The French City in Quebec
06.07.2007 - 10.07.2007 25 °C
The Greyhound Bus Service was OK and the cost was a little bit expensive at $150 for the two of us, however, it was 8 hours before we pulled into Montreal bus station.
We walked the short distance around to the Hostel (The Alexandria Montreal) was OK and we checked into our little double room. The best thing was that there was a kitchen and a private lounge as it was a small Suite and although there was another room, nobody else moved in for the three nights that we were there... so it wasn't too bad
The Bed was a bit scanky... however... it had to be one of the most comfortable we'd slept in for a while.
We walked down into town the following morning only to realise that it was the Montreal Jazz Festival! I know it sounds stupid but we'd not realised and wondered why we'd struggled to get a hostel.
There were live bands playing and loads and loads of people everywhere.
We popped to the Tourist Information centre to see what was on and what we could see whilst in Montreal. They spoke French (which was fun since our French is Rubbish!)and unfortunately for us only had information on the province of Quebec... which is how the Tourist Information people seem to work in Canada.
The guy was helpful though as he gave us the web site addresses for the rest of the provinces in Canada... however..... in terms of trying to work out a route and transport options etc. we struggled a bit.
On the way home we happened to stumble on a massive parade which seemed to be celebrating Carribean links in Montreal and had loads and loads of Music and colourful dancers all dressed like the Rio Carnival!
We did a cloths wash using the flat's washing machine and dryer (which was an added bonus as it was free) and then spent time in the Internet cafe trying to find out what and where to go ???
That night we went to the casino, which was funny as they only took mastercards to get cash and we only had Visa's So we didn't do much gambling (Which is a good thing!) but did manage to scrape enough together to get some food and a beer or two!
We woke up early (For once) and headed to get some "free" breakfast. Chatted with some of the other backpackers (most of which weren't backpackers and were locals Canadians or Americans staying in a cheap hotel for the night) We're finding this quite a bit, which makes it extra hard to get any advice or opinions on where to go and how to travel around this massive country.
We bought a Sim card for our phone (which is Quad Band so Canada is Band 3...) and it worked more surprisingly (However, we only had the choice of one supplier in Canada)
There are more than one, however, Virgin etc. just piggy back on the Rogers (Canada's Vodafone) network and don't support the network European phones work on (or something like that anyway!).
Fido, who is the network we finally went with, is a subsidiary of Rogers (so we had the massive choice of ONE Network operator) and it cost us $20 for a new SIM with $10 of sim credit.
That afternoon we walked down to the "Old Town" in Montreal.
Here we walked around the Huge and Beautiful Basilica Notre Dam.
It was fantastic, and we spent a while just gawping at the masonary and decorations on the inside.
The Church started as a protestant Church, however, was converted to a Catholic Church later on.
It did however have a Protestant section at the back which was also quite impressive.
We quite like Montreal and although it's supposed to be the party town of Canada, we didn't do much partying while we were there... however... it's very much a european City (Which, unfortunately, doesn't excite us as Europeans quite as much as it might excite Americans or the likes)
We catch the Bus Tomorrow to head to Toronto, Ontario and leave Little France behind (For Now!)