Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Montreal - Aug 2009


Mont Royal
I was only in Montreal for a couple of days to attend my cousin’s wedding. I chose to stay for an extra night and couchsurf before heading back to Ottawa. I stayed with a girl named Marianna who lived with her boyfriend Mihai. Marianna is from Mexico and Mihai is from Romania. They are both students at Concordia University.

Marianna had a nice apartment downtown. Unfortunately, the bathroom doorway was too narrow for my chair so I had to use a rolling office chair in the bathroom. Thank goodness for those! I slept on a futon in the living.

The day I was there happened to be one of the hottest days of the summer and Marianna had no air conditioning – not even a fan! She also lives on the second floor, so having the windows open means having to hear street traffic. I remember lying wide awake on the futon, not moving, but still sweating.

Overall, Marianna and Mihai were very nice hosts. Marianna pretty much spent the whole time with me. She even made me a hot breakfast in the morning. Mihai only worked the first day and the three of us spent the next day together visiting sights in Montreal.                 


Montreal’s metro is not accessible. Actually, there are 3 stations in Laval that have elevators, but that is pretty much useless. The street busses are all accessible, but they have a strange setup because the wheelchair ramp is at the back. So you wait for the bus at the front and tell the driver you need the ramp, then go to the back and board.

I rode the Greyhound between Montreal and Ottawa and for that you must book 48 hours in advance so they can arrange to have a bus equipped with a lift for you. It’s rather inconvenient and doesn’t allow for spontaneous travel, but that’s what you have to do.


Marianna and I spent my first day walking around downtown, Old Montreal, and the St. Lawrence River waterfront. It was very hot that day – probably around 30°C. The next day they took me up to Mont Royal. It was even hotter this day. I’d say around 32-33°C.

In the evening, I met up with my high school friend Phil and his girlfriend for dinner in the Latin Quarter. This is a very vibrant and artistic part of the city, but unfortunately most places are not accessible. Either you will find stairs going up or stairs going down to get into most restaurants or café’s. However, we did manage to find a nice Italian place with a level entrance.  

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