Montréal (haha these french keyboards r cool!)

Trip Start Apr 29, 2005
Trip End Aug 18, 2005

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Flag of Canada  , Quebec,
Monday, May 16, 2005

So we left Ottawa late afternoon expecting a nice easy 2 hour drive to Montreal. 5 hours later we booked into a hostel after a massive tour of montreal as we followed loads of different peoples directions and couldnt really get to grip with the road names being in french!

Everyone in Montreal it seems speaks french and english so theres no problem getting nething or getting around. On the first day we walked everywhere - first to the tourist info, went in a really beautiful cathedral, got a pain au chocolat (called a chocolatine here), then up to Mount Royal which is a big hill where u can get a view of the whole city and see for miles! After that we went to old town which was really nice to browse round - lots of gift shops and cafés.

We pretty much planned to see so much on our first day cos i was leaving back for Ottawa the next day having ordered in some files in the national archives that i didnt get a chance to look at. We all went on an organised bar crawl wiv the hostel tuesday nite which was fun and met an english girl, chloe, who was going to ottawa the next day too so i had some company for my trip! Anyways the next day we were all a bit worse for wear but i managed to get out and leave before 8am!!

When i got to Ottawa we parked up and left for our respective hostels (mine was a bit wierd while chloes was in an old jail!!) and then i went to the archives. I really wanted to leave the car and not worry bout it so i payed for 2 days and a nites parking in the same car park we went in the last time so i could pick it up the next day and drive staight to Ottawa. Now i realise that theres lots of things i prob should hav done differently cos when i got back there the next lunch time after finishing off in the archives i found the back window smashed completely out, glass all over the seat and my suitcase, (empty) handbags wiv my journal and address book and our pillows (!) gone. So i talked to the guy in the car park and he gave me the number of the police and i called them and asked if i could go in. I didnt realise cos i didnt bring the car but they were gonna do some CSI style forensics which would hav been cool! Anyway the report took quite a while and the police woman was really nice and helpful, then i phoned rent-a-wreck who informed me of our $1000 excess and lack of side window cover in our windsheild insurance so realised the only thing to do was to go straight back to montreal and tell the girls.

I got caught in the worst traffic ever on the way there so was bout 3 hours later than i sed originally - I was also upset cos we had tickets to see snow patrol and athlete that nite too. It got worse when we emptied the car and realised that a lot of other things had gone too - Beccas backpack wiv her mp3 player wiv new headphones and complete dissertation notes was the most upsetting, but also our unused camping stove and lantern, torches, armelles camcorder charger, beccas toiletries and some other stuff - it sucks!!!! I think we should all be able to claim fine on the insurance tho as it was a locked car and they literally smashed their way in. When i sed bout the pillows the police woman sed it was probably street kids - so theres gonna b some kids in ottawa now walking round wearing my clothes and listening to beccas music.

Kate xxx

So thats my story of Ottawa - heres what happened in Montreal from Laura

It was a late start on Wednesday , due to the hangovers Becca and Armelle were sufferring and everyones late night- 4.30 am!? Thanks Becca and Armelle!. To soothe these hangovers we headed to a diner for a greasy breakfast with the three english boys we had met the night before. This filled a big hole and then we went to the libray to send emails and sort out Breakdown insurance. That took ages and got as absolutely no where so we decided to head to Old town Montreal. We looked around the harbour area and market and then me and Becca went to relax in a Cafe, while Armelle with her trusty map went round and saw every building and i mean every building in Old Montreal that has any historical, cultural, religioua and architectural significance. After that we met up headed to the Notre Dame Cathedral for the light show. The church was draped with cloth which they then projected images and lights onto. We listened to our headsets and were told all about the churches history, how it was built, significant priests and parishners etc by the architects ghost, an Irish man from New York. Yet the guy naratting had a scottish accent?! It was a really cheesy presentation (perhaps something to do with the translation from french?) but the church looked amazing when they lit it up, so it was money well spent.

The next day we headed to the Olympic Park on the otherside of Montreal (Montreal held the olympics in 1976). Here we had a guided tour of the stadium and swimming centre. The stadium has been completely changed and now they hold trade shows. concerts, and raves there. We were all wuite gutted to find out there was a rave occuring this sunday when we would be in Quebec City! Next we went up the highest inclining tower in the world, pretty impressive architecturally , it was a shame when we were in the tower there was no information about it. Finally we headed to the Biodome, which was once the cycle track. We walked through, the tropical rainforest, saw the cutest little water babies, they look like pigs but with hair, then to the woodland forest, then costal wetlands and finally the arctic, where we sat and wathed the penguins. We headed back to the hostel early to meet Kate ready for the Snow Patrol concert- (which turned out to be AWESOME by the way- so close to the stage!) And this is where the evening took a downward spiral. Left with a note in reception that said Kate was having problems with the car, while waiting for 4hrs for her to arrive, we were freaking out thinking the car had been stolen , broken down, or that kate had been in an accident. But as you have already heard it got broken into. After sorting that out , we decided Snow Patrol was exactly what we needed to take our mind off this disaster.

So me , Armelle and Kate jumped into a taxi headed to Le tulip- (concert was held in old burlesque theatre)and got there at 10 just as they came on stage. Clawed our way to the front, and enjoyed what has to be one of the best gigs ever. Great atmosphere, great music, great crowd interaction, so a Great Time!. On a high from the concert, we ended the night in a diner eating poutine! mmmm

So that`s Montreal folks, next stop Quebec City.

Love Laura xxx
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