WINTER TRAVEL TO MONTREAL
The second leg of my trip to Quebec was to visit Montreal for a few days. It is a three-hour train ride from Quebec City. I thoroughly enjoy train rides. Instead of using them to catch up on work (like I should), I spend the time reading or staring out the window. It is one of the few times that I’m able to relax without distraction. Also, unlike when I fly, there isn’t an undercurrent of anxiety. On a train, everyone seems to be chill and easy going. I’m holding out hope for a transatlantic speed train in the future. Smart people, work on that.
Now back to Montreal. I can’t emphasize enough how easy it was in the city. While I love going to countries where traveling is a full time job, figuring out currencies, language barriers, public transport, avoiding scams, staying safe, and preventing food poisoning. Every now and then, it is lovely to just show up with no hassle or worry. Montreal is my version of an all-inclusive resort.
The hotel was one of my favorites ever. Le Petit Hotel staff were so helpful and genuinely seemed to love their job (maybe it’s just the Canadian in them), the rooms were big and cozy, lattes on demand, and it was a perfect location in the old part of town. I need to be better about taking photos of my room and hotel, but believe me it was a quaint little joint.
We arrived during a snowstorm and the city was beautiful. The streets were quiet, and everything was just covered in snow. The plows had yet to come out. After a brief walk around town, we decided to spend the remainder of the first day lounging around our room.
On our second day the snow briefly stopped and the city started moving again. Snow turned to slush, and I headed to the ice skating rink. I’ve only been a couple of times before, but after a few staggering turns and near misses I started to gain my footing. After 30 minutes, I boldly proclaimed that if I had training from a young age, I probably could have been a great figure skater. That’s confidence people. I truly believe with proper work and dedication that I can do anything well. Maybe not singing, but everything else.
Midday we made a stop at Notre-Dame Basilica to listen to the Christmas organ performance, and admire the all encompassing interiors.That evening we headed to the Museum of Fine Arts, specifically to view an art exhibition that looked intriguing, 1920’s Modernism in Montreal. I was so impressed and inspired by the exhibit that I bought a book by the same name, and I’m thinking I will dedicate another post to the inspiring artists.
Our final day involved a steep climb to the lookout point on Mont Royal. A lovely walk and incredible view of the snow covered city. It got dark pretty early so we ran out of time to do any sledding or cross country skiing while in the park. Also if I’m being totally honest, cross-country skiing looks like hard work. I didn’t’ mind skipping it this time.
On the morning of our departure we had to leave the hotel at 4am on New Year's Day. On the drive to the airport, we passed groups of people still out and about from the night before. Girls trekking through snow in short skirts and heels. That is a dedication to fashion that must be admired. Moral of the story. If you are interested in taking part in a thriving nightlife, from this brief encounter, the city seems to have a lot to offer.
I can't really complain about anything from the trip. It was truly a lovely getaway from the hot and humid weather at home. The city was charming, the people friendly, and the food French. A perfect combination for a good time.