I just came back from my run and ended up hiking at this beautiful mountain of trees, Mont Royal. Mont Royal is a landmark of Montreal located in the Northern part of the city. According to many sources, it is a volcanic complex which was active 125 million years ago.
It will take around 20 minutes if you jog to that place from Pierce Boutique Hotel. I reached the base of Mont Royal around 10.15am when the sun is already up beautifully.
If you are in Montreal, please do not miss this place. Nothing is more peaceful than being surrounded by nature, beautiful landscape of trees and tranquility. Hike to the top of the mountain. It is not challenging to reach the top. There are well-maintained staircases and pathways throughout the area. You can also use the GPS to guide you to reach to the top or ask around which I did most of the time. Apparently, there are several spots for photography at different peaks.
I went there alone and it feels safe since there are a lot of joggers, hikers and tourists especially at the summit. The view of the city from the peak is stunning. I ended up spending more time there than planned, plus minus about two hours. I cannot stop myself from enjoying the beauty. The charm of the greens which are turning into tints of Autumn made me fall in love with this place.
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Right after the morning hike, I dropby McGill University’s Le James bookstore to shop for the university's merchandise. Most of you may already know by now, merchandise of shows and celebrities are my thing. The merchandises could represent ships in shows and movies, any fandoms such as Taylor Swift, Orphan Black, Little Mix, Taylor Swift, Taylor Swift and so on. And this includes universities I visited overseas such as the one I went to visit a friend years ago at New York University (NYU). Sometimes, I purchased t-shirts or mugs that is a metaphor of a situation, or as an item to remember a place or a person. Le James bookstore apparently has lots of stylish hoodies, mugs and shirts, hence, the reason I ended up spending quite a sum.
I had lunch at Sho-do with J. She said her friend recommended this Japanese restaurant as it seems to be one of the good ones in Montreal. According to J, the sushi we had are of Canadian produce. Do not compare the ones here and the ones in Japan, alright. No place in the world can compete with Japan's sushi quality. But the ambience and service in Sho-do were not bad.
After lunch, J brought me to the same French bakery, Maison Christian Faure where she got for me the birthday pastries. I had pass-by this place several times but didn’t know this was the one. So, she bought for me a pastry I cannot remember the name, but it was super nyummy. Three layers of crispy crusts with cream in between. Next time, if ever I find this thing again in other parts of the world, I am gonna buy one.
TIME CHECK - 6pm
Heheheh I played cheat and took a cab to Old Port of Montreal in order to reach as soon as possible. If I were to take the train, plus minus with me losing my way and the train schedule, I guess it will be too late.
Wow ... guys this place looks extremely boundless. Especially that view of the St.Lawrence River. Most of the stalls are already closed. I am casually walking around here and taking pictures of this view of the Le Grand Roue de Montreal observation wheel and the river while observing people in this cool fresh air. After this I am going to find that French pastry again. J said that there should be more choices at this Maison Christian Faure Old Port outlet. But also to be prepared that most of the pastries will be gone before end of the day.
Oh well, yeah she is right. That favorite pastry of mine, the one I just had after lunch including the raspberry passion birthday tart are not there anymore. Only left with a few others which also looks good. I am gonna surprise her with some of these gorgeous pastries.
Wow the beautiful lady who served me is so lovely. I bought a chocolate twirly croissant, fresh from the oven and she gave me another one for free. Woot woots... Gonna give to J one of this. Anyway, I am alone and will be leaving tomorrow to Toronto. Who wants to eat so many? I love pastries but in reality I prefer to give it as gifts instead.
I am now going back to the apartment. It is already getting dark. Planning to buy some groceries to surprise her hahahaa… and wanna try the Briyani at this place which I have been passing by a few times near Concordia University. The Indian food aroma, oh gosshhh. Anyway, I need to try the Indian food here and see whether it is nice. I love Indian food especially Chicken Tikka Masala (it became mine and Hans favorite since we had it at Neha's party years ago), and also my all time favorite, Briyani rice.
