Jun 9, 2008

Day 10 - Toronto to Montreal

It's been a hot day!

Because we are on the move again, this time to Montreal, Teruko and I were forced to get up early again. Fortunately, upon check-out, that girl at the reception did not make any fuss about this alleged “undercharge”. This meant that we could leave the inn straightaway. If they had raised that issue, then I would have demanded $30 that we had to cough up for this replacement tour. At least, all the frustrations that we had in Toronto pretty much throughout the whole time we were there are now thing of the past.

We found out, as we headed back to the Union Station, that the Backpackers Inn is in fact only 10-15mins walk from the station. Had we known, we would have walked upon arrival. Maybe not, because we were tired after 2.5 days on a train, and crucially both of us are quite lazy.

Comfort Class seats on the train from Toronto to Montreal were much smaller and less spacious than th ones on the Vancouver – Toronto train. The good thing about it, though, is that we only had to be on this train for only for 5hrs instead of days.

It was such a gorgeous day in Ontario and Quebec states, so I was a bit frustrated by the fact that we had to travel during the day.

Once we arrived in Montreal, a city Teruko has a fond memory of from her time studying English, we walked straight to our accommodation La Tour Centre Ville. We picked this hotel because it is very close to the Montreal Central station and we could use the miles on my credit card. In other words, we are paying nothing for this hotel. While we were booked for a Studio room with no view, we were upgraded to possibly the best room after the penthouse with kitchen and a panoramic view of the Montreal city including the Old Montreal. After the shitty treatment we had in Toronto, this was such a nice treat that really made up.

There were millions of people in Montreal this weekend because Formula One was going on here. There are loads of people who are here for the event staying at our hotel too. I heard from an American chap some unknown driver (at least to me anyway) won the race after some bizarre collision that went on in the pit. We wasted no time and headed to the Old Montreal for sightseeing. I have no idea what the highest temperature was here today, but it was boiling to say the least.

I really felt strange, as we walked Old Montreal, because while we are in North America it feels so European or France for obvious reasons. I was feeling so jaded so that, when we ordered soft ice cream from a shop, I even panicked realising that I didn't have Euro!

Old Montreal is such a pretty part of the Montreal city so that I could just wander around doing nothing. The Norte-Dame Basilica of Montreal looks very pretty especially in inside the building. Although I didn't know, apparently this is where Celine Dion got married. We could not walks around inside the building, but were still able to take a few photos inside. My new digital camera (Panasonic FX-500) demonstrated its strengths taking some dynamic photos inside the building.

We continued to enjoy the Old Montreal, and then walked into the Montreal Museum that bizarrely had a British flag at the front of the building. This museum shows the history of Montreal – how the area was discovered, how the city was formed, and how it evolved over time. Unfortunately, we could not take in as much as we could. This bloody irritating daughter of this stupid family followed us yapping away and continued to disturb us. Teruko and I were so annoyed that I went straight to her moron and geeky-looking parents to keep their stupid kid to themselves. It amazed us that they did nothing while they could clearly see their own kid was causing problems in a place where you are expected to be quiet. A classic example of parents who have the physical ability to have sex but don't have any sort of ability to parent.

After we left the museum ans continued to wander around, the sky started looking dark and was surrounded with thick and dark cloud. The next minute, downfall with lightnings. We immediately escaped into a shed of a building, with a few dodgy looking people hanging around, until the rain cleared. As the rain stopped, we walked the St. Cathrine Street where there are lots of shops towards the direction of our hotel. As we got close to our hotel, another bucket of rain started and forced us to get into a building that happened to have a food court and a supermarket. Because we weren't quite sure what we would fancy eating and it was already after 8PM, we decided to get some cooked meal from the supermarket and headed back to the hotel.

Goodness, we walked so much today! I thoroughly enjoyed this Montreal city already, but am sensing even a better day tomorrow.

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