Is marijuana legal in Montreal? Because I smelled it everywhere I went. I thought I might get high myself after walking behind a guy who was puffing away. A couple other observations while I’m at it: people in Montreal don’t wear gloves to prepare your food, fencing around construction sites is lax (which I learned when I almost fell in a two foot deep trench alongside the road- it’s a good thing my athletic prowess saved me) and people don’t have their cell phones glued to their head or smart phones glued to their hand like us silly Americans do.
I don’t know if Montreal is supposed to be a walking city, but I made it one. Over 3 days I covered about 38 miles by foot, which was incredible to see everything, but also incredibly painful on my legs. I’m not as young as I used to be - Did I really just say that?!?!
When I arrived in Montreal I felt lost for the first time, and I’m sure not the last, during my travels. I couldn’t find a map for the life of me, so I had to navigate pretty much on my own, which was difficult because it was already dark out and all the signs were in French. I eventually found my way and was relived once I reached my hostel. Montreal is a beautiful city with miles and miles of shopping and restaurants and landmarks and churches. It’s never-ending and is fascinating in that respect. It’s interesting how parts of the city are very French and other parts of the city are very English. I found myself forgetting often that I was in Canada rather than in France or somewhere else in Europe. I definitely got into the French mindset though, because before I knew it my thoughts started to take on a French accent!! I explored the beautiful campus of McGill University, the affluent neighborhood of Westmount, the Olympic Stadium from the 1976 Olympics (which is a FAR walk from the Latin Quarter where I stayed), Old Montreal, the infamous Underground City, which is truly amazing, and so much more. It kind of blows you away at how much there is to see.
In the Underground City at one of the many food courts I met a man named Ali who was so excited to talk about travel and showed me his pictures that he just got developed from a recent trip to Hawaii. Normally this would leave me shaking my head at the randomness of the situation, but instead it really enhanced my overall experience! In addition, I’m really enjoying all the people I’m meeting in the various hostels I’m staying at and hearing their stories. A few have come to Canada on work visas with the hopes of finding a job because they couldn’t find one in their home countries of Ireland and Scotland. Another recently graduated from college in Australia and has been traveling around the world for the last 7 months and has no plans to go home anytime soon. I loved looking at his pictures from Egypt, Amsterdam, Greece, Vietnam and China. Another was spending her last day in Canada before returning to Germany after a year-long stay traveling across the country. Staying in the hostels alone provides an amazing global experience!