And we're back! To Montreal. It is a destination I cannot stop going to. My first post already tells you why. Each time it gets better and better.
1. Notre Dame. This is probably the most magical place in Montreal. It is transforming and enchanting as soon as you step inside. It is not about religion but about peace and being in the moment. The interior beauty is other worldly. The times vary every day so it is important to check before you go.
2. Food. Montreal has the second highest number of restaurants per capita in North America, second to New York City. There is literally something for everyone. I had my fix of poutine again in Jacques Quartier. Always remember French fries are an entree in Montreal. Le Serpent is a new favorite with high industrial ceilings and specials every day. I hopped into Olive & Gourmande on an extremely frigid day for a delightful gourmet sandwich and coffee drink. This is a bustling place for a great afternoon. Two of my favorite haunts: Marche de la Villette and Garde Manger stand the test of time. Marche de la Villette lets you pick from a casual French food menu (think Croque Monsier) while you pretend to sing along to loud French classics on their speaker. And Garde Manger. My dear Garde Manger...I could continue to write you a love letter over and over. I cannot say enough about this place.
3. Culture. One evening I was invited out to a samba performance at Le Resonance. It is one of those places where if you walk too fast you'll likely miss it from the outside. It is a cozy vegan cafe with performances at night. On this night, there was a super fun samba vocalist, drummer and guitarist. The cafe was packed and the lines for drinks were quite long. It is a first come first serve type of place. It is so thrilling to find a place like this off the beaten path.
4. Art. The art in Montreal has a large canvas. Everywhere you go, you will see all types of art and graffiti. Old Town has beautiful galleries on Rue Saint Paul but really some of the best art is in the graffiti, the sculptures and installations all around town. During warmer weather a walk around the Plateau district and Mont Royal will showcase all types of art.
5. Canada! Our neighbors to the north are truly lovely. Meeting people from other parts of Canada provides additional motivation to travel to their areas such as Toronto, Banff, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island (for their oyster at the very least!). I have met charming people and made new friends who join in on the fun and laughter during each of my Montreal experiences. It is wonderful to appreciate their positivity and cheer in a world that always seems to be under duress.