Montreal

Trip Start Apr 11, 2005
1
12
54
Trip End ??? ??, 2006


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Flag of Canada  , Quebec,
Friday, May 13, 2005

Hi guys,

The flight was the best yet from Boston a nice tiny plane that couldn't have held more than 60 or so passengers. I have been in pickup trucks that have had more ground clearance from the asphalt however my joy was not shared as KT was a funny shade of green from take off to landing oh well never mind.

Anyway when we got here we thought we were doing quite well all the luggage had arrived and we then found the bus we needed to get to the underground. The problems then started, it just goes to show you really can't believe everything you read. Our guide book (not mentioning names due to fear of being sued)had stated that American dollars could be used in Canada. This turned out not to be so, it was a quick dash to the cash point which was back into the airport, up a flight of stairs, into an elevator, dash to the machine only to be beaten by a stupid woman that didn't know which of her accounts had any money in as she went through 3 cards before she gave up (ha ha she has no money). Anyway a quick punch into the machine and out popped the queen on $20 bills (didn't realise she would be making an appearance). Any how got to the bus stop but just missed one, never mind the next one would be along soon.

Bus no 2 pulled up proceeded to get on but found out it was going the wrong way and that both buses stopped at this point. After being tolled in pigeon English by the French driver that one would be along soon it was back to the platform.

Bus no3, yey its going the right way, we have the correct currency, but the buses don't give change and I only have $20 bills (bloody cash point) I tried to speak with the driver telling him I would change it over by the kiosk less than 50yards away could he hold on. Now he either didn't understand me or was just an arrogant French t#@t because as soon as we had disembarked the bus he drove off and i'm sure he was laughing to himself.

Bus No4 Got correct currency, got correct amount of change, the bus is going the right way yippee we got it only to go about 1/4 of a mile where we had to get off and change for another bus OH MY GOD!!!

What seemed like a life time later we got to the Hotel.

The Hotel Champ De Mars was to be our base for the next week. It was a nice little Hotel based in the Downtown area which after looking at the tariff I was very pleased to see we had preccured it for less than a fith of what they charge a night. however dread started to set in, how did we manage to get it so cheap, where do i have to sleep to get this sort of a rate and I don't like the way the owners daughter is smilling at me (at least I think it was female!!!). We took the keys to the room and proceeded up three flight of stairs which isn't an easy task when you have a 35kg pack on your back and 10kg on your front (which is amasing as when we left Manchester mine weighed 23kg, kt have you got a confession. I thought your steps were a bit more spritely). The room was nice with our own bathroom (a bit of a novelty these days) but there was an awful bellow coming from the air conditioning unit so I was off to complain. They were very helpfull and gave me another set of keys to check out another room, this room however was too small for a week, the girl on reception gave me another two sets of keys and asked me if any of these would be suitable fortunately one was.

Settled and unpacked it was off to explore the sights.

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Montreal is a funny place, you are in the heart of Canada but everone speaks French. It was certainly a bit of a shock to us. We thought French would be a second language but oh no, not the case. I also have to say a lot of the arrogance is also shinning through but i suppose thats due to them not knowing where they belong. A bit like warrantonians, not quite liverpool not quite Manchester, stranded in between with that muddled accent. Now that i have offended a third of the readers of this website I will continue.

The latin Qtr is a very nice place, I would say it is the trendy area of Montreal laced with bars and restaurants etc. We enjoyed a few Wheat ales in the sun down there.
However just round the corner from our hotel was the sea front lined with good restaurants and tacky souvenier shops. I am ashamed to say I gave in and purchased a few things, a moose being one of them. This however wasn't a real one but in a mountys outfit and stuffed. There were real fur shops which we found quite disturbing being stared at so much.

Montreal hosted the 1976 Olympics and the stadium that held them is open for guided tours. The tour wasn't upto much, you got to go into the stadium where the track used to be and we were also showen the swimming pool as well whoopie. However they do have a rather cool removable roof (which can't be operated at the moment as it is undergoing major reapirs) and lift up the tower which when at the top you have panoramic views of the city etc (see the pics).
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