And there it was. The sight of the back wall of McVeighs Tavern, following another day of hibition free, indulgement. And the sight of Michaels stupid grin.
Of course with a bus at 6:30am, what's drinking copious amounts of alcohol till all hours of the morning (around 3 or so, to be slightly exact) to a couple booze hounds. With the long stumble to slumber over, and the short slumber over nearly as fast as it started, it was off to the bus terminal. Arriving in good time, we boarded the bus, and in 6 tedious hours we were in Montreal. Still feeling fair shook, it was out of the bus, into the Montreal heat. With suitcases, rugsacks, and backpacks in tow, I was to get my bareings and find the hostel I first stayed at, 6 long years ago. It didn't happen. After approximately 20 minutes of walking the wrong direction (the same mistake I seem to recall making 6 long years ago), we hoped a taxi, said BONJOOR, or some other bastardized french version of hello, spoken particularly loudly (as to ensure our point of hello was made).
Within a few minutes, and a few bones, we were in Old Montreal. We said our MARCI to the the cab driver, in a fashion much like Brad Pitt in Inglorious Basterds, pretending to play an Italian - as Paudi was to point out. We checked in to our hostel, and headed out for lunch.
We ended up at a spot called Gallianos, of which I recalled eating at on my first trip to Montreal. I remembered good food, cheap drink (and food as well). We arrived at they still had the same 3 course meal with 2 dollar glasses of draft. The same soup starter as well.
After a few pints and some fresh baked bread, with some sort of sun dried tomato olive oil vinegar, our soups arrived. Potato leak.
Not a bad soup, thick, hearty, and an over all pleasant taste. Unfortunately I will never get over the texture, a creamy, lumpy, bowl of mush, unfit by textural standards to feed to a pig. However I still ate it.
Up next were main courses. I had... something... pasta something... As you can see the name is eluding me, it was baked rounds of pasta with portabello mushrooms, covered in cheese.
Paudi opted for the fish, with rice and veg.
And Michael the steak pizza.
The pasta was good, albeit a bit too heavy and filling. Paudi took about a bite of the fish and placed his napkin over it. And Michael was fair impressed with the pizza.
The dessert was a fruit compote, on what I recall being baked sweet rice. It was average. All in all though, for 20$ a head, a 3 course meal and 2 glasses isn't a deal I'll bicker with on any given day.
After settling up the bill, and finishing our drafts and cigarettes, it was time for a well needed nap. We got backed and made the decision, a 1 hour nap would do us. Sometime 3 to 4 hours later we awoke. A shit, shower and shave later, it was the boys on the prowl.
First stop - cocktails at La Distillerie. A chain of 3 pubs operation in different districts of Montreal. Now normally, at 20$ a piece for a cocktail, I turn and walk out the door. However here there is a gimick, to make your 20$ go a long way. The cocktails are served in large mason jars, containing about 4-5 shots of liquor. A good way to get things going I must say.
Myself and Paudi landed on the decision of Hurricanes, Michael with the Southern Tart. All the cocktails were extremely well made, and very tasty. And best of all left you near pissed walking out the door!
And yes, their menu has a picture of a monkeys asshole.
After our mason jar cocktails it was on the road to havok and ruin, and death and dismay (the latter two particularly are meant towards our poor, poor livers). We had a quick stop off at some shithole, were we found a drink of particular interest, Ciderman! I can't recall as to why it was of interest, as non of us had one, put theres Michaels ugly mug with it anyway.
After it was on to greener pastures, with a quick drop in to Hurleys Irish pub to mention it to them that we would in fact not drink 8.50$ pints, we went across the road to the Mad Hatter. With 6$ mini pitchers it was a steal.
And me at my best once again. (or possibly just doing a rain man impression)
And wouldn't you know it, before long we were making friends! Friends whom happened to have heads soaked in as much alcohol as our own!
Ah yes Paudi, good call, stronger drinks, because I can coherently remember everything up until this point as is... in fact, I don't actually remember drinking those! Is this picture a rouse?
Must not be, here we are in yet another bar, having more drinks I don't remember.
Theres our new friends... wait who the hells the guy with long hair?
And whos this?
And why does she look so bored with Michaels conversation?
More importantly still, whos this?! And how the hell did someone do that with my camera?
Dance and Drink.
Wait... Pountine? Yes, the Quebec Mcdonalds exclusive poutine! Don't remember eating it, don't remember being in the Mcdonalds, but I do have a receipt and a photograph! Was it good? How the hell should I know?
