Montreal Day 1: Bagels and Murals

OK so I’ve got pictures on my camera of my recent adventures BUT I forgot the little cord that gets pictures from my camera to my laptop. So here are the pictures I took on my phone instead.

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MONTREAL, I AM IN YOU!

This wasn’t today and I’m not posting the days in order because that’s boring and it won’t make a difference to you anyway.

DAY 1 of exploring Montreal solo began with almost missing the bus (I’m staying a bit far from “Centre Ville”/City Centre) and then paying 50¢ more because I didn’t have exact change. And then at my stop I waited in the wrong line for ages but eventually got to the metro and was on my way toooooooo…

Parc-Royal Avenue! Which sounded a lot more exciting on the internet. I went up and down Park-Royal and along St-Laurent Boulevard as well. It was marketed as, well, a market of sorts? A busy central avenue with local boutiques and cute cafés along it’s picturesque streets? Well, it was kind of something like that. It had busy streets, not so much sidewalks. There was a lot of construction going on. There were some cute shops and cafés, and there were some R-rated shops and faceless stores with $5 clothes. It was a strange mix.

Thankfully, I’d already looked into a few places along the streets to look at and popped into a few more that looked interested. Bought a new belt for $5, looked into a cool little poster shop, went past a minor, yet enormous church.

But my first stop was a popular bagel shop, and upon arriving I discovered why the streets didn’t have pedestrians. They were all here.

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So I got my bagel to go. The menu was a bit overwhelming so I got the Traditional and it was delicious! A bit pricey ($10), not something I’d get every day, but worth it? Yes. Undoubtedly. Holy moly.

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So I sat and ate and watched people walk past and construction happen. And when I finished, I kept going. There was a lot of wall art, actually.

I think I may have been building it up in my head more, or maybe I was expecting something more like Europe. Montreal is a bit like a clash between Calgary and Paris. Instead of looking at it like a different, interesting version of Calgary, I’m seeing it as a smaller, watered-down Paris. Maybe I shouldn’t do that.

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There was a cool installation that rained mist because it was so hot. I saw a couple of people use it, but as I said, it wasn’t that busy. Maybe because I went on a weekday.

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Eventually I ran out of things to look at and headed for Notre Dame (the Montreal one) which had a crazy one line to get into and cost even more than the actual Notre Dame in Paris (and I’m sure it’s pretty, but having seen its presumed namesake, I can’t help but compare them and this doesn’t hold a candle). I looked into some galleries, but being broke only looked and enjoyed the art.

I also did some scouting for a future day, because I’m taking it easy with Montreal and I’m not done with it yet. Not even close.

Before I finish, there’s just one thing I want to add: So far Montreal hasn’t exactly been everything I’d hoped (still early though), but it is a great feeling to be free of Calgary after having been there so long. God, I’ve missed traveling.

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