The morning sky was dark and dreary with the grey clouds extinguishing any direct signs of the sun that we had enjoyed over the past couple days. We had planned to hit up Mount Royal today but the grim weather outlook for today put a damper on those plans. Instead Rebecca was keen to show me the neighbourhood where she grew up and there was the possibility of hitting up the Montreal Science Museum later in the afternoon before meeting up with Laura again. We dragged ourselves out of bed just a hair before 11am and headed to a brunch place I had tracked down through Yelp.

Our food took forever to come but it was a refreshing change from the last two days where we’d eaten at the same place previously. It was only a short trip to Rebecca’s old neighbourhood and only a few minutes later we were outside her old house. She spent the next 5 minutes regaling me with stories of the area pointing out the shed her dad built and the small forest of trees they’d planted on the corner of their plot. I had remarked on some of the houses in the street and she said that these were nothing compared to some of the mansions that were close by. Eager to check them out we made our way to the river side road that traced its way up the mountain, and what I saw next really surprised me.

Right in the same suburb that housed medium density apartments and a sprawling suburbia are these massive estates with houses that rivalled the ambassador residences in Red Hill and Forest back in Canberra. They ranged from classic American mansions to European castled themed residences, each of them with their own unique style. I can’t remember how many times we pulled over or turned the car around to get a better look at a house but the round trip took us more than an hour. We were running low on fuel so we decided to pull over and fuel up before making our way into the city. Rebecca picked up a bag of cheese curds to tide us over. I was a bit iffy about eating what amounts to unprocessed cheese from a service station but they were squeaky so they weren’t too bad.

We then tried to make our way into the city to hit up the science museum. Leeching off some local wifi we got directions and headed off on our way. Unfortunately the directions weren’t amazingly clear and we managed to get lost. This wouldn’t have been too much of a problem but we were burning daylight and were going to be meeting up with Laura very shortly. With that in mind we retracted our steps back to the hotel and decided to spend the last hour or so in the gym before meeting up with Laura again.

After my initial blasé reaction to what was considered the most authentic poutine in Montreal Laura was keen for me to try some of the more exotic variations on the traditional recipe. One of the local pubs here in Pierrefonds did a curry poutine that, whilst replacing the curds with real cheese, was highly rated by both Laura and Rebecca. Upon arriving we ordered ourselves up a serve, thinking that for $7 we wouldn’t be overwhelmed with our “appetiser” sized dinner. This pub however prided itself on its large servings much like the Central Cafe in Queanbeyan. That serve of poutine was more than enough for both of us which would’ve been fine but I had foolishly ordered myself a Bison burger. Still we gave it the old college try and left the pub feeling very full and happy with ourselves. Laura had leave early but Rebecca wanted to get some coffee and the closest place was a Starbucks inside a chain bookstore called Chapters.

As we walked towards the store I remarked at how many of the other stores in this area were still open at 7pm on a Monday night. I wondered how any of them could make any money opening this late, especially for a store that sells say shoes. About 10 minutes later I found out as we browsed the bookstore for a good half an hour before making our way to the coffee section, some of our cash parting with us on the way. With our hot chocolates in hand we made our way back to the hotel ready to curl up for the night. Tomorrow’s weather was looking to clear up around midday, making a trek up Mount Royal possible. Since it will be our last full day in Canada we’re hoping to sneak these last few activities in before we say au revoir, so hopefully the weather prediction is accurate.

About the Author

David Klemke

David is an avid gamer and technology enthusiast in Australia. He got his first taste for both of those passions when his father, a radio engineer from the University of Melbourne, gave him an old DOS box to play games on.

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