I’ve got a backlog of posts to work on. When I announced that I would be attempting to blog my journey, I promised my mother that I wouldn’t state openly where I was at any given time, in case of stalkers. So the posts from here on in will jump back and forth, but right now, I can confirm that I’ve hit my last stop before the return to Europe: Montreal. It worked out rather well, as Montreal appears to be the most European city in North America.
The language is a big aspect of this, with 67% of the population speaking French at home, Montreal has the 2nd largest French speaking population outside of Paris. I was suddenly thrust back into speaking French, with the added complication of understanding Quebecois. Cue Erasmus flashbacks and listening to Sasha, the intelligent unintelligible French-Canadian, presenting his exposes. To be fair, Sasha also had a strong speech impediment and had the Quebecois version of a thick country accent, but I remain traumatised.
From my initial wander, I have discovered that Montreal is the perfect walking city, going from gay quarter to Chinatown, to the student quarter, old town and on to the docks.
The architecture has clear French influences, especially the older buildings, which are built from the same grey limestone that makes Paris glow at nighttime.
The Bank of Montreal above is modeled after the Pantheon in Rome. I roamed around the Basilique de Notre Dame, which is quite fancy/gaudy on the inside. Celine Dion got married there and the funeral of Pierre Trudeau (Justin’s dad) took place there in 2000.
My favourite discovery was a pair of statues outside in Place des Armes. The installation is called The English Pug and the French Poodle. At first, I took to it on behalf of my love, who is mad about les chiens, but once I read about it, I took to the idea. Here are the artist’s words:
And here are the figures themselves:
Once I made it to the docks, the city started to take on a southern European feel.
That glow reminds me of somewhere in Portugal or Italy. I wanted to sip limoncello on a terrace, with a warm salty breeze blowing through my hair, but Montreal is too far from the sea to make that more than a dream.
It could just be that I’m getting homesick and everything is seeming more rose-tinted than usual. But I’m going to soak up this feeling for a few more days and hopefully manage to catch up on this blogging malarkey. Bonne nuit!