This is funny. I ordered a chicken briyani and the staff at Bombay Mahal Thali asked whether I want to choose some gravy. So I did. I remembered selecting only one which I thought is common to be served with the briyani and I assumed it will be a small serving of curry/dhal with briyani. I ended up bringing back a pack of chicken briyani, 3 gravy with another set of white rice and a naan. I did not order those!! It costs around CAN$21. Who wants to eat so many? Are you kidding me??!! I managed to eat only half the chicken briyani and decided to bring to J so she can at least have it for tomorrow or whatever. Furthermore, I have to make sure I am not too full because J promised to make pancakes for me!!
I am having my last dinner in Montreal with her at her house. I don’t know why I am kind of sad. Or maybe not. I am. I don’t know. I don’t enjoy goodbyes. That feeling is like death by a thousand cuts. Okay, I guess as usual I should be able to handle this. Manage it. It will be fine.
Heading there by cab again although it is only like a 20 minutes of walk. Flag a taxi which I have never done for years in Singapore since the existence of Grab. I didn’t use any taxi app here since it was just a short stay. Maybe Montreal has some cab app you can download if you guys come here. For your info, the cab fees is considered not bad if you are comparing apple to apple. Somewhat similar like in Singapore. Example 17km is about S$18-$20. In Montreal, the cab fees is roughly like this. But again, I am very bad in measuring distance so this info might not be accurate.
It is drizzling quite heavily actually. But really with these groceries, pastry and the packets of food, I cannot handle by myself to walk there even though if it is not raining.
For the last three days of my stay, the weather in Montreal started to change from scorching sunny to rainy. Luckily, it did not affect any of my activities. The sun is important for good lighting specifically for photography like selfies ;).
I am now in J’s apartment. She is making the pancakes batter. As you know, I am not the type who help people in the kitchen to cook that includes not helping my mum. So, I had to offer my help after debating with my inner stubbornness of should I or shouldn't I.
After helping her to peel the green apple from the groceries which I got for her, now I am standing in her kitchen stirring these apples with sugar and something else (she told me what it is but I cannot register it in my brain). Guess what I am making? Caramelized apple for the pancakes!! And also she said she will be making for me an apple cake, so I can bring for my trip tomorrow. What the hell?! I have tried convincing her there is no need for the trouble. Because for me making a cake will take 4 to 8 hours. But she insisted and I do not want to argue again on my last day here. From what I understand from her it is common and is a culture in Canada to make for someone an apple cake as a gift. Ok she wins.
While I am stirring, she is making the pancakes and the butternut squash soup. The aroma of the baked butternut (a fruit) and the pancakes are making my stomach growls with appetite. The butternut squash soup is the one she promised to make for me when we were in Ottawa shopping for a butternut at Whole Foods. I have no idea how this thing taste or looks like. Let’s see later and will keep you guys updated. It is already 9.15pm. J’s friend, Z, who was introduced to me on the first day I was in Montreal if you remember, will be here too later.
Okay, I need to sign out for awhile. J dropped a bottle of her coffee powder. I am going to help her to clean it up. This reminds me of a symphony.
Guys, the butternut squash soup is heavenly creamy! I have never tasted anything like this. And the caramelized apples with pancakes are compatible with each other. I also learnt to make whipped cream by shaking it in a closed bowl, shake hard. I was like wow it can work like this? I mean she shakes it better, that is definite.
For food wise, in conclusion I can say that although I did not try so many food in Montreal, I literally had the chance to have meals cooked by a very skilled Canadian. Consider it the true blue local food. I cannot thanked J enough for her time everyday making meals for me. I was not expecting that she spends her time with me throughout this one week, day and night and cook delicious meals everyday for me. As you guys already know by now that I am not the type who likes to bother people, so this was unexpected. She treated me so well, like extremely well. And she deserved all the great things there are in this world.
I have to end this part of my write-up about Montreal immediately. Gonna continue reading my Michelle Obama's Becoming. Her story is addictive. See you guys when I land in Toronto.
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PLACE TO STAY IN MONTREAL
Pierce Boutique Hotel by Simplissimo
PLACES TO EAT IN MONTREAL
Abe and Mary's
Maison Christian Faurie
Bombay Mahal Thali
Shish Taouk AlThaib
Blog Posts on -
Maple Ridge/Silver Valley
Mozio via Agoda