When the cobble stones of old Montreal and Old Port meet the gates of China town, which in turn meets the edgy contemporary down town and Plateaux this place become enchanting. Hence the snow videos spamming our instagrams. A white Christmas, what an exceptional way to end Its beautiful and COLD. Quebec-Montreal has an interesting colonial back-story, which gives the city texture, and certain privileges not heard of in other developed cities. Gays get married here.
The cultural depth of Montreal can be met with resistance from the Frenchies attempting to hold onto their heritage and keep out English speaking folk also renown for their colonial desires — however, we are yet to experience this if you did want to immigrate here you need to pass a French speaking exam.
There you go boys — a token mention. Guilty side note — I am super keen to see a game of ice hockey soon. Our friends, Murphy and Cat are some of the kindest people around inviting two intense, loud people into their beautiful apartment in Griffintown Montreal. The building has sick amenities like a spa, pool, sauna, gym, etc. And we have been making the absolute most of it!! Cat and Murph treated up both for Chrissy buying Nick an ice hockey Jersey and me a day spa treatment so the boys could sport it up while Cat and I got reallllllllll in a spa!
Eaten Montreal classics of smoked meat "You're an odd fellow Seymour but you do steam a good ham" sandwiches, bagels, pretzels, crepes, cheese and more maple syrup than ever needs to be shared. Bota Bota in the Old port of Montreal has got to be one of the most luxurious experiences I have ever had. Cat and I had four hours to laze in a hot spa outdoors while it snowed on us. The idea being that we would move between the hot and cold spa to awaken all our different body systems. It was sick. After literally hours of relaxing we shared a tasting plate of delicious French food and headed home to find our men drunk and delirious.
Thanks again guys. When you book, you hire a cosy little cabin and inside the cabin is where the magic happens. We fished for about four hours, snacking on French cheese and chocolate to counterbalance the hopelessness of our trip. We had in total 8 lines in the water with a variety of liver or shrimp bait.
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It pains me to write this but Murphy eventually caught the only two fish of the day. Turns out lake fish are frigid. Listening to the ice crack and watching a frozen rain storm float in should have been fair pathetic fallacy for the ridiculously difficult sport of frozen lake fishing. Great day, finished off with all you can eat sushi in Montreal and icy conditions which made walking hilarious. For the first time, we had a Christmas dinner of roast Turkey followed by games and laughter. Sooooo grateful and I can now see why Cat is such a giving and loving person — her family are very much the same.
One week into a year away and its starting to dawn on me that this is life now.
What? Another Whale Shark on Koh Tao?
There is no rush at the gym, no need to panic if we choose to drink instead of sleep and absolutely no one to answer to. Bikram Fishing. Within the first few hours of I left my dinner and dignity in a frozen gutter. New year, same me — all class. In all seriousness though, New Years was fabulous.
North America is nuts, when they say open bar they actually mean it — not just wine and beer but ALL spirits. It was a siiiiiiick night and as usual I left with about six new friends on insta and facey. New Years Day was a bit of a joke and rather than experience the hangover Nick drank bud lite pretty much all day haha I took a photo as proof.
They are seriously some of the most open and welcoming people I have ever experienced.
They live on an amazing property just off the Island of Montreal and we watched a beautiful sunset on from their backyard. Cats Dad Bob had polished up some ice and we had the opportunity to use hockey sticks and pass a puck around. Nick also went for a frozen creek swim last year the Ganges in India, this year frozen creek in Montreal! He did a mad dash from the water naked except for his undies and shoes only to startle Lees and the rest of Cats family. Pretty funny but seriously, what a dumbass. But the bar felt quintessentially North American.
We really felt like we were apart of Canadian life. A pitch-black restaurant serviced by blind people.
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We had the best time! We experienced a super dodgy Air BNB, it was a deadset crack den with no blankets or blinds and although it was in a cool part of time we got a refund and pimped it up at the Hilton - so bloody nice! Cheers Murph "what am I, a refugee? So, so, so fun and such a brilliant experience.
Dogsled teams normally consist of four to nine dogs, generally Siberian huskies or Alaskan malamutes.
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Other breeds include the Greenland or Eskimo dog and various crossbreeds like the Alaskan husky. It is a beautiful and very European place. We had crepes for breaky and just took in all the surroundings. It ended in us all sliding down the ice on our butts to Starbucks to defrost. The gates which surround Quebec Old town are 4. Adds a very mystical feel to town. Quartier Petit Champlain and place Royal. When we first saw the river it honestly looked like we were in Antartica.
I think its 'magic' is definitely more of a winter thing. Although i'm biased and I'm sure its as majestic in the Summer. Montmorency Falls Park. This was a Nick Wall special and while I whinged and bitched about how cold it was to walk there, the waterfalls were frozen and absolutely sensationally beautiful. They are 83m high — making them actually 30m higher than Niagara Falls! We watched some people ice climb up the frozen falls to — such breathtaking patterns where the water has frozen. Tubing at Val Cartier.
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We planned on staying here for like hours, Cat and I even discussed our tactical hot choccie breaks. BUT — we ended up playing on the tube runs for just over 4 hours.
It was soooo much fun. Great live music too! It was SICK! And although Montreal lost, it was a great game just for the atmosphere and the absolutely trashed bogan Frenchie that sat next to Nick haha. I'm writing this from Colombia and I already miss Canada even if I cried when my feet got too cold, awks! A huge shout out to Cats family for having us for christmas and new years. Also for dressing us.
Cat and Murphs friends for embracing us as friends.
But most importantly - Cat and Murph for allowing us to live like Montreal-eans. You guys rock, come to Portugal. I'm busy brushing up on my Spanish, lol jks SO, I write to you from the 1 month mark. Literally, this time in four weeks we will be on a Qantas plane sinking vodka sodas and watching as many replays of Brooklyn 99 as humanly possible. I thought to honour the one month mark i'd make this post a nostalgic one. As i'm sure you can imagine both Nick and I are absolutely fucking over everything and keen as beans to throw ourselves mercilessly into the travel abyss which is soon to be our lives.
We've packed up our house, we're both sitting around trying not to scratch our eyes out with boredom at work and our weekends are full of weddings, family christmas's and birthdays. TO fully embrace our excitement and itchy, itchy, itchy feet here are our top 10 BEST memories not in any order from the travel we have done so far What's better than a bloody good throw back, eh? This was seriously cool.
Without sleep we watched the college game and just had the sickest time ever. American sports rule. A day at Varanasi. We started the day with a sunrise cruise on the River Ganges, the holiest river for Hindus and we ended the day the same way. Best moment - Nick fell in when trying to cooly enter AND Nick later pooped himself on the opposite banks of the river.
Aside from these hilarious stories - it was a spiritual day which was truly sensational to experience. The crew we did this with were seriously unreal too and made this day even better you know who you are! Trekking the Inca Trail. If you haven't done this - do it.