Hey guys! Sorry for my lack of updates for the past couple weeks! It’s been quite busy here with a move back to Germany (this will be my third year in Germany…isn’t that crazy?!), some crazy Oktoberfest shenanigans (embarrassing photos of me in a dirndl will be coming in the next blog post – beware), and of course, uni has started again (a week earlier than I expected!). How the time has flown!!
With the weather getting colder day by day (there’s Christmas decorations in some stores already!), here’s a post about me and Yann’s weeklong trip to Montreal when the weather was much nicer last month. In the same style as the last post, I thought it would be fun for Yann to once again take over and write about about what he thought about Montreal…from a European perspective.
Here we go Yann!
1. Montreal is cool in that it seems like a mash up of both European and North American culture. There’s a decent amount of skyscrapers (although not as impressive as the ones in Toronto), but also a well preserved old part of town that reminds me of Paris.
2. There’s an amazingly amount of “Montreal specific” food like poutine, bagels and smoked meat sandwiches. I thought Smokes poutine in Toronto was good…until I tried the poutine at La Banquise. They really pile on the meat there too! Where am I going to satisfy my poutine cravings now back in Germany?!
3. Like most big North American cities, Montreal has a Chinatown, although it’s very small. Our favourite thing to do here is to grab a pastry from one of the bakeries. They’re huge!
4. Compared to Toronto, Montreal is much more lively at night. We stayed at a hotel on St. Denis and the streets are filled with students at night. It’s very much a student city, which is always a great source of bars. Prices are cheaper than Toronto (although I prefer German beer prices more). I really liked this one bar called La Distillerie that was near our hotel since they make their mixed drinks in mason jars (but being from Germany, I would’ve liked more alcohol in them).
5. I was disappointed that the Tim Hortons here isn’t as good as in Ontario. Some of menu items aren’t available or known to the staff here. They also mess up your orders here though like in Ontario.
6. I assumed since Canada is mainly English speaking that Montreal would just be partially French speaking, but the whole city is very dominated by the French language….and very serious about it. I wasn’t aware they had the language police there! Their stop signs are in French when even in France they just say STOP. Although my parents speak French fluently, I can only speak it on a conversational level, but that was enough I think.
7. There was a huge demonstration on the street one morning that woke us up. Apparently those happen all the time here so I guess they’re not too different from the actual French.
8. The homeless people in Toronto are more of the typical ones you see in Germany as well (where they can be found near the train stations) whereas the homeless people in Montreal are pretty well dressed and most are bilinguial (which most Canadians actually aren’t). A lot of them seem pretty young and because unemployment is so high in the city, it makes me wonder if most of them are actually recent grads who happened to choose the wrong major…
9. They weren’t joking when they gave Montreal (Mount Royal) its name considering how half the city consists of a giant hill. If you make it up there, the view is great!
10. One of the biggest differences I find between Quebec and Ontario is the people since they come across as being more European. Compared to people in France, they aren’t as rude, although they’re perhaps slightly less friendly than the overly friendly Canadians that make up the rest of Canada…