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  • Writer's pictureMeg

Montreal Part Two: The Saga Continues

So my last post got a little too long, and I realized I should split up the trip into two parts to make it easier to swallow. This is that swallowable part! Let's get at it.


Church

Day 6:

We start the week strong this Monday! Avery is working so I sleep in way too long, make myself a chicory latte (Montreal apparently has a vendetta against decaf coffee), and get ready to leave. I head to the rare book bookstore I wanted to go back to and it's closed. So I head around the corner to a different bookstore and spend an hour reading every single title on every single spine and I leave with 3 books. I take this picture because it's hilarious to me that there are so many lights.

A comical amount of traffic lights

I head to the butcher because Avery and I want to make steak tomorrow but the butcher is closed. I sit on a street bench and Google butchers in the neighbourhood but every single one is closed. It turns out almost everything in Avery's neighbourhood is closed on Mondays. It may have something to do with Hasidic Judaism, but I'm not sure. I go to a thrift store instead and buy more books and a couple of wine glasses. I reluctantly buy steak and asparagus at the PA and head home to drop them off before going to meet Avery at the metro.

Notre Dame Basilica

We take the metro down to old port because the ONE thing on my bucket list is to see the Notre Dame Basilica. Old Port is a gorgeous medley of old architecture I studied in my theatre courses and so I am in heaven, and I take more pictures today than any other day. We stop and pick up Korean corn dogs and bubble tea in Chinatown. Montreal Chinatown is significantly smaller than Vancouver, but just as lively.


When we get to Notre Dame there is a queue of people outside so we decide to get in line. I buy tickets on my phone for whatever event is about to happen and we smuggle our bubble teas inside with us.

The Cathedral is dark, with only prayer candles and the projections on the paintings lighting the way. We find out we are attending a light show called AURA, and we are even early for it. So we walk around and look at the paintings and make jokes Jesus would have laughed at.

Painting of Jesus

When the show is about to start we find seats tucked under the spiral staircase where we can drink our contraband safely.

Spiral Staircase Seats

And honestly, the show is so beautiful that I end up crying during it. I'm a sucker for orchestral music and pretty buildings. I found out that the music I cried to is an original orchestral composition involving 32 musicians, 20 choristers and the Basilica’s great organ. They made it specifically for this "immersive multimedia experience". I think it was well worth the panicked $30 tickets. They turned the lights on after and I got a nice photo of the sanctuary lit up.


Notre Dame Basilica Sanctuary


Afterwards, we walk around Old Port and down to the water.


Old Port Wheel

Day 7:

Today is a rest day. We spent so much time being so busy all weekend that we need to just take a breather. I play Elden Ring for the morning and for dinner we make steak. One thing I didn't get a picture of was us accidentally lighting an oil fire in the cast iron pan. We did not burn the apartment down, against all odds. The steak was actually delicious once we were able to cook it safely. We let the apartment air out and shared a bottle of wine at the park. Here is another picture of a pretty building!

Another Church


Day 8:

Pingu Noot Noot

Today we go to the Biodome! There are a few different ecosystems to explore and we decide to start with the Sub-Antarctic Islands one because we are still wearing our jackets. There are penguins, a classic, and some jellyfish that I really vibe with.

Then we move onto the Laurentian Maple Forest where we hardly see any of the creatures but it's okay because they are Canadian and I see raccoons all the time in Vancouver, so I didn't take any pictures. Then we enter the bird exhibit but because birds are very elusive we don't see much and therefore I take no photos.

Sea Mushroom

Then there was a part that resembles The Gulf of St. Lawrence, and there was a bunch of weird fish that we didn't know the names of because the Biodome doesn't like labelling the exhibits? So we guessed what a lot of the creatures were when my Google Lens wasn't working.

Sloth

Onto the Tropical Rainforest! We see some of my favourites here, like the Capybara and the Sloth. There's not much else to do in the Biodome outside of the Ecosystems, but we try to do some interactive games that seem like they are for the kids and I take the one and only selfie of Avery and I together.

Meg and Avery smiling inside a cricket tube

2 pirate wenches

After the Biodome, we feel like we want to do more so we travel to the Montreal Museum of Archaeology and History which closes in an hour so we RUN to the pirate exhibit and I take exactly 2 photos to capture the vibe.


We get kicked out eventually and by then we are both burnt out and tired and head back home for a break before going to Paris' house where we just hang out and talk and drink Hungarian herbal liqueur.

a double headed axe on a wall
More weapons on friends walls

Hungarian herbal liqueur
Hungarian herbal liqueur

Day 9:

Avery works again so I wake up late and the power is out. Apparently, that happens a lot in Montreal. I walk down to where she works and we have lunch together at Cafe Orr, which has the coolest vibe and ladders that lead up to a nest that has pillows and graffiti. Avery goes back to work so I spend a few hours in the nest and write and read and just generally feel inspired. Maybe it's because I don't speak French, or because there aren't any advertisements on the trains, or because of being constantly surrounded by art, but Montreal feels like being in a movie.

Anyways I want to go to a bookstore that's around the corner so I walk there and buy some local art. Then I pick Avery up from work and we go to a Lebanese restaurant for ice cream. It's the strangest ice cream I've ever seen but also the most delicious.

Hairy Ice Cream (it's cotton candy)

After ice cream, we walk to St. Laurent Boulevard where The Fringe Festival is being held. We see two shows, the first show was very good and engaging and thought-provoking and the second show felt like the first draft of a high school play. Between shows, we went to Schwartz's Deli and got a Montreal smoked meat sandwich and it was SOOOO GOOOD. We walk home and I get a photo of the Leonard Cohen Mural (one of many)

Daddy Cohen


Day 10:

It's my last day so I wouldn't even count it as a day but since we spend the morning at the Flea Market I have to mention it. I love that Flea Market by the way, and if I ever move to Montreal I would decorate my entire house with stuff from the market. Including this $500 plate armour.

Big Boy Armour

On our way back home we stop to get za'atar wraps which are delicious. Then we have to leave for the hour-long trek to the airport. This is the last picture I took in Montreal.

I already miss it, after all of this writing about it, and I can guarantee you I will be going back at some point! There was so much we did but also so much we couldn't get to. If you go to Montreal I hope you get some punks to show you around because it just feels so unique and real and I felt like I was in the sims because I couldn't read anything and my environment bar was always full.


Anyways, I hope you enjoyed the read, although I know it's pretty boring to read about other people's trips. At least I'm not showing you pictures of my kids.


Have a safe weekend!


Love,


Meg



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