Bienvenue à Montréal: Part 1

Dear Montréal,

Your negative temperatures left me sick for a good number of days, but it’s hard to dwell on that fact when I had a wonderful time with you. Next time, just so I have an excuse to go back, I’ll visit you in the summer.

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Montreal has been on my travel list since I watched Anthony Bourdain talk about poutine on Parts Unknown. It seemed charming and beautiful even in the snowy winter, and I was determined to walk its pretty streets, take photos and eat poutine (of course)!

My trip looked like this.

TAMPA – TORONTO- KINGSTON- MONTRÉAL

Thanks to the snowstorm, I found myself heading to Toronto at 2 am, not the scheduled 8 pm. Thankfully, I have friends nice enough to pick me up at 5 in the morning. I spent a night here with my friends (Demeyin & Faith) and then hopped on a bus to Kingston to grab my friend Mofi who I was going to Montreal with.

March 15th

Again, thanks to the snowstorm, we didn’t arrive Montreal until 10 pm. Cold and tired from traveling, we checked into our Airbnb, ate, then proceeded to “Netflix & Doze off”. Can I copyright that phrase?

March 16th

Explore

Old Montreal 

Our Airbnb was in the heart of Old Montreal which meant that everywhere we wanted to visit on this day was within walking distance. Every spot was so close that we braved the cold to walk there. This part of the city is quaint, beautiful & reminiscent of parts of Europe. I quickly got the feeling that we weren’t “in Kansas anymore”. We walked through the Notre-Dame Basilica, Bonsecours Market & the Old Port.

Notre-Dame Basilica 

I have never been to a cathedral as grand and as intricately decorated as this one. The charge to go in is $6 which lets you stay till closing if you want. The building itself is a photographers dream. As I sat in the pews with my friend, I tried to wrap my head around how much hard work and talent went into creating the Basilica. Humans are impressive.

Tip: Head to the basilica early in the day to 1) avoid long lines 2) be able to get in. You can’t go visiting during mass. 

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Old Port

I could see that the Old Port would look vibrant in the summer time, but on this day it was covered in a blanket of snow, and most of the water was iced over. Nevertheless, we strolled through the port, stopping to pelt each other with snowballs along the way. Okay, I did most of the pelting while Mofi scowled at my silliness. Haha!

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Bonsecours Market

We stepped into this building for a bit to window shop (and get out of the cold), but we spent most of our time out on the streets around the market. This is another spot I would love to come back to in warmer weather. I imagine the streets lined with green trees & freshly bloomed flowers.

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Eats 

Breakfast: Egg-spectation

We found this delicious breakfast/lunch spot after a short search for an all-day breakfast place. I ordered what I would describe as a pancake sandwich (the menu called it high-rise pancakes) while Mofi went for a traditional fancy breakfast spread with crepes, eggs, sausages, lyonnaise potatoes & a mimosa!

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Dinner: Khyber Pass

For dinner, we visited a small Afghan restaurant. I like this place for two things. 1) You can bring your own bottle of wine & 2) The food was delicious & not terribly expensive. Okay, that’s three things, but the more the merrier, right? I ordered rice with a meatball sauce while Mofi ordered rice with lamb shank.

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Mofi!

Tip: Prepare your mind (if you’re not from Canada) for the exorbitant sales tax. It’s about 14%.

Nightlife 

Club 6/49

For our night out, we looked for places that would play predominantly latin music since both of us enjoy listening & dancing to bachata, salsa, and merengue! Our two options were Club 6/49 & Salsatheque which both had great reviews. However, we were drawn to 6/49 after reading that they offered dance lessons. This turned out to be outdated information.

Seemingly moved by our disappointment, the bartender offered to make us drinks. So we sipped on free mojitos, forgot our initial woes and danced anyway! Those lessons could wait.

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When you’re early enough to open up the dancefloor.

Exhausted from the day’s activities, we knocked out soon after getting home, never expecting that the next day would bring one of our best experiences yet!

As always, 

Thank you for reading! 

All photos shot on iPhone 6s+ & iPhone 7

You can get $40 off your first stay with Airbnb by clicking this sentence! 


same footprints, different sands

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