It has been quiet here for a week now, but there's a very good explanation to why! I have been planning, organizing, and packing for a trip to Montreal with my host-family! My host-mom had work there, so the oldest one and I came with her to explore Montreal. It was very stressful before we went because there were sooo many things that had to be organized. Even though we tried to fix everything before we left, we still stumbled on some problems on our travel day... As soon as we reached the airport at 5am, we got explained to us that there was a new law for people with European passport (i.e. me), which included me having to be eTA approved. We panicked because we didn't have much time before our flight (our flight was at 6am). The thing ended up taking 10 minutes to apply for, cost me 7 dollars, and get a reply of approval after a further 5 minutes! The next step was to rush through security and then run to our gate. The plan was to leave on Wednesday morning at 6am, but due to two different malfunctions to our first plane, the flight got delayed so much that we had to be re-booked to another flight that left at 10am. This was only problem one, because we had a second flight from Toronto to Montreal, which we also missed due to the first malfunction. When we got off the plane, we had 20 minutes to get to another terminal, talk to the airline service and get them to help us re-book our second flight, then run to our gate and get on the plane. It was a very stressful experience. We were all exhausted when we got to Montreal so we spent around one hour in the hotel taking naps and relaxing.
Since I had planned activities for every day we would be there (*planning-freak), arriving at 2.30pm instead of 10.35am messed up the plans a bit... We/I had to move things around and some of the things got deleted (:(), but I still think we managed to do the main things that both of us wanted to do. Day one of our adventure included visits to Notre Dame, the Old Port, and Old Montreal. We were both super excited for what was ahead of us, so excited that we even came up with our own theme song, that he insisted we sang every time we left the hotel in the morning and at the end of every day. He did the singing and I did the melody! :)
Montreal is a city of tourism, which is why I was surprised by the size of it. I got the impression when being there, that the city was very small, or at least way smaller than I thought it would be. Plus, all tourist places were far from each other, which made it difficult for us to do everything that we might have wanted to do. I still liked the city, but I think that I had very high expectations of the city, which kind of ruined the experience a bit. One thing that did positively surprise me was that the French language was such a huge part of Montreal. I knew that people there spoke both French and English, but the majority of the people preferred to speak in French. All the signs were also in French, and people greeted you in French. I love the language so it was amazing spending time in a French environment so far from France. I actually spoke a bit of French too (more than I thought I would), but it's so much easier to speak in English so for the most part I sent the boy to order food or buy tickets (haha) so he could practice his French... Then I could be the person correcting him or helping him with words he didn't know instead of carrying out a whole conversation in French, since I know that I'm not that good at speaking it.
The places we visited on day one was ok. Some were amazing and some were less amazing. Notre dame closed before we were able to enter (but we managed to visit it on Friday instead), and the Old Port didn't impress me that much. I had heard so many great things about it, so it was kind of disappointing. One thing that was exactly how I imagined it or maybe even better was Old Montreal. It was beautiful! Some parts reminded me of the Old City in Stockholm, which was very nice. I loved walking around there, seeing all the cafés and ice cream places. Unfortunately there was only one store worth going into, but the buildings and people made up for that. The store that was worth going into was called 'Eternal Christmas'... Thus it being a vital stop in my plan! I love stores that are dedicated to Christmas <3 In the evening we went to the restaurant at the hotel where we tried one of the most famous Canadian dishes called Poutine. It sounds really disgusting and it doesn't look that appetizing, but it was actually very good! Poutine is fries with gravy and cheese. Unfortunately I didn't take a picture of the tasty goo, but I thought that you would like to see it so I found a photo on Google :D
This was day one of our Montreal trip.