19/05/2013 - 23/05/2013
Our train to Montreal arrived quite late (late at night, not later than scheduled), so we got a taxi to the hostel, to save lugging our suitcases around in the dark. The hostel (La Maison Du Patriote) was on a really nice cobbled street in the old port area. It was a bit of a strange set-up to check in though, as the staff there only work during the day, so if you arrive in the evening, you let yourself in with a keypad code and then find the room with your name on (and the key in the door). That all worked fine though and it was quite nice having a welcoming note on the door. Our room was also really nice - not especially big, but decorated nicely and with a big bay window opening out onto the cobbled street.
The hostel had a nice vibe about it in general, I'd definitely recommend it. I found it strange that there were only 2 showers and 2 toilets for the whole hostel (which isn't particularly big, but has a decent amount of beds), although I never actually needed to queue for a shower and rarely had to wait for a toilet, so it's not much of a complaint. You also didn't get breakfast, which meant that we ended up going to cafes for coffee and baked goods every morning, which I'm not complaining about either!
It wasn't really that long ago that we were in Montreal, but as we're constantly travelling and seeing new things, it's really easy to start forgetting about things we did in previous places. So here's a run down of some of the things we did, though I know it'll be far from comprehensive!
- As in all places we visit, we walked around quite a lot. Montreal's a really nice city. It reminded me quite a bit of Toronto at times, though much quieter and slightly more European-feeling.
- We went to the Museum of Fine Arts, which is free and really big - it's spread out over 3 buildings that are all connected under ground. That kept us happily occupied for a good few hours.
- We walked up "The Mountain", also known as Mount Royal. You get a good view over the city:
- We found a pub called 'Les 3 Brasseurs' that we went to a couple of times. On the first visit we got some beer samplers, which was good fun. Oh and we did get food as well, though that's less memorable for some reason. Then on the second visit we had this dessert deal thing they did, which was coffee, cheesecake and chocolate mousse. Three of my favourite things!! Here's Jamie with the beer samplers:
- We found out that it's free to cycle round the Formula 1 circuit over on Isle Notre-Dame. Cycling's not something I personally enjoy, so I took the subway there instead and had a walk around while Jamie rented a bike and cycled round the circuit.
- Long in advance of our trip to Quebec, our friends Mark and Kathryn had told us that we had to try Beaver Tails when we were there. Don't worry, they're not literally the tails of beavers, they're a sweet, artery-clogging treat, that are shaped like beaver tails. We'd forgotten all about this advice until we happened to come across a Beaver Tails vendor on our last day in Montreal. They're basically like a flat doughnut and you can choose the topping you have. I went for a white icing and oreo cookie topping. Oh my, it was nice, but a struggle to finish - particularly as we'd just been for noodles. Messy too - not to be eaten in public! Here it is: