Mad about Montréal
Strap in to your seats for a road trip here, ladies and gents. We're throwing it back to our Senior year Spring Break in Montreal, Québec.
Back in September 2015, Shannon, Brooke, and Mike (you'll hear about him a lot) were at an incredibly fancy, high class dinner. Jk. It was Buffalo Wild Wings. Over wings and fries, we discussed what we should do for our final spring break before adulthood. None of us wanted to go to a cliché destination like Cancun or Miami, so we decided on heading north.
We packed up the car and set out on our 6 hour drive. Our collaborative Spotify playlist was obviously lit and kept us going even when we were sick of driving. We crossed the border and kept heading towards the city. After driving in circles looking for parking, we finally arrived at Montreal Central, our hostel home for the next few days.
Keep reading for some highlights from our trip!
Honestly God Bless whoever created this national treasure. Poutine is single-handedly the best food you'll find in all of Canada. It's a dish with french fries smothered in gravy and cheese curds and is a gift from the heavens. From Les Trois Brasseures to McDonald's to some sketchy pizza place, all the poutine was on point. Brooke was a big fan of it, especially at 3 AM.
We spent a lot of time strolling through Old Montréal because it was super close to our hostel. The whole neighborhood has a really European feel, complete with cobblestone streets. We visited Notre Dame Cathedral and then hit up Eggspectations for brunch. The vibe was really homey and the food was incredible. Shan was clearly really eggs-cited for her eggs.
After brunch, we stumbled across an authentic Québécois sugar shack. We all bought maple candy on a stick. Right in front of our eyes, the workers took hot maple syrup out of a pot, poured it over an ice table, and rolled it onto a popsicle stick. 10/10 would recommend.
We hopped on the metro and headed over to Montréal's Little Italy and took a stroll through the Marché Jean-Talon. Please keep in mind that this is the third thing in a row that involved food. Not sorry. The market really gave us a taste of authentic Montréal. We were able to (for the most part) communicate and buy things in French. Well, we tried.
In the interest of seeming outdoorsy, we decided to spend our second day hiking a mountain. This idea was much better in theory. Perhaps the downhill skiers should've been a sign that we were on the wrong path, but that little detail slipped our minds and we forged on. The excessive snow and ice really made this a difficult task. We fell on ice, Shan had an asthma attack, we yelled at Mike for being unsafe, and our friend Leslie cried. Great times. The views were worth it, tho.
The 1976 Olympic Park is still standing tall in the middle of suburban Montréal. The buildings were repurposed in the early 90s and today, one of them functions as an eco-exhibit. The Biodome is kind of like a zoo, kind of like an aquarium, and kind of like a botanical garden. It's unique. It took about an hour to walk through all four ecosystem replicas. Brooke's personal fave were the otters, and Shannon's, as displayed by this picture, were the puffins.
Overall, we loved Montréal. It's not a particularly touristy city, which allowed us to feel genuinely immersed in the culture. We tried our best to speak as much French as we could and that definitely felt easier after a few rounds of drinks. The close proximity to home and the drastic difference from our own culture made it a perfect weekend getaway. We rate Montréal an 8/10.
B & S
Montreal Centrale Samesun
1586 Rue Saint Hubert, Montréal, Quebec
Les Trois Brasseurs
7070 Henri-Julien Avenue, Montréal, Quebec
4777 Avenue Pierre-de Coubertin, Montréal, Quebec