My First week in Québec! pt 2

This is where it gets exciting.. Time to leave Montreal ——> time for Québec City.

Friday 1st September:

Before I get started properly, here are some pictures of the wonderful art on the buildings in Montreal that I had to capture before leaving:

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Today was the day that most people went to their respective towns. Before we left we had our final lunch (they served chocolate cookies and yes I did put one in my bag as a just in case. stop judging me, a girl has got to eat). It kind of felt like seeing children off on their first day of school (well… as I imagine it to be), bit by bit as the journey went on, more and more members of the team got off the coach. And then there were .. 3. We had to spend 2 nights in Québec city before getting another coach to go to our towns. Now I wasn’t keen on this because I felt like I just wanted to stop living out of a suitcase and settle in asap.. but.. IT WAS SOOO GOOD. Québec City was an absolute dream.

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Our first meal .. Poutine with Tayuub who is a 2nd year assistant and acted as our tour guide. I ordered in French for the first time which is a moment i’ll always remember. Back to the poutine.. this was a mini:

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Yes, far from mini. Glad you agree! It was soo good though and no of course I didn’t manage to finish it.

Then we went to explore the Place D’Youville area where they had a gay pride event happening, it was soo cool.

After that, we continued to explore..

I was honestly soo impressed by this fountain..

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Soon after we headed back to our hostel to sleep sleep and sleep (please note I don’t have much to say about the hostel.. but the next picture should sum up my thoughts perfectly):

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.. the best part about the hostel:

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Saturday 2nd September:

This day started off with a trip to Baguette et Chocolat, a cafe:

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We spent our time planning out what we wanted to do for the day then did some more exploring of the places Tayuub had shown us the night before, so we could get some good snaps.

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Before leaving England I had done some research on Québec City and found out that there was a waterfall called Montmorency Falls. I wasn’t sure if it was feasible to see it within the short time that we were in Québec City but when we arrived at the hostel the guy at the front desk mentioned it.. we had to make it happen! So the plan was to go on a bus that was leaving from the hostel but.. lunch happened:

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– Chicken Club Sandwich at L’accent. The portion sizes will take some getting used to.

We went for lunch with two of the 2nd year assistants who thankfully knew there way around the city and after a 30-40 minute bus journey, we arrived at Montmorency falls. Oh was it something!

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and of course I had enough time for those classic “I was there” tourist shots.. two pictures because one wasn’t enough:

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The air was soo fresh and lovely. Soo worth seeing and .. if you feel like playing with your life, there is also the option of doing a zip line across the length of the waterfall (not for me).

After that we returned to Vieux Québec (Old Quebec) and popped into Brularie St-Jean, a cafe. I have a new found appreciation for places like Brularie St-Jean, not only did they have wifi.. but they also had sockets so I entered with a phone on 30% and left with 100%. Amen!

Here are some pictures.. of the pictures.. in the cafe:

Art work seems to be greatly valued in Canada.

That evening we walked up the most ridiculous hill ever to get to La Taverne Grande Allée Bar. Now that cookie I put in my bag the day before came in handy (see, I told you !) because once I got to the top of the hill, I needed something to keep me going, so whilst we waited for the traffic lights to change, we sat on a wall.. and I ate a cookie at about 9pm, what a visual. La Taverne was pretty good, also.. our server was highly attractive which of course made the evening much more entertaining.

Sunday 3rd September:

This was the day we officially headed off to our towns!

A 5 hour coach journey from Québec to a town called Rimouski .. followed by an hour wait in a dead silent, far from entertaining waiting area. It was mostly dead silent as the three of us made a conscious effort to keep conversation to a minimum because English stood out far too much and when we did brave a 5 second interaction, the conversations that were happening around us came to an abrupt end. It was a long hour being stared at by the locals !

Here are some pictures I took whilst on the coach:

 

And..that’s all for My First Week in Québec !

Posts about my first day of teaching and such will be following shortly..

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My First week in Québec! pt 1

Ahh! I am officially in Canada. I arrived just over a week ago and it has been one of the most interesting weeks of my life. I am going to try and keep this as short as I possibly can.. but that doesn’t mean there wont be an excessive amount of pictures.

Right, Lets start with .. Tuesday 29th August. Departure day.

