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.
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 streets, take photos and eat poutine for the first time.!
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 and then hopped on a bus to Kingston to grab my friend Mofi who I was going to Montreal with.
Again, thanks to the snowstorm, we didn’t arrive in Montreal until 10 pm. Cold and tired from traveling, we checked into our Airbnb, ate, then proceeded to doze off watching Netflix.
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 and just walked. We strolled through the Notre-Dame Basilica, Bonsecours Market & the Old Port.
I have never been to a cathedral as grand and as intricately decorated as this one. 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.
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.
The Old Port might be filled with flowers in the summertime, but on this day it was covered in a blanket of snow, and most of the water was iced over. Nevertheless, we walked through the port, stopping to pelt each other with snowballs along the way. Okay, I did most of the pelting, leaving Mofi to scowl at my silliness.
We stepped into this building to window shop and get out of the cold. This is another spot I would love to come back to in warmer weather. I imagine that much like the Old Port, the streets surrounding Bonsecours Market are lined with verdant trees and flowering plants.
We found this delicious breakfast/lunch spot after a tedious 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 ordered a fancy breakfast spread with crepes, eggs, sausages, and lyonnaise potatoes – named after the city of Lyon in France.
Dinner: Khyber Pass
For dinner, we visited a small Afghan restaurant. I like this place for two reasons. 1) you can bring your own bottle of wine & 2) the food was delicious & not terribly expensive.
Tip: Prepare your mind (if you’re not from Canada) for the exorbitant sales tax. It’s about 14%.
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. 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.
Exhausted from the day’s activities, we knocked out soon after getting home, not expecting that the next day would bring one of our best experiences yet!
Thank you for reading!
All photos shot on iPhone 6s+ & iPhone 7
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same footprints, different sands