Montreal Madness

Trip Start Jun 01, 2002
Trip End Sep 11, 2007

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Flag of Canada  ,
Friday, May 30, 2003

Travel Tip #98: Just because you spend 42 hours on the train, does not mean you need to spend 42 hours walking around a new city. It just does not work out and your body regrets it the next day...(Trust me).

Hello from Montreal,

After getting off the train and working my way to the Hostel (one of the best in Canada) I decide to dump my gear (and shower) and check out what Montreal has on offer - running on adrenaline because have not slept that well. So a quick walk down towards the Main St and into the tourist office to collect some tourist stuff! With only a very short time in Montreal I plan to do as much as possible in the shortest possible time. Even though you have 6-7weeks in a Country you always seem to run out of time!

As I had done some pre-planning I needed the tourist guy to point me in the right direction and mark it out on the map. He than said something that would haunt me for the next 48 hours. "From one side of city to the other is only 30 minutes walk. Pretty Easy" he said - This guy has not seen a topology map of Montreal. Montreal was built on a slant of about 45 degrees. ;-)

So with my backpack geared up time to get going, again the weather is fantastic and I decide to head up to Mount Royal for a scenic look out and to get my bearings. This is an extinct Volcano and I have decided that Volvanos are steep. After scaling to the top, passing out and receiving CPR, I get to see a really pretty city from a great vantage point.

Montreal is really stunning, I say that because it is the best of both worlds, a modern Western society with a touch France thrown in (English and French are both common languages). You get to walk into a French Pastry shop and get a some great food and you can speak English. Trust me I have tried my French on numerous occassions and it is offically crap - so why offend the language and embarrass myself!!

From there decide to head to St Jospeh Church (saw it on a post card) and from my great Vantange point I could see it - does not seem to far were my thoughts - WRONG! I walk and walk and walk and finally make it. I head across to McGills university and kick back on the grass and do what the uni students do - nothing. Then back out to somewhere else and then somewhere else after that. And after spending some more time walking around the area I get this great idea that hell I might just walk back to the hostel - cannot be that far!

For those people who know me pretty well - you would know that my sense of direction is CRAP! So when I decide to walk back Downtown without really looking at my map - I regret it. I went that far away from Downtown it would be like NASA going to the moon via Pluto! Then it rains! Not just little rain but buckets of water thrown from the clouds - so now I am 4000km away from the city and not sure which bus to get and in a neighbourhood where everyone just speaks French! I am tired and want sleep!

I eventually make it home and pass out on the bed! Before long am chattin to a couple of guys fro the UK and they mention two of my favourite things. Cheap Food and Cheap Beer. A quick beer and meal turns into a crazy night and end up getting home quite late, quite drunk!

Next morning - the guys (Tom and Nick) are heading to New York. I was meant to go to Niagra but an extra night in New York sounds like a plan! Before you know it, me, my pack and my hangover are on the way to the station again - hell what is another 12 hours on a train!

With that I bid farewell to Montreal and apologise to myself for the short time and not being able to fit in Qubec City and Ottawa (Sorry Luke). Well that is just an excuse to come back again - pretty simple really!

On the train and 95% sleep is in order. As the train departs, I get a litte funny feeling in my stomach as I am waiting to hear the words over the PA from the train driver!

"Ladies and Gentleman, Welcome to New York!!"
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