Montréal and Trois-Rivières

Monday it was time to leave Bryan for good. Was not an easy goodbye. Although we had seen each other for the first time, it felt like meeting an old friend and I really felt home at his place. He is a great guy, you just have to like him! And he is a great host too. Thank you Bryan for everything! It was a great start for my world trip. Couldn´t have picked a better place to get started.
Managed to get out of the city without getting lost and drove to Shawinigan. Shortly before reaching the city they were about to close the road since there was so much water. I could still pass, super slowly though. There was a huge waterfall and all the water was super foamy and very close to the street. Looked quite impressive. Unfortunately I couldn´t take any pictures.  The city itself didn´t really impress me

and since it was raining I didn´t spend too much time there, but drove to Trois-Rivières where I had chosen a hostel. I drove back another way, but when I was on the motorway again I saw a long line of cars standing still heading to the direction of Shawinigan. Shortly after I heard in the radio that they had to close a road in the area due to flooding. In Trois-Rivières I checked into the hostel. There was not much going on an I had a 6-bed-dorm for myself. There were a few other people in the hostel,but they were not really the social type. Since it was still raining and I had enough of walking around in the rain, I decided to have a quiet evening with writing my blog and watching a few DVDs. There was a projector in this hostel and some cosy couches. Was nice to spend a night in a room alone for a change and I slept really well.

It wasn´t raining and I still had to check out Trois-Rivières. I have been to the old town, to the harbour and the main street, all super close to the hostel.

On my way back to the hostel I stumpeled over an old General Store. It was a bit like time travel to go in there. I really like those kind of store.

The girl working in that shop told me that there is another one close by on the way to Montréal which is even older. It´s not only a shop but also a museum  and has a café and some shows too. So I decided to go there and have a little lunch there.  When leaving Trois-Rivières there was water on both sides of the motorway. It looked like rice fields, but there shouldn´t be any water usually. There are floods everywhere! The shop is in Maskinongé, so I got off the motorway there. But without the address and the navi I would´t have had a chance to find it. I had to drive along hidden an narrow farmways that were more holes then street. I already started to question myself if my navi is leading me somewhere wrong (wouldn´t be the first time after all) when I finally saw Le Brun. Inside I had to learn that the café was closed that day and that there were also no shows, but the shop and the museum were open. I had a look around and bought some chocolate spread on the base of honey, made in a traditional way.

Since the café was closed I couldn´t get anything to eat there. So I made use oft he tables and chairs in front of Le Brun and munched on some crackers and hummus before driving the rest of the way to Montréal. I was not even off the motorway completely when I was already stuck in a traffic jam. There were soooo many cars! Welcome to the big city! Took a while to get to my host´s place and to find some parking space. But I was lucky and found something very close where I could leave the car for the whole time I would be there. Since I was about 1.5 hours too early for meeting my host I just walked around in the city for a bit.

At 6 pm I came back to the apartment and ran into Dominic on the street. Perfect timing. Dominic is a friend of Valérie and she had put me into contact with him since I couldn´t find a CS host. We went out for some indian food. The Golden Curry is quite small, but the food is great and it was sooo much, that we were both super full and still had some leftovers to take home. The next day Dominic went to work and I started my tour to discover the city. Walked through the Plateau to Vieux-Montréal and the old harbour. Had a look at stuff like the Hotel de Ville, Basilique Notre-Dame, several alleys and places. For lunch I had a Poutin. Walked through the finance district to the city center to the Place Ville-Marie, where you can go to the 46th floor to have a nice view over the city. Passed the University McGill and the Parc Jeanne-Mance on my way back home. Everywhere where there is a little green there are so many squirrels. They are so cute! In total I walked something between 16 and 20 km that day. Was a nice tour!

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I have the feeling that people in Montréal are more friendly and open than in Québec. A lot more people are smiling at you or offer their help whe you stand somewhere looking at a map or something. Creates a nice atmosphere. When Dominic came back from work,  we bought a little selection of Canadian beer IMAG0155and had these together with the leftovers of the Indian the evening before. I really liked the Kissmeyer Nordic Pale Ale, although there is way too much stuff inside this beer for me being a German and used to the „Reinheitsgebot“. After watching a hockey game we called it a night. Next day I went to the Parc Mont-Royal. A green oasis in the big city. I climbed a bit offside the actual way. Was quite steep, but nice and not so many people. More nature like. When I arrived at the top I faced a fence, but quickly found a hole to get through and was standing in front of Croix de Mont Royal. Was definitely faster then walking the normal way! From there to the Chalet and the view point, Lax au Castors and the Cimetière Notre-Dame-des-Neiges. This cemetry is just huge!!!

Left the park to walk to L´Oratoire Saint-Joseph du Mont-Royal and had a look at the church, the museum and the gardens. It´s quite impressive!

Since I wanted to try the metro once, I took this to get back home. In the evening Dominic and I went out for dinner. We wanted to go to the Noren. The smallest Japanese restaurant in town with only 10 places. Unfortunately it was closed this day. Should have been open. Settled fo another Japanese Restaurant named Yokato Yokabai. There was quite a queue to get a seat and we had to wait like 15-20 min to get in. But it was worth it. Very yummie salad and noudle soup.  Wanted to go for a beer after, but since it was a Thursday night all bars were pretty busy and it was a bit tricky to find a place were we could still get in. Ended up in the Case del Popolo.

Dominic was off the next day so we could have a sleep in. I had to move the car since were I parked it was forbidden fridays from 12:30 to 13:30. Unfortunately I parked too close to a hydrant after moving the car so I got a fine. Was quite expensive. Should have left the car were it was, would have been cheaper. But well., learning from mistakes…  The weather was unexpectedly super sunny, warm and beautiful, quite in contrast to  the last days. So we went out and walked around the parc and the city for a bit, had a light lunch and an ice-cream, before I finally set off to Ottawa at 5:30 pm.

Was not the best time to set off. Rush hour again. Took quite a while to get on the motorway and there another half hour with like 30 to 50 km/h until I could finally drive properly. It was almost 8 pm, when I finally arrived at my hostel in Ottawa. In Montréal there is so much to see and do, I could have easily spend more days there. But well, a reason to come back on day!

With Dominic I had another great host. He gave me several tips were to go and what to see, showed me some nice restaurants and bars, spend a lot of time with me and was an interesting person to talk to. Thanks Valérie for introducing me and a big thanks to Dominic for having me and giving me a cosy home for a few days!

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