August 30, 2008

After a short and expensive stop over in Boston ($120 for one night!) the bus took me all the way up through the beautiful green mountains of Vermont before hitting the Canadian border which we passed through relatively smoothly despite having to take everything out of the bus and have all our passports checked. When the bus finally made it Montréal, 2 hours later than the 7 hour trip was scheduled to, I realsied the lack of planning would cost me dear again havig to spend two nights in a shady hotel by the bus station before any hostels came available. However once in the hostel, which is less than half the price of the hotel, it had much more to offer, including free internet, free USA/CAN calls and free laundry etc. Before coming to Montréal, I was well aware of the duality between French and English, but was not expecting everything to be so dominately French.

Montréal at night

At first I found it hard to find where everything was in Montréal, but after finding a tourist information and realising the majority of the new city is underground, as part of the interconnected ‘La Ville Souterraine’ it made life a lot easier. On Sunday I explored more of ‘Vieux-Montréal’ and went to the Museum of Contempary Art in the afternoon, before heading back to the hostel to share a few drinks with people there. Monday was more of a lazy day just staying around Old Montreal some more, I went to the archaeological museum which goes under the streets of the old town before meeting up with Jess in the evening. Now being with someone who knows the city I got to see many parts of the city that I would never of found was I here by myself, for example Monday we went to one of the student areas around McGill to a few bars, including ‘Brutopia’, which brews it’s own beer. 

Now comes the interesting part… I’d planned to stay with Jess during my time here, however she doesn’t have an apartment herself yet so we had to hunt a place while crashing at her friends, but everyone has been great and I’ve met people from all kinds of places. Luckily Jess found a place, signed the lease and moved her stuff in on Saturday when her parents came up who kindly took us both to breakfast. However we still had an amazing time and Thursday evening we went to see a film as the international film festival was in town, ‘Brides of Allah’, a documentary on jailed female suicide bombers which raised lots of questions and on Friday we went to the world press photo exhibition which was really interesting to see and some of the photos were amazing and thought provoking. On Saturday while Jess moved her stuff in I climbed Mont Royal and got to see the city from a different perspective while sweating out all that alcohol from the countless nights of drinking!

The view from Mont-Royal

Tomorrow I leave to go to Plattsburgh, NY before going to NJ/NYC the day after…


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