MONTREAL / by Cinthia Contreras

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Mount Royal

Shame on me! 7 years living in New York and I never went to Canada! But finally, as a way to reboot and refresh from my crazy and stressful life in New York, I decided to plan a quick escape to Montreal, a city I have heard nothing but amazing stories about. And people were right, Montreal is pretty cool and different, an old city full of history and religion which gives you the sensation of being next to Christopher Columbus or Queen Elizabeth. At certain moments I almost expected Napoleon to come and have breakfast with me! The street names were so French and sophisticated - “ Saint Laurent street” was my favorite jajaja - Notre dame and of course a lot more I can’t even pronounce or even write without looking at them.

I was incredibly surprised that over there the language that predominates is French not English! There were people that literally didn’t speak any English! The street signs are in French so you have to be incredibly attentive and read the GPS carefully to avoid getting lost or miss exits (which of course HAPPENED).   

My journey started with looking for a nice hotel with easy access and close to all my points of interest, like Mount Royal, the botanical garden, old Montreal and of course bars and restaurants. HÔTEL PLACE D’ARMES filled all those requirements, housed in three gorgeous 19th-century neoclassical buildings opposite the breathtaking Notre-Dame Basilica and a stone’s throw from the Old Port and Convention Centre. The Place d’Armes really is a treasure which embodies the city’s finest architectural traditions and close to everything!

LE PLACE D'ARMES HOTEL & SUITES

Old Montreal is a vibrant neighborhood, so different from New York in a good way, music everywhere, happy people, different music genres (“musiquita” included) and amazingggggg foodddd including THE dish to try, poutine which consists of French fries topped with cheese and gravy. I ate so much and so fast that I ended up feeling sick - but happily sick! And of course, there were so many landscapes I will never forget. It reminded me La Zona Colonial on my island.

An extremely short trip, that left me craving more and toying with the idea of going back before the summer ends. We’ll see!

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