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Saturday, April 8, 2017

What to do in Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Sightseeing in Montreal

My first out of town trip in Canada. I was invited by a friend of mine to accompany her to Montreal, a famous province in Quebec to visit her relatives. Of course I have to say yes I was delighted with excitement. I guess my itchy toes just can't get enough traveling eh?! Besides our accommodation and food expenses was covered the only thing I'm spending on is our bus fare. We traveled before our school's reading week even started just to make sure our work plans wont be affected. 

Feb 24, 5:30pm - 5:30am via Greyhound Bus Service (Booked Online)
Friday night departure from Niagara Falls Bus Terminal to Toronto Union Station, transfer from Ottawa Bus Station the next morning to Montreal Bus Station/Drop Offs
Ticket price: 102.26 cad

It was a long ride from Niagara falls to Montreal, I've kept myself busy with a few snacks and a good book. One thing I love about long travels is catching up on my book reading. The book I had with me is "The monk who sold his ferrari" by Robin S. Sharma. Second time reading this book. I'm feeling lost right now, I believe this book will guide me back to where I'm suppose to be. Maybe I'm wrong but it's worth the shot. There's nothing much to see when traveling at night, it's either your eyes is on your phone, getting some sleep or talking to your companion. It made me realized how much I miss the feeling of traveling. My all travel buddy is in Cambodia at that time getting soaked with sunshine goodness while I on the otherhand is getting frosted on our way to Montreal. 

Firstly, we took a coach bus from Niagara bus terminal to Toronto. Two hour dinner break. Then took another bus in Toronto Union Bus Terminal to Ottawa. At Ottawa bus station we got lucky instead of waiting for five hours for our real bus to Montreal, my friend bravely ask a driver if we can take an earlier bus to Montreal. She found out that there's a bus that goes exactly to our destination in a matter of minutes, the driver was fine with it and off we drove to our destination. We asked to be dropped off at Montreal's Airport as my friend's relatives is just 30 minutes away from there. 

Feb 25 Arrival, Relax at home
Reminders: Purchase your STM Card at any train station for easy access with the buses and trains all over town. 10 cad for 24 hrs unlimited ride, there's 3 days and more to choose from in the ticket machine. 

Feb 26 Old Montreal, Chinatown, Movie Night at the Forum
How to get there: Chinatown , Old Montreal
By train alight at Place-d'Armes Train Station (Orange Line) 

We didn't know about the unlimited card access to public transportation except when the night ended. One ride cost around 3.25 cad, I've emptied all my coins at the end of the day. Make sure you've got the STM card if you're going around the city.  Chinatown was our first stop when we roamed around downtown. I love Chinatown's its the most colorful place in any town. Food is great, people are friendly, shopping is cheap and everyone seemed to be having a good time. After months of graving for milk tea I've finally found what I'm looking for. The cold weather didn't made me think twice of getting my hands on that milk tea. We also had some authentic Chinese food which simply reminded me of my Singapore days. 

Old Montreal was just around the corner of Chinatown. I love the old rusty looking buildings, the brick-like roads and the number of windows I see in each corner. Someone said, "look at the window?" and I responded with a confusing nod. There were just plenty of windows, it was like all the establishments were made of windows. I actually love it there. It takes me back in time where people go to coffee shops to talk with friends and hang out for no reasons. 

Afterwards, we went to Forum, a hockey stadium  turned to theater nearby Place D'Arts Mrt station , a walking distance away from Place D'Armes Station. Silly as it may sound that was my first movie in Canada and it was a Filipino movie.

Feb 27 Mont Royal Park, Notre-Dame Basilica, St Joseph Church
How to get there: Mont Royal Park
By train alight at Peel Train Station (Green Line). Outside the straight walk straight up in Peel Street till you find a small hill to Mont Royal Park.

The following day we went to Mont Royal Park, the highest spot in the city. It has a beautiful overlooking view of the city of Montreal. It wasn't that hard to find the park, we just look for Peel Street outside the train station, walk uphill, break some sweat, spot some cool houses until we found the snow white covered park. The entrance showcase around 400 wooden planks that staircase your way up to the top. Thou it was cold I'm sure we loss some calories around those stairs. I certainly love the feeling of being with nature, even thou its just a little bit away from the city. We got playing in the park, we started playing with the snow like little kids. I threw it up in the air like I just didn't care. Snow ball fights and lots of laughter filled our time in the park. We went down the hill with red tingling face, purple numb hands and oh so wide grins from ear to ear. Never lose your childish enthusiasm, it's the most important thing, as what was said in my favorite movie "Under the Tuscan Sun."

How to get there: Notre-Dame Basilica
By train alight at Place-d'Armes Station (Orange Line) 

In the afternoon we visited the famous gothic church Notre-Dame Basilica, which was just a walking distance from Chinatown and Old Montreal. Afterwards we roamed around Chinatown for a few hours before heading to St Joseph Church. 

How to get there: St Joseph Church
By train alight at Côte-des-Neiges Station (Blue Line) 

Feb 28, 8:00am - 2:30pm Montreal to Toronto Union Station 
How to get there: Bonaventure Station
By train alight at Bonaventure Station (Orange Line) 

By BUS: Megabus at Bonaventure Station to Toronto Union Station 
Ticket price: 49.44 cad (booked via megabus website)

By BUS: Toronto to Niagara: 26.55 cad (booked in the station)

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