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This is me in the car on the way to the airport, just before I spent the next 30 minutes wondering if I had forgotten to pack something.

It was quite a good journey overall. I travelled with Air Canada from Heathrow to Montreal. I quite liked pretending I knew what I was doing, casually going through security alone and walking with purpose around the airport with my four wheeled cabin suitcase in hand.. smooth! (stop laughing at me). Back to the flight, the service was really good and I can’t even begin to express how impressed I was by the pilot and the flight attendants that transitioned from French into English with total ease throughout the entire flight. Inspiring !

Once I arrived in Montreal, I got a taxi to the hotel which was an interesting experience given the taxi driver claimed he didn’t know much English.. please note I had been on a 7 hour flight and spent about 1 hour in immigration so I just about knew my own name. For the 40 minute drive I tried to piece together some words to have a general chat about why I am in Canada and where I come from. The conversation wavered off when he found out I was from London and wanted to talk about the one and only.. David Cameron. As you can imagine there aren’t too things to say on such a topic.

Fast forward to dinner time.. I met up with some of the other assistants and went to this chinese place called Oh Dumplings, here is me pretending to be healthy:

Snapchat-1069632199 It was pretty good and the staff were very friendly!

They also gave us fortune cookies on the way out, here’s what mine said:

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A pretty good start in Canada!

Onto Wednesday 30th August:

Breakfast :

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Who can say no to a pain au chocolat in the morning? not me! and I would like to take this moment to appreciate the fact that the hotel had Tetley tea bags. The Hotel Travelodge Montreal Centre will always have a place in my heart, for that reason solely.

Now it’s important you don’t forget that picture of my small breakfast.

I thought my first day in the country would be super chilled, you know, walk around and see what the locals get up to, eat some food, take some pictures like this one of The Old Port of Montreal..20170830_164326

You know, just chill out and such.. HA! but the reality is that Amanda went on an unintentional hike. Yes.. a hike. In 24 degree weather. Now usually the sun in London is there for decoration, it doesn’t actually keep anyone warm but the sun in Montreal is no joke!

The end goal for the hike was to get to the top of Mont Royal (In English: Mount Royal) which is according to google “..a small mountain in the city of Montreal” and according to me, a lie!

Here is a picture of us all in the metro, blissfully unaware of what was to come:

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2pm:

After getting off the metro, we walked for 20 minutes in the heat.. then saw a green area and decided to take a well deserved break.

Once we had gained some energy.. the walking continued.

2:30pm:

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At this point.. I thought this was the final view.. I thought all that walking had come to the sight of a few buildings in the background and a few bushes. But thankfully that wasn’t the case, but I had another 30 minutes worth of uphill walking before I saw what really made the whole process completely worth it.

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Once we made it back to the area surrounding the hotel, we went and treated ourselves to something to eat at Gauffre Mignonne (a brunch restaurant):

Look at our tired faces!

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The only way I could congratulate myself for not passing out was by eating this:

snapchat-1432592418-e1504800346304.jpgA NUTELLA CREPE!!!

After this, we headed back and met the rest of the assistants who had arrived and ate dinner together at the hotel.

All in all, A very good day !

What I learnt that day: it’s always best to have food in your bag just in case a casual explore turns into a hike. At this very moment, I have 2 chocolate bars and some sweets in my bag.. just in case !

Thursday 31st August:

View from the hotel room:

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This is Anna, she was my roommate whilst at the travelodge:

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Thursday was spent in a classroom, we had a session on “cultural shock” and on “Life in Québec”.. quite an intense day, lots of information to take in .. and most of it was in French.

This is what I had for lunch:

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A grilled chicken sandwich, some concoction of couscous, berries and.. orange bits (weird) and not to forget, the brownie.. which I wrapped in tissue to save for later (I learnt my lesson from the day before).

Oh and there’s always time for a group picture after lunch:

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That evening all the assistants went to Peel Pub (a university bar) for dinner. The atmosphere was incredible. I had a chicken caesar salad and found myself getting distracted by the baseball game playing on the tv.. i’ll leave you to think it had nothing to do with their handsome faces haha.

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I had a great time at Peel Pub and almost lost my voice.. sign of a good night!

This was then followed by a late night hunt for Ben and Jerry’s and some general appreciation of the buildings in Montreal. What a beautiful City!

To be continued…