TRAIN: AMTRAK ADIRONDACKS 69
DATE: TUESDAY, MAY 13, 2014
DEPARTURE: NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, 8:15AM
ARRIVAL: MONTRÉAL, QUEBEC, CANADA 19:30
ELAPSED TIME: 11 HOURS, 15 MINUTES
TRAIN HOURS TO DATE: 11 HOURS, 15 MINUTES
After a sleepless night spent packing all my belongings into five (5) green crates, I departed for Canada on the 8:15am Amtrak Adirondacks 69 bound for Montréal, Quebec. It was a pleasant jaunt up north, though admittedly I spent the first six (6) of its 11.25 hours sleeping. But after that. Man. Geo-facies and outcrops like you wouldn't believe. ANYWAYS.
My couchsurfing host, Martin, picked me up from Montréal Central Station upon arrival. Probably the kindest guy I will meet on my trip. We headed back to his place where there were two other surfers, Mario from Mexico and Chung from China, and his Quebecois intern, Sam. Everyone spoke their native language, English, and French, among other tongues, making me feel thoroughly American. Martin is a professional chef and sommelier, so naturally all the food in Montreal was home-cooked and absolutely fantastic. I never thought roasted peppers and potatoes could be that incredible.
|Cooking. To my right: Sam, Mario, and Martin. Note: I am not usually that blurry in actual life.|
Culturally, Montréal is bizzaro France. Everything is french language first, which I knew going in, but knowing is not seeing. Here were a few highlights:
|I could read this.|
|And this one, too.|
After an hour-long tour of the city by car from Martin, I went to the Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal (that's the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts for all you non-French speaking rubes) for a couple hours on Wednesday. Here is the only thing you need to know about that museum:
|The King's Beavers by Kent Monkman, 1965. Medium: Oil on canvas. My favorite part is the man in back hugging the beaver, deeply.|
But it was actually a beautiful building:
|Just look at that street.|
Later in the day I got a Canadian SIM card so I can now have contact with the world again, as this is a computerless trip for me. I have unlimited texting to the entire continent of North America, so please, type kind words to me: (514) 432-3754.
To round out my time in the city, I experienced something very special to the Montréalers: A game 7 playoff win in an elimination game over the Boston Bruins, their most dastardly rivals. I can't really say it any better than I did on Facebook at the time, so here is a screenshot. You can try and "Like" it below. Or save yourself the embarrassment and click here.
|Meta social media.|