Topdeck USA and Canada || Bonjour Montreal.

We said au revior to Quebec City and made the drive to Montreal.

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Once we got settled in, Monica and I decided to skip the poutine dinner option and we went to a place recommended by the staff at the hostel called Bostaun. This little restaurant serves Lebanese food and is located on one of the main pub and Cafe streets but you have to walk down the stairs to get to it so it’s a hidden gem.

We decided to go for a walk around the city to walk off our filling meal and we walked around Red Park where we saw the library, other old buildings and a group of guys playing cricket in the park. The street was lined with flags of various nations and street art including statues and decorative pieces by local artists. Soon before long, we then found ourselves walking around after dusk along the shopping quarter.

A new dawn came around and it was another free day. I decided to catch the metro out to the Olympic Park and Botanic Gardens. A return ticket will cost you $6CAD and admission into the Gardens starts at around $21CAD per adult.

I walked around the Olympic Park and you have the chance to go to the lookout, Biodome and see the stadium. I just walked around the park without visiting these optional places.

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Then I made the walk back past the metro station to the Botanic Gardens. I learned that these gardens are the third largest botanic gardens in the world and it is nothing short of extraordinary. If you adore fresh air, an array of flora and wandering around outdoor gardens, this should definitely be on your must visit list. I also encountered an adorable squirrel who decided to play hide and seek with me while stopping to let me take its photo.

I caught the train back to downtown and went to a vegetarian restaurant which was also recommended to me by staff at the hostel. I had a large mixed salad and their food is inexpensive and delicious.

Once I had refueled, I wandered down to the Notre Dame through the older parts of Montreal and down to the Vieux Port. There is a zip line and water based activities including jet boating available for adrenaline enthusiasts. For foodies, the street facing out to the harbour is lined with restaurants and cafes as well as a number of food trucks on the foreshore.

Once I took some photographs, I lined up at the Notre Dame to see the interior. Entry into the cathedral is $6CAD per adult and you have the option to go on a guided tour (included in the admission price). Depending on the time of day you go, you may be fortunate enough to hear the organs playing. It adds to the experience and once you see the interior, your breath will be taken away by the sheer beauty and intricate nature of the design. On a side note, it was in this cathedral that Celine Dion said her nuptials to her now late husband.

After that, it was time to walk back to the hostel and put on a frock for dinner at O’Noir. This was an optional dinner and after watching the movie, ‘About Time’ where I first knew this type of dining experience existed, I knew I had to go. 11 of us dined together in pure darkness where we were served by our waiter. I opted for the three course vegetarian surprise and it’s such a unique experience. You try to guess the flavours as well as ensuring you haven’t left any food behind and then at the end of the three courses, the meals and ingredients are then revealed.

After dinner, we left the darkness and entered the light and waited for our eyes to adjust to seeing again.

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& then it was time to pack and be ready for an early departure to our next destination.

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