city limits, my GPS (SatNav) started to play up, zooming in and out when it desired. Resulting in entire shots of Canada to help navigate around Montreal with. Thanks Magellan. Driving around the city was pure chaos, hazard lights seeming being a good excuse to stop literally anyway and get out of your vehicle. I felt very much like I was in France with bad driving evident everywhere as well as dare-devil drivers and cyclists.

We eventually found our residence for the next couple of nights, a friend of ours had offered his apartment a meer short subway ride from downtown Montreal. Perfect. He unfortunately wasn’t there, however, his welcoming flat mate was and made us feel right at home as we settled in. Shortly after, we headed to the Notre-Dame Cathedral and from there set about walking around the city. The walk did not last long before we had decided to break for pitchers of beer in a variety of different bars.

It was Car Two’s Claire’s last night on the road trip so we decided to make a night of it. We wandered the streets bar hopping before ending up at a BYOB restaurant and ordered a brilliantly cooked meal, it just took over an hour to arrive. Afterwards it was back to the apartment to get ready for a more serious following day, after riding with a very tired angry taxi driver.

Day 16: There was an intended early start for today, however, for whatever reason we ended up being an hour late to get into downtown to meet up with Car Two’s Lucy and Dave. The weather had improved in recent days and we all enjoyed wearing looser clothing and shorts. We spent the morning wandering around, almost the same areas as the night before to recap on the evenings events before deciding we were hungry. Therefore, we searched for a restaurant Shell, Henri and I until we found a Diner filled with chrome and steel. Very old American diner esc, so we stopped for poutine and a pitcher of beer.

We now needed to head back to the apartment, pick up Claire’s belongings and deliver her to the airport so that she could catch her flight home. Phase one of the road trip (Changing of companions in Montreal) was drawing to its fruition. As the previous night had been heavy, we all decided to have a quiet night in with a home cooked meal at the apartment.

Day 17: Another early start, seeing a pattern forming every day?, so we could head over to the F1 race track and rent bikes to ride around. Not being a huge fan of F1 I thought the area looked pretty derelict, but I was reliably informed that there has been a competitive F1 race there not 2 months before. So we were riding a bike, for free apart from rental fee, around a working F1 track. Awesome.

After we had returned the bikes back to the appropriate location, we set off for a ‘Eclectic party in the park’ on the edge of Mont Royal. This was a park, surrounding the mount that no building on Montreal was permitted to be taller than, ensuring a great view for all who climbed the 10 minute walk.

We sat in the park, listening to people bang on their bongos until it became too repetitive. We then decided to watch a group of people having a great afternoon playing medieval knights in an open space nearby. I have to admit, some grown men took far too much effort to ‘dress the part’ and it looked incredibly comical. Still, hadn’t seen something like it in recent history that is for sure!

Instead of climbing the mount, as I had done better in living memory too many times to be bothered, five of us headed for the pub. In a reenactment of the first night in Montreal, we bar hopped until ending up in a particularly bizarre heavy metal bar that sold $2.50 bottles of beer. So we opted to stay and get a few in, before heading out for another helping of poutine, and returning.

A lasting memory of Montreal, is that the city is beautiful. Bustling with lots of do anytime of the day or night, the roads are always super busy and driven on by maniacs. A great city to visit and to live in with very easy subway systems to navigate and are quite efficient. A big bonus point we noted of Quebec, is that alcohol can be bought in regular shops and not just at ‘Liquor stores’ brilliant. Now we are talking about sensible shopping!

Trip Statistics:

Tim Horton’s stops – 8

Kilometres driven – 230km plus 55km to airport.

Total distance driven – 5489km

Car faults – Found out Speedometer is inaccurate by 10kph

– Speakers starting to refuse to operate

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