Friday, March 23, 2012

How to do Spring Break: Montreal Edition

Tufts let off from school last Friday, so three of my best friends and I packed up a car and headed five hours north, right across the Canadian border. Destination: Montreal, the French-speaking spring break destination of choice for many, many Jumbos.

Photo credit: Abby 


We booked a Montreal hotel, splitting the room and gas four ways.

The drive up north went smoothly, with a quick rest stop a small Vermont town left over from the colonial era. Crossing the Canadian border was uneventful; just make sure you have your passports, and you're good to go (they don't stamp them, though!). Suddenly, the street signs went French and the miles became kilometers.

Throw in a 3-day metro pass ($16 for unlimited 3-day travel), a quick stop at an ATM, and fully charged digital cameras, and we were ready to explore the city. We spent Saturday night exploring Old Montreal, learning the metro system, and eating crepes. Délicieux!

The morning started with a St. Patrick's Day parade, complete with delicious Montreal bagels and Philadelphia cream cheese.

In the afternoon, we headed over to the Montreal Museum of Archaeology and History, or Pointe-à-Callière.

Dinner at Upstairs was quite a treat, complete with candlelight and live music.

The Biodome was well worth the visit, constructed within the old Olympic stadium. Think "zoo," only without cages or glass.

Photo credit: Abby

From there we intended to visit the Snow Village, but, given that it had melted, we ended up seeing Monsieur Lazhar, in French of course. As none of us speak French, we made sure there were English subtitles.

The morning began with a visit to the Notre-Dame Basilica, a gorgeous structure with an incredible chapel attached.

Photo credit: Abby

The highlight of the trip, perhaps, was our subsequent trip to Mont Royal Park in the incredible 70-degree (erm, 20-degree) weather. There, we met up with other Tufts friends to picnic, take in the view, and lounge among the sports and giggles of French-speaking children enjoying their afternoon.
Photo credit: Abby 

Photo credit: Abby 

We hit Rue Saint Denis in the evening, a popular street for students our age, with plenty to do and plenty of places to eat or hang.

Early morning and out the door, we were back on campus by the afternoon. And that's how to do Montreal over a Boston spring break.

Next time, perhaps we'll go in the winter, when we can check out Canadian dog sledding, ice hotels, and maple taffy on snow. Yum!


  1. Thanks Brian....this blog says it all with photos too...well almost says it all!

  2. Very nice - love the photos - felt like I was there -


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