Bon anniversaire!

Trip Start Oct 04, 2010
Trip End Oct 04, 2011

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Flag of Canada  , Quebec,
Sunday, October 10, 2010

Day 7/8/9*/10/11            *Oct 12th - Ria's 29th Birthday!!!!
[ria] Montreal was fab, what a place to spend my last birthday of the twenty years, I felt incredibly spoilt, Steve fought the other dirty hostelers to get me some toast (with jam) and bring me tea and toast in bed, we then went for a lovely bike ride through Montreal into a place where I am sure they filmed Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and for those of you who don't know – trust me I would know what that looks like, and probably which episodes were filmed where.. anyhow, Steve then took me to  the most amazing spa I have ever been to (and I've seen a few) it was set on a lake all outside with a fire pit, giant hammocks and the biggest and bestest hot tubs ever – lush! We had a massage together which was entertaining – Steve can tell you why – but truly fab, I felt very spoilt. We then went out for scrummy mojitos and tapas and then to the biggest cinema in the world to see Inception (finally), this was only partly spoilt by me letting my imagination get away with me by thinking the guy in front was going to blow up the cinema, but I made my peace and decided if it was so there were worse days to end on…he obviously didn’t! All in all a fab birthday thanks to Steve and Montreal. I will let Steve tell you about the rest of our time in Montreal…

[Steve] So after our recharging of endless tea and mocha in Starbucks we headed back to our Hostel which was now open to welcome us. Our welcome was a dorm of 20, (which included a party of 17 19-20 year old students) a attic room consisting of bunk beds positioned close together with blowup mattresses, and a kitchen out of the 60s! Some welcome. Bloody French!
We were now TRAVELING. It was great. Even having 2 heavy snorers in our vicinity didn't get us down, although I have now become reliant on Creedence Clearwater Revival (Thanks Old Man Rivers, fantastic stuff) to get to sleep. The hostel was perfectly located on the main street of Old Montreal, so we had a little nap, showered and then headed out to get some food bits as it was Thanksgiving the next day so we were worried in case everywhere was closed. We had a lovely meal out that evening at a Polish restaurant - 5 amazing courses and a Piano player who played everything from Radiohead to Macy Gray to Pink Floyd to Guns & Roses. Talented chap, but bad hair. We didn't tip. Talking of bad hair (if you can call it hair) I had very nearly grown a mullet to rival Terry Nutkins, but luckily dug out the shaver in the nick of time.
We visited Olympic Park the next day which hosted the Olympics in 1976. A vast space of cool designed buildings with not many visitors and a whole load of tumbleweed. Hopefully London's site wont be empty like that in 30 years. We hired some bikes and cycled to the Botanic Gardens. We spent all day there, they had a awesome Chinese Lantern's Display (the largest outside China) which we saw at midday and also we stuck around till dark to see, as the queue's outside to get in at that time were incredible. And we was glad we stuck around as it was a amazing sight. Unfortunately both our camera's had died so we have no pictures at dark except Ria humouring me taking photo's using the laptop webcam! We also learnt Chinese Calligraphy there and had a nice stroll round the garden. We headed back to the hostel and cooked ourselves, Bangers & Mash.
The next day, someone specials Birthday. It went surprisingly well since I was still organising the Spa, on her birthday morn! It was a lovely day with just the slight embarrassment for me in the massage room when they gave us a few moments to ourselves to get undressed and on the table under the covers. Ria had sneaked her camera in, so I was entertaining her doing Bruce Forsyth poses, fooling around. Got naked, then the masseuse's came in as I was stood there butt naked! Unlucky for them.
Next day we headed for Mont Royal, a few tube stops away. It is actually a Mountain in the City of Montreal, but its really a big hill which you walk circling around to the top which has a impressive view of the City. It was a nice walk with all the autumn colours and clear blue sky. We had a lil picnic up there whilst listening to a busker who played Stairway to Heaven, Hotel California, and some good ole C.C.Revival! We headed back to town and to Notre-Dame Basilica, a beautiful Gothic Church. Ria had been talking up a light and sound show which happens twice daily in the Church, so we went for the first showing - I had been imagining something as special as a Jean Michel Jarre concert, but was hugely disappointed as we both sat there giggling at some awful acting from some Eldorado rejects. The poor show was saved by the actual interior of the church which was incredible. And we both learnt something, we didn't know Montreal was a Island. We headed out for a posh meal, and I dragged Ria to find the Love sculpture a copy of the famous artwork by Robert Indiana in the 60s outside a very posh hotel. We are probably banned from this hotel for fucking up there topiary.
It was noisy in our dorm so we woke up on our last day in Montreal pretty tired. We explored old Montreal, walked around and I started a new game. Basically we will setup a page of famous lookalikes we have seen on our travels. This game has entertained us for years as we'd shout out Wayne Rooney to a guy coming towards us giving him a complex. Its harder getting a photo but so far we have Dee Dee Ramone, Adrian Chiles, Dave Grohl, David Bellamy, and the best yet Pauline Fowler/Ritchie Benaud, we cant quite decide who she looks like more but I had to chase down this old lady, she was very sprightly but luckily lacking the stamina,so I got her as she stopped for a rest. Ria tried Poutine for lunch and hated it, we went back to our hostel packed, and cooked ourselves before we had to head for the bus station to Winnipeg. We ate chatting to 3 cool, funny Irish guys from Cork (1 living in my old hometown of Chatham, Kent. Small world) and did a good deed of leaving them butter, carrots and some underground passes before we headed to the bus station. One of the fellas had some important travel info... 'Are ya going to India?... It will bring tears to your eyes, the homelessness and the smell of shit... Are ya going to San Francisco?...It will bring tears to your eyes, the homelessness....' etc etc.
Montreal is a beautiful, picturesque place. Clean, bright and very friendly. People keep saying to us - you aren't covering any of Europe? We feel like we have seen a bit of Europe plonked in Canada.

Song of Day 8 - Creedence Clearwater Revival - Cotton Fields
Song of Day 9 - Stevie Wonder - Happy Birthday
Song of Day10 - Led Zeppelin - Stairway To Heaven
Song of Day 11 - Melanie Pain - Celle De Mes Vingt Ans
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Montreal Spas on

So beautiful spa ,cool place!!

Habiba Radcliffe on

Ria, how can you dislike Poutine?! It's scrummy!

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