Our next stop on our Canadian tour was Montréal.
(Our first order of business was to climb this mountain).
I was super excited to get to this French Canadian city as, having spent my last two years in France, I was keen to put my French to good use. I’d been warned that “Quebec French” was not exactly the same as “France French”, and I realized this the moment we stepped off the bus!
Oh man, the Quebecois accent is insane!
We were couch surfing with these two guys: one from Quebec and one from France. The French guy was not a problem, we chatted away in French and I was able to understand what he was saying (luckily, because he didn’t speak English). The Canadian guy on the other hand… let’s just say it was a struggle. Even his flatmate found it difficult at times and they are both native speakers!
Thankfully, the young people of Quebec speak fluent English so we had no problems communicating as he gave us a tour of Montréal.
We headed into the Old Town which was a really interesting blend of old and new architecture , and it was here that the French influence on the city was especially palpable.
But of course, anywhere you go in the city, the default language is French.
For dinner we headed over to “Frite Alors!” for some tasty tasty poutine (fries with gravy and cheese). We all ordered the regular but had to fight to finish as it was just soooo filling! (but in the best possible way, unlike my experience with the Francesinha in Portugal).
The following day my sister and I set off on our own to explore the city, including the church of Saint Joseph and the biosphere.
I really loved Montréal, with it’s blend of cultures and languages. It’s crazy how you can stay in the same country and be surrounded by a completely different language!
Everyone we met, travellers and locals alike, were all really accommodating and it was a very vibrant city to explore. It seems like there was always something going on, from gigs to art to free cultural events and it’s definitely a city I’d like to return to with a little more money and time.