I leave on Sunday morning, after a night out, drinking vodka and energy drink and having 3 hours of sleep. My ticket was pre-booked, there’s no changing anything. I’m on a budget here. Get up, brush your teeth, wash your face, put on some clothes and get to the Bay Bus Station, downtown Toronto. My friend hates me, as we drive down the highway, but someone had to sacrifice. That’s what friends are for. I grab some breakfast sandwich, almonds, cappuccino and a bottle of water from Starbucks, and enter the bus that will be my bed for the next 6 hours of travel.
There’s wifi on the bus, sweet.
The bus stops on 997 Saint-Antoine St W, in Montreal and I am greeted by my best friend and her boyfriend. We take the subway, $3,25 per one trip, to Saint Catherine Street, where her apartment is, just across the Concordia University. The city is alive, hyper and sunny. Everything is bursting with energy and I feel the European scent in the air. I’m as closest to home as I an be in Canada.
I am in love with her apartment, white, airy and in the mids of adventure. The two of them cook me dinner, while I fight with sleep on couch, with I got them keys playing. Vegetables and chicken, a la chef Moroccan and a Corona to chase it away. We mingled the Saint Catherine street later, just walking without no direction. My favourite thing. One hot chocolate later at Second Cup and we are headed home. It’s just after midnight.
I sleep like a baby.
Mmmm, the smell of fresh coffee at 9am. My friend hooks us up with some eggs, feta cheese and ajvar for breakfast. We eat and then get ready to adventure outside. It’s around 14 degrees, perfect October morning. Our first stop is Nespresso Boutique-Bar on 2045 Crescent St. Second cup of coffee, because my friend says “I simply have to try this one”. I try the espresso with ice cream and I’m hooked up. The coffee taste is so strong, and smooth, probably in my top 5 coffee cups. We catch a city bus from Saint Catherine St to Saint Joseph’s Oratory, up on the hill. It’s quite a ride, all up the hill. Montreal streets are so tiny, the cars as well. I enjoy the view through the window while we ride. I like the European architeture around me and little Fiat 500s and Volkswagen 4 passing by. There’s so many trees and flowers and little children walking with their parents and grand parents. Some are without adult supervision, with their backpacks, walking out the schools. The Sun is shinning. We are at the top finally. Without a clue where the Oratory is, we wandered right in front of it. Amazing how wanderer’s legs work alongside universe and gravity. Breathtaking scenery. A gate, flowers, bushes, trees, stairs and voilà- the view from the top.
Bonjour Montréal, tu es magnifique.
We grab each a bag of chips and enter the bus, back to downtown and then to Old Montréal.
Oh God, it’s beautiful.
Tiny pavement street and souvenir shops, endless cafes and little stores, restaurants and the marine looking at all of it. It’s sunset time, and the street lamps are on, creating the romantic atmosphere, while the clouds and the starts eat up the Sun. We stand in the middle of the square for a while, absorbing the scenery around us. I am not sure what to photograph first. Hungry in both our hearts and stomach, we sit down at terrace of an Italian restaurant and order delicious pizza to make us happy.
I buy a funny cup to take home; a bear chasing a human with “Canadian Fast Food” slogan. We walk around a little bit more and head back to her apartment. We decide to walk, it’s a 40 minute walk. It’s a cool evening and we are not in a hurry.
We stop for a cup of tea half-way through, at Second Cup on Saint Catherine Street, gather our breath and soon enough we are back, lying on her bed.
Shortly after, we get ready and her friends pick us up, and we go to the Hookah Bar. After a few beers we leave for another bar. We order more bears and chicken wings, listen to incredibly loud and good music, sitting in our wood booth, in the darkness of a bar, illuminated by the fairy lights. Hungry after so many beers, we walk to the, apparently, best pizza place and head home to end the night in the comfort of a couch and no shoes on.
It’s 4am, time to sleep.
It’s 10am and we are awake. I pack quickly, and we get ready to head out for coffee and breakfast before I leave. We walk to the Egglicious for a very very very delicious breakfast with coffee before food and a fruit smoothie after food. The restaurant has a brilliant vibe to it; an old town, brick walls setting with a wall full of different kinds of money from all around the world, chill music and cute staff. An hour and half later, we are walking towards the bus station to first buy my ticket. They are full for the 2pm bus, so I had to buy the one for 4pm. With 4 hours to spare somewhere, we went to the central train station, where they have an amazing food market. We got some delicious stuff and my snacks for the bus and found ourselves a place on the grass under the sun, by some kind of cathedral, whose name we couldn’t find out. We enjoy the sound of birds and the feeling of the sun on our faces and soon enough it is time for me to leave.
I take a one last video snap of Montreal, as the bus exits and is on the highway.
Thank you for having me, Montreal.
Until next time.
Thank you for sticking with me to the end. I hope you had a good time reading this. Feel free to leave me comments and positive vibes. Stay tuned for more escapades, you never know where I might end up next.
And remember- venture to adventure,