Jess and I had our six hours of sleep rudely divided by a group of obnoxious kids who returned to the hostel at 4AM and could not keep quiet. Regardless, she and I got up at 7AM and left Kyle when he chose to sleep in so we could see some sites along the waterfront. We passed my car and laughed when we saw two feet of snow had stacked up on top. We loaded our packed bags in the backseat and could hardly get the doors open from all of the snow around us.
Snow flingers we later borrowed as shovels to dig out my car.
Walking outside to load the car.
It looked twice as bad when we went to leave.
We then faced the wicked wind along the Saint Lawrence River and walked along the docks where we could photograph icy water, a ship, Habitat 67, and some squares with statues and interesting architecture. We walked back up along the river to the Clock Tower, choosing a street better guarded by buildings from the wind. Snow contraptions were attempting to clear the streets, but snow kept piling right back up. We went to the Bonsecours area of town, past the market and the old Sailor’s church, then photographed the docks on that side of the Quais. We headed back to round up Kyle and hop in our car after borrowing snow flingers from the hostel to try to pull enormous loads from my roof and windows. It was fluffy enough that I could pull forward through the snow that was now up to my windows on the street side. The water bottle I left in the car was completely frozen through.
Snow still coming down.
Wind-cut snow on cars near the river.
Habitat 67 across from the port.
The ladies now covered in snow.
Bonsecours Marche and church.
The backside of the church, a.k.a. “Sailor’s Church”.
Clock tower faded in the snow.
Decorative walls in the hostel showing the area on a hand-drawn, chalk map.
The light in the lounge.
We wasted some time circling the streets because 10 was shut down. No maple syrup coffee for us, because the shop opened too late, but we still managed to do what we wanted to get done. We finally made it to an open bridge and crossed over to the Biosphere “located at Parc Jean-Drapeau, on Île Sainte-Hélène in the former pavilion of the United States for the 1967 World Fair Expo 67”, as described on Wikipedia. It was like a translucent Epcott sphere.
Next, we drove back to the main city and photographed the Olympic Stadium.
Our last stop was at the two famous bagel stores in town, St-Viateur and Fairmount. We got 1/2 dozen sesame bagels at each. I think Fairmount won our votes, but they were very similar.
Fairmount on the left, St Viateur on the right.
Inside the larger of the two, St Viateur.
Jess with the bags.
Sesame to compare.
The roads leaving Montreal.
The streets were still slick but the temperature was cold enough that our trip wasn’t too bad as we took off that late morning from Montreal and due west into Ontario, making a detour at Canada’s capitol city: Ottawa.
We only spent a short time in Ottawa. We first parked so we could walk to Parliament Hill, then made a loop by the Canal and the National War Memorial, photographing the buildings and holiday decorations all around us.
We then drove over to photograph Maman in front of the National Gallery of Canada. Maman is an enormous spider sculpture with 26 marble eggs under her. We touched her and ran back to the car to find a place to eat at the Byward Market. We walked around a bit inside before settling on a nearby seafood place, The Fish Market. Then we took off out of the city in better traffic conditions, heading south for Q.E.W. 401. The roads got much worse and we nearly ran out of gas before we finally hit the highway.
The church across the street from where we touched Maman
The market – and the whole district dedicated to it that surrounded the main attraction.
The rest of the night was so long and dull. The weather was horrible and cars were wrecking everywhere around us. Kingston took eternity to reach, then we ticked down the time until we hit Toronto. It seemed like forever. We made periodic stops to keep us feeling alive, but the drive was monotonous in the traffic and the road conditions. We frequently had to dodge caravans of plow trucks which caused jams along the highway.
Pickle Doritos from one of the gas stations.
My license plate caked with snow and ice all day.
Finally, we skirted out of Toronto traffic and tried to pass Hamilton and follow the Q.E.W. all the way to the southernmost crossing in Buffalo to avoid bridge tolls. We weren’t in the mood to see Niagara Falls again, not with the time it was getting to be. When we finally made it to Buffalo for more gas, I let Kyle drive so I could sleep at least an hour. He drove to Erie and we watched as a guy tried to pass us, lost control, and went wheeling into the snowy median. Finally, we reached Peach Street where my mom met us and took Kyle and his things. Jessica and I continued to last stretch to my office to retrieve her snow-covered car. She chose to go straight to work as it was 3:30AM. I debated sleeping in my car with my sleeping bag because I had to be at work in 3 hours, but I decided I’d sleep better at home. I got back at about 4AM and woke up 2 hours later for work, tired but satisfied by our short but awesome trip.