Saturday, January 9, 2016

Montreal - hiking and skiing

We didnt´actually see much of the city itself. When we arrived it was already late and we were kindly invitied by Loic, another student at Watts that will be a roommate here in Encinitas shortly. So we just threw our luggage into the hostel room and made our way to the metro. Arriving at Loic´s place we were greeted warmly by his whole family and had a great evening playing german board games and having quite heated discussions about the issue of Anglophones and Frankophones in Quebeq and the later urge to separate and become an autonomous country. It was fascinating to be thrown into this discussions and witnessing very passionate and opinionated people debating, I guess you learn a lot about the different mindsets that exist in a country that way.
Not wanting to spend time in a city that appeared to be very similar to Toronto we headed to Mont Tremblant to stay there for a night and go hiking and skiing. Mont Tremblant is just a comfortable one and a half hour drive away from Montreal so we were able to go for an extended hike that very day and then bought ourselves groceries for a very nice meal. The salmon in Canada is unbelievable fresh and tasty, so I us salmon steak with sweat potatoes and beans. In the evening there is just something very special going in hostels. You have very like-minded people who share the interest of traveling and most of them, myself excluded, have been around the globe and spend considerable amounts of time being on the road. So atmosphere was great, sitting in a very charming little chamber with a fireplace, burning marshmallows on a stick and drinking dark beer while listening to music and people around telling about their adventures. Very romantic.

Skiing the next day was amazing, it was terribly cold, -30 degrees celsius, so you wouldn´t be able to be outside longer than 40 minutes unless you wanted to risk freezer burn. And that is being completeley equipped in ski clothing. In these temperatures I tried to take a couple of pictures and had to take my gloves off to be able to operate my phone and regretted it immediately. I didn´t feel my hands for 10 minutes. Anyways, we had fresh and considerable amounts of snow, clear and sunny day and not many people on the slopes. Perfect for skiing.
By the way, I was still not able to get any money from my credit card. The guys at my bank in Germany were in holidays and I wasn´t able to reach anyone. So until this point Matt paid for everything, which is why we jokingly nichnamed him "my dutch wallet".

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