I went to Canada a couple weeks ago with my partner in awesome. She’s the bee’s flippin’ knees by the way! So we went to Canada yet again for Vacation. We went last year to Niagara Falls, and it was beyond incredible, and beyond incredibly fun. We even explored a little city further to the North of it, and the air was so pure, and the water on Lake Ontario was the clearest of blue that I had ever witnessed. We ate poutine, went to museums, figured out that the speed limits were in kilometers, and explored the wonders that the Falls region had to offer. Loved it loved it loved it! It was the third time I had seen Niagara and my mine was still blown, it’s really hard to grasp the magnitude of the situation.
We changed gears this year however, and visited a closer province, this one a straight shot North of dear old Leominster. We went to Montreal, in the fair land of Quebec. From the border here, it is different immediately. Signs in French are really the defining factor here, seeing is it is straight farm land for almost an hour of car time. It’s like Vermont’s French part. Just kidding. But really it’s all the ruralness of Northern VT, but in French, and with really cute looking houses. Not that Vermont doesn’t have those, but even the ugliest house was pretty. I don’t comprehend this place. Okay, not every building was immaculate, but it was a great contrast to around here with an abandoned building on just about every street.
Montreal is a beautiful place, where trees and pavement aren’t in competition but are perfectly cohabitating. Canada really gives a shit about the environment if you ask me. And they spend more time on quality. May I compare a Tim Horton’s to a Dunkin Donuts? Sure I can, but there is no comparison. The subway was a bit confusing, with most of the signing in French, but once we figured out how to get our tickets,( with me initially getting a ticket for the wrong thing, which I still am unsure of how to use, so it came home with me) it was an ease navigating the train system. And let me tell you, they move FAST like you wouldn’t believe.
So we visited the Entertainment District on our first day and from being in the 95% French signing in the train station, we entered a world where everything was in both languages. Not only that, so many people just switched between languages like it was as easy as tying a shoe, and I guess in Canada, or at least this part of it, that is probably the case. But do they chide us and mock us for not knowing the language? No, unlike here in America, where if you don’t speak English you are the subject of much derision. Good job Canada. People jokingly speak of moving here, but if you’ve ever been, how couldn’t you think of it?
Poutine and late night drug stores that put CVS and Walgreens to shame is reason enough. Okay, joking aside, I will return to our trip. We next jaunted through the Olympic Park, site of the 1976 olympics, home to the Biodome De Montreal, the botanical gardens and a planetarium. Let me just tell you how fucking amazing, this Biodome is. Several climate controlled rooms house a variety of different animals. A jungle habitat, a Northern Atlantic Ocean habitat, a Northern Forest complete with beavers, otters, raccoons and the like, and even a room with penguins. How cool is that? Very cool I know.
I meant to write this up earlier, so I’m a little less detailed than I would have been, but the majority of the rest of our trip was spent at Parc Jean Drapeau at Osheaga Festival de Musique et Arts. The venue was incredible and so were the bands, the food vendors, and dancing in the fountain. The park is massive, and contained entirely on one of two gigantic islands right in the bay. Yeah the subway tunnel is actually underground, seeing as for this stop, it actually travels, UNDERWATER! What? I didn’t think of it at first, so I wasn’t scared until after the second day of the festival. Silversun Pickups, Passenger, Nathaniel Rateliffe, Bastille, Haim, Red Hot Chili Peppers, St. Lucia, The Wombats, Death Cab, and FUCKING Radiohead, which was the initial reasoning behind the trip. So much talent, so many bodies, and more Molson beer than I ever thought existed in one place. People find out your American and they have the opposite of the expected reaction.
This was the best festival crowd I had ever been in, no extreme shoving matches, no people getting ejected from the festival, or if there were it was much more discreet. Seeing some of my favorite bands for the first time, and others for the second or third times in a year already filled with great concert going accomplishments, I can’t wait to see where the rest of this year is going in that regard. But look up this park and this festival, you won’t be disappointed.
I’m still suffering reverse culture shock upon my return, so maybe I’m Canadian on the inside or something?