I was in Montreal for a conference a couple weeks ago for the first time (I know, I’m a little behind on posting about my travels), and before I left I was given rave reviews of the city, the people and the food. I was really excited to see the other side of Canada – although I suppose it’s quite common for those living in the EU, it was a really weird experience for me to get on a plane for six hours without needing a passport, and land in a city that spoke a different language but accepted the same currency. I kept catching myself trying to convert prices (Montreal seems expensive!) and then realizing I didn’t need to (Montreal actually is expensive!)
I have to admit, I wasn’t as thrilled by Montreal as I thought I would be. The food I had was good at best, but nothing to write home about (in a literal sense – I send postcards home from every trip I take, which I rotate in and out of a border around my map of the world, where I have pins stuck in each city I’ve been to). I had a bite of a smoked meat sandwich (awful) and I couldn’t bring myself to try poutine. The fries in Montreal were disappointingly mushy on their own – and I am not a girl who normally leaves a plate of french fries untouched – and I didn’t think that adding gravy to further soggify them would be a good idea. I liked the architecture in Old Montreal and the St. Lawrence River was nice, but I missed the ocean and the (real) mountains.
I’m sure that if I went back (which I plan to eventually) and was able to do more daytime exploring, with sunshine, good company and better restaurants, I would have an entirely different experience. Until then, I will have to settle for collecting suggestions and living vicariously through other people’s Montreal stories.