04.11.23 — Travel

Back to Montreal

As you can see, I’ve had a busy summer. Between trips to Japan and Asturias and then many visits from friends to my home in Madrid, I’d barely had chance to breathe during the main summer months from July to September. October also promised for a busy time, however, as I had another little (see: big) trip planned: I was heading back to the US!

Last year I went on a month-long galavant around North America, the entirety of which I documented here on my blog. This year I was going to be doing the same thing, albeit for just two weeks this time around. I was even starting off the same, with the (relatively) cheap and easy flight from Madrid to Canada…

The trip was a pretty smooth one, with the only inconveniences being a rather long and winding journey to the aeroplane in Madrid and then a very slow disembarkation in Montreal. This was as we’d been transferred off into a “PTV”, a curious thing which looks like a bus but which rises to the aeroplane door, lowers to ground level, and then rises back again upon arriving at the terminal. Through sheer coincidence the other day one of the YouTubers I watch, Tom Scott, did a video on these very contraptions. It’s worth a look!

The flight was still 8 hours, but after the 14 back from Japan, it felt like nothing.

Once I cleared the Canadian border I headed outside and waited for my lift, as Megan and Malory were both coming to pick me up! The three of us had arranged to spend a night in Montreal together, this time in a rather swankier hotel than where Megan and I stayed last year.

Reunited at last, the three of us had a great catch up and some laughs as we sped into Montreal proper and to the hotel. The city was hosting an important ice hockey game that evening, so the hotel’s car park was pretty busy when we arrived. We managed to grab a spot and headed straight for the room as Megan and Malory had checked in when they’d arrived earlier in the day.

With the evening wearing on, there was only one thing we really fancied doing: making the most of our bougie hotel. It was set across the tenth and top floor of an office building, providing great views along with a pool, sauna, and a rather fancy lobby. Changing into our swimming gear and grabbing a glass of wine for Megan, the three of us jumped in the pool and spent a while unwinding. It was a welcome rest after a long journey!

Now tired and hungry, we headed back to the hotel room in our white dressing gowns and then got changed in order to head out for some food. Being in Canada, there was only one dish that fit the bill: poutine! Megan researched a good local spot and the three of us headed a few blocks down the road.

We arrived at the restaurant absolutely ravenous and so naturally ordered way more food than we could handle. With eyes bigger than our bellies, we tucked into three different variants of poutine, with one of them being just the classic combination of chips, gravy, and cheese. To top it all off we grabbed some huge milkshakes for dessert. It was bliss, but we did have to practically roll back to the hotel…

The sun came out for a morning in the hotel.

The next day we didn’t really have much planned, with our only priority being to head back to the lovely bakery that me and Megan had discovered the year before. There we had some croissants and coffee for breakfast, not forgetting (well, almost forgetting) to pick up some divine olive bread to take back with us to Vermont.

Along the way we did run into a nice little surprise in the form of a Parisian metro entrance that had been brought over to Montreal. I remember studying these Art Nouveau icons back in my design classes, so we simply had to grab a pic. Do you catch the other sneaky art reference?

Art Nouveau meets The Creation of Adam.

Now back at the hotel, we packed our bags and loaded them into the car ready for our drive south and across the US-Canadian border. Like last time, Megan took me through a smaller backroad checkpoint, where once again I was asked to step out of the car as Megan and Malory could drive straight through.

This experience was rather pleasant, even if I did have to wait around as some Italians were sent back into Canada and told to return in a few hours when their online application should have been processed and approved. I thankfully suffered no hiccups, with the border control officer allowing me to head in without even paying for the border check as he couldn’t be bothered setting up the card reader. What a legend!

Now across the US border, I will leave the rest of the tale of what I got up to until my next post. It was only two weeks, but we packed plenty in, so prepare for a barrage of other posts outlining everything that we got up to…