The first thing we noticed after crossing the border into Canada was that it was immediately really flat. There wasn’t much in the way of civilisation just a few farms here and there with huge grain silos towering over each house.
As we approached Montréal, with the light fading the illuminated skyline of the city gave us a fantastic show. Neon signs flashed and skyscrapers were outlined in yellows, reds, blues, greens, you name it. Unfortunately the bumpy bus journey and rain made for poor quality photos so you’ll just have to take our word on this one! It was very reminiscent of New York but as we drew nearer to our hotel we began to recognise French influence in the design of some of the older buildings: green-leaded roofs with ornate embellishments which would not be amiss in downtown Paris.
There is an unusual mix of old and new here; cracks in the concrete covered pavements revealing the original cobbled streets; contemporary office blocks bolted on to traditional church spires of long churches which had fallen into disrepair.
Our apartment is lovely with acres of space in which to relax and unwind, a perfect place to make like a local and cook fresh food sourced from the Jean Talon market just a few stops down the line.
For convenience we ate out the first night at small restaurant called L’Express. It was rammed full of locals and served simple traditional French cuisine such as Chèvre Chaud (warm goats cheese salad) and Pot-au-feu (beef, chicken and bone marrow stew). Both were delicious and the deserts equally so; Amy had Baba à Rhum (rum baba) while I tried the “Paris-Brest” (choux pastry filled with praline cream).