Let’s get this out of the way straight off, Montreal isn’t floating our boat in the same way that the rest of Canada has. It may be the weather and it may be the French influence but it’s quite a drab city and the people are not especially friendly. Perhaps it would have seemed better had we visited before Quebec and not had that to compare it with.
Regardless, we are having an absolutely fabulous stay. How does that work? Well our apartment is unbelievably great and we are seriously enjoying just relaxing together and spending time walking and planning for next year.
Our life in Montreal
So we’re in a first floor apartment in an area called Jean-Talon on the classically named street, Avenue Christophe-Colombus. Sounds cool huh? Lined with beautiful trees and buildings with outside staircases it’s a lovely street and neighbourhood. The apartment is another top quality one-bedroom place that even has it’s own office. Jo told you all the details in the previous post so here’s a couple of pics so you can see for yourselves.
Very comfortable and we’re loving our time spent living here. An added bonus is that our host Fares has even got ChromeCast on the TV which means we can watch Netflix in the evenings and keep up with our obsessive Mad Men schedule. Can’t believe we missed it when it was on a few years ago. It’s brilliant. If you haven’t seen it then sort yourself out and start watching!
Montreal The City
I said it was drab didn’t I and that we weren’t really hooked? Bit over the top I guess but we probably expected it to be like Quebec with historic buildings and great little twisty-turny streets full of character. It has the buildings but we just feel that they aren’t looked after or presented very well. In fact, the place reminds us so much of Toulouse in France which gives the impression of being busy, cramped, grubby, full of cars and not that nice. Such a shame.
Not an issue for us though as we’ve been out and about walking and exploring and found some great places. The city has so many churches and cathedrals which is why the nickname ‘City of Saints’ suits it so well.
There appears to only be one hill in Montreal and it’s called Mont Royal, the place that the city was named after. It’s a huge park with miles of walks through tree-lined avenues amidst piles of Autumn-leaves. We spent almost an entire day walking up the mount and wandering around getting lost.
The view from the top probably says it all about Montreal. You can see the St Lawrence River and the whole city but nothing really stands out. Thank goodness for the beautiful colours of the leaves and trees all around, they were stunning.
Halfway through our second stay in the province of Quebec and the weather continues to be unpredictable and steadily getting colder. We won’t ever complain about English winters being cold after this! We loved visiting the Jean-Talon Market, walked through the unbelievable Underground City, had a great meal at the Three Brasseries, marvelled at the beautiful Autumn trees and spectacular colours, got excited with every new Tim Hortons visit, and thoroughly enjoyed every step we’ve walked around this diverse city. We are out hiking miles and miles every other day pretty much, it’s the best way to explore and really see a place. There are beautiful gardens and parks scattered throughout and lots of great looking restaurants dotted around.
It’s a strange thing when you’re not taken with a place, we don’t dislike it and it is almost certainly a lovely city to live in but as a visitor it just feels a little ‘blah’. Sorry Montreal.
Only a few short weeks left now until we fly back to the UK and we’re both feeling excited to be seeing family and friends again. It’s proving to be a logistical puzzle of epic proportions arranging to see as many people as possible especially as we don’t have a car and will have to rely on public transport. And then right after Christmas we start the next stage of our lives when we’ll be housesitting and working our way around the country. JWalking 2.5, as we refer to it, should be another adventure. Good job I love cats eh?
3.11 – 6.11.2016