canada, food, montreal, travel

5 Days in Montreal

Montreal is a popular long weekend destination for us in Toronto since it’s only a 6 – 7 hour drive away. I visited Montreal for the first time as an adult over the Canadian Thanksgiving holidays. Here are some of the cool things I did during the 5 days. 

  1. Live in an awesome Airbnb. Although your stay indoors might be short, a great accommodation does make a difference.  LeQube was chosen for its reasonable price, walking distance to a subway station, beautiful interiors, and let’s not forget to mention a rooftop jacuzzi.IMG_0432
  2. Indulge even at brunch. At Le Passe Compose they serve foie gras eggs benedict – where else can you get that? And it is as delicious as it sounds. From this trip, it was hands down my favourite meal. Be prepared to spend over 30 minutes in line though.IMG_0442
  3. Take in the beauty of Montreal Botanical Garden. I was lucky enough that my visit coincided with their annual Lantern Festival and it was definitely magical!IMG_0380
  4. Dine at the famous Au Pied de Cochon. 4 words: Duck in a Can. As cliche as this restaurant may be as a Montreal staple, it lives up to its name and hype. Remember to make a reservation as they get fully booked fast!

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    Definitely not the most photogenic, but that doesn’t affect the taste!

  5. Squeeze some sort of exercise in by hiking up Mont Royal.  Quite an easy hike as the trail is a slow gradual uphill. Since it was fall, a beautiful view of the city and the changing colours of leaves could be seen.IMG_0507
  6. Discover a secret bar. Atwater Cocktail Club – swanky interior, interesting drinks, and as a bonus you can order snacks from the restaurant Foiegwa that it shares a kitchen with.IMG_0497
  7. Have a semi-romantic date on The Montreal Observation Wheel. A giant Ferris wheel that gives a panoramic view of Old Montreal and St. Lawrence River. My experience was semi-romantic because we had to share the car with others.IMG_0492
  8. And most importantly, do what must be done in Montreal – poutine at La Banquise. It’s open 24 hours so there is no excuse.IMG_0501.JPG

It was interesting to re-visit Montreal as an adult to appreciate the sights of its landscape and architecture. And of course being able to choose where to dine was a definite plus. Whether you will be in Montreal for a weekend or even just a day, these are some locations that I would recommend to consider for your next trip!

 

Bonus of places I also dined at but did not make the “favourites” cut:  L’avenue, Ganadara, Bar Darling, Farberge, Cafe Falco, La Diperie, and Nos Thes.  I also ate at MAIS which was delicious and quite reminiscent of La Carnita in Toronto.  However, I didn’t have any photographs of the food and as the meal was treated by the owner/chef  I am admittedly biased. Do check it out though if you are at Mile End doing some shopping!

 

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Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, travel

Kilimanjaro – The Ascent

A summary of several important conditions for those considering climbing Kilimanjaro. Detailed packing list at the end and separate post on The Summit to follow.

Please note that this is based on my individual experience which can vary depending on the operating company chosen, the route, the weather and of course your personal preferences.

The operating company: G Adventures

The time period: August 4 – 11, 2017

The route: Lemosho route, a 7 night, 8 day hike where summit is starting at midnight of day 7 (effectively nighttime of day 6). This route was chosen because it was the longest and provides the most time to acclimatize, which helps increase the chance of a successful summit. Continue reading

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food, Italy, travel

48 Hours in Cinque Terre Pt. 1

Cinque Terre meaning five lands is an area comprised of 5 villages – Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. Each one is exceptionally beautiful as they all rest along the coastline and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. I had 2 full days to explore all 5 villages by hike and by train. Monterosso was my personal bias because during my 3-night stay it was my home.

Here’s what I did in my first 24 Hours in Cinque Terre:

1) Grab pastries for breakfast. From Wonderland Bakery in Monterosso, I had to try a cannoli!

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2) Hike The Blue Path (Sentiero Azzurro) from Monterosso to Vernazza. Continue reading

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Eastern Canada, Fitness, friends, travel

2 Views of Hopewell Rocks

To see Hopewell Rocks in its full beauty, we planned our trip so we could see it both at low tide and at high tide. Two very different experiences, but I preferred the low tide view more because you could see the landscape in a more panoramic view, and we got to walk around however we wanted!

 

At low tide I felt we could really see more of the rock formations and I just love seeing what kinds of animals and faces the rock formations look like (like cloud watching)! Continue reading

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events, toronto

ATV Adventures

Didn’t get the chance to dune bash in an actual ATV in Dubai, so I sufficed for the next best thing – ATV at home, right here in Ontario. For a 1 hour private tour with ATV Adventure Tours it is regularly $138/person excluding tax , but with the coupon (which I got from Appreciation Events through work)  total per person was $82 after tax. Not bad for the novelty and just about 1.5-2 hours drive to Collingwood from Toronto.

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vroom vroom

The instructor presets all the gears and functions for us before we drive so there was nothing to worry about Continue reading

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friends, life, toronto

Dundas Peak

The only purposely planned hiking excursion that I went to this year locally was to Dundas Peak (while alongside visitng Mac the alma mater). Not quite sure what I was so busy with all summer and fall because I normally love planning excursions!

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Even though I semi-lived in Hamilton for a good 4 years during my studies at McMaster, I always went home on the weekends as much as I could, and barely went around town…let alone go hiking. It was my first time at Dundas Peak and I had only seen of it in pictures on social media.  Little did I know the hike to the peak was so short ._. Continue reading

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