Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.
After spending some time with family, I made my way to Montreal to meet up with friends. I am currently spending 3 full weeks in Québec, which is the longest time I’ve been here in just about 5 years.
Montreal is not the best location for outdoors, but it sure is to me the best place in Canada to enjoy culture, gastronomy, arts and live music. I started my time in the area by going for a 3 days camping trip to Mont-Tremblant, where we enjoyed the private group camping at the Lot-des-Colons. There was a small sandy area going down to the main river where we could swim and cliff jump while other visitors paddled in their kayaks or canoes down the river.
We didn’t really go around anywhere in the parc this time, as we just enjoyed bun fires, playing beach volleyball (grass volleyball would be more appropriate) and group camping games to relax. We also got quite a bit of rain during the week-end, but overall this group site is in a great location as a start to explore the parc and the areas.
Back in Montreal I enjoyed meeting up with friends, playing beach volleyball in the Parc Lafontaine (before 5PM it is drop-in and free, but bring a pair of socks on a hot day, I swear the sand will burn your feet), jamming with my ukulele in the parc (and meeting random strangers walking around the parc with their guitar, stopping at each musicians on their way to jam with them for a while) and walking downtown and on St-Catherine’s street to see what festival is happening.
As I met up with some Argentine Tango friends who are still in town, we went to the free outdoor milonga in Verdun on Wednesday evening (about 1h of transit from the center of the city – you will need to take the green line until station De l’Église and then a bus). It was also the International Tango Festival of Montreal, so the dancefloor was quite crowded and we had very beautiful performances from the guest teachers coming from Colombia.
One thing I really wanted to do in Montreal was to hang out at the Mont-Royal park for the Tam-Tam circles. Every Sunday afternoon and early evening, if you just walk at the park near the main statue (close-by to Mont-Royal and Parc street intersection) you can enjoy live music jams, buy some local art and produces, taste some food from the food trucks and if you are up to it, just join in the jams with your own instruments. There is also an area where the acrobats (slack lines, acro yoga, etc.) are having fun, or you can also join the Dunjeons and Dragons Full Size games if you want… Montreal really welcomes it all!
As you cannot go in Montreal in the summer without being in the middle of AT LEAST one festival, I was able to enjoy some free music show during the Virée Classique OSM music festival, as well as the Montreal Pride 2016. For the Pride, most of the main outdoor shows are at the Place Emile-Gamelin, just beside the Berri-UQAM metro station. The Illusion Drag Queen show on Saturday night was quite interesting and featured some of the best performers and street dancers from Montreal as well.
Soon I will be back on the West Coast and ready to head back up in our lovely Coastal Mountains! If you have any suggestions for hikes, feel free to comment below!