Ah Michael, always manage to end up with someone at the end of the night. I'm sure he made you every happy, just look at his deep gaze.
Well, that was the night, and then it was the dreaded morning. Which is never easy, harder still on some of us then others (without pointing fingers, or naming names, thats right, I'm pointing and you, Michael, Paudi!). So after I had traversed half of Montreal and back again, waited a few hours, extra, and done a beer run (which at least got Michael out of bed) I had a small bit of company. And with a few drinks in, we were off to the Biodome.
We arrived at the tram in good time, and enjoyed the art at Berri-Uqam.
A short while later we arrived at the Biodome stop.
We stopped into the small cafe for a quick bite as we were all famished. We were welcomed grasiously, with wide open arms by a charming french lad, who would cater to our every whim. Oh wait, it was actually large sweaty, organutangish, brute of a cunt who would man handle our food, look down upon us, and charge us 10$ for a fucking sandwich. But I digress, after all, I am sure he is real happy in his line of work, I wish him the best in the rest of his hopefully short, miserable life. You fat sack of shit.
Yes the winner of a sandwich.... Can I have my 10$ back? Hell I'll settle for my patience back.
All travesties aside, the actual Biodome experience was quite good. Whilst not completely unlike a zoo, it did have its unique features, such as trying to recreate the experience of being within several different climates, and natural regions, all within the same building. We started with the rainforest.
It featured, mammals, reptiles, fish, bats...
Waterfalls, and non-indigenous Irish...
A rather inquisitive bird...
A couple of crocs...
And parrot sex.
And with the passing of a turtle it was on to a more North American feel.
We had porcupines, and ugly fish.
Oh, and Ducks and Paudi.
The polar region was pretty much just penguins and puffins.
After we had finished inside, we moved on to the olympic tower. Basically a half rate CN tower, but its always neat to see a prize view of a new city.
However the ride up was a tad jarring.
With that said and done, we moved on for some proper food. With a fair walk, and a even longer taxi, we ended up at Ma'am Buldoc for some proper poutine.
I had the Veggie, with onions, mushrooms, and green peppers.
Paudi with the onions and bacon.
And Darcy with the Bolognese.
Each one quite good, not a complaint amongst us, short of Paudi and his infamous 2 bite philosophy.
After a good feed, and a yet more brewskies, we made back for the Hostel. After a rather lengthy trek, we managed to not only avoid the temptation to call in somewhere for "one", but we actually found a metro station. We got into the hostel, shower and change, and out! We made for Foufones Electronique.
We arrived and settled into a good many rum and coke, followed by Jager Bombs, and then up stairs for 5$ pitchers.
Which would soon run out, so it was on to 1.75$ bottles.
Ah my lady impressing face! Clearly working magic!
Well it must have done some magic!
After making new companionship, our new friends sadly left, a teary goodbye, and back onto the up stars to see who could make a drunker face on camera then myself. Sadly, I was the winner.
And with that another night met the annals of history. I woke yet another day in my life in the morning, with little memory of the following night. Just a sore head, a sleep deprived disposition, and a foul mood.
With everyone up in record time, we set for lunch. I took the boys out to Schwartz deli, for a good old smoked meat sandwich, for which Paudi opted to go for the chicken (I think he managed 3 bites on this glorious occasion - Schwartz you must be doing something right)
After lunch we took a stroll back down, stopped for 5$ cosmos for a pick me up. Paudi decided it was nap time, myself and Michael were to seize the day, and head for the island. Taking the less conventional method of walking.
After about an hour, we found a 7-11 near the base of the bridge. We stocked up on the bare necessities - Water, Slushies, Alcohol, and cheetos. With that we made for the bridge. Regrettably the pedestrian side was closed off, and we had to share the bike path, which more often then not felt quite hazardous.
After a good 40 minutes, to an hour, we made the island. And were greeted by some furry creature we couldn't quite identify.
We saw the biosphere, which was closed.
We saw some cops (quite a lot of cops at that) that Michael flipped off.
We saw an ugly structure.
And a good view too.
We called back into the hostel, and rounded the masses, even Paudi got up to come for one or two. With a large mass of hostel people from around Canada and the world, it was time for a drink. After indulging in a few glasses at a patio bar, we went back for La Distillerie.
A great crowd of people for a night out, and my favorite part of hostelling my way around. After the cocktails washed down, we moved on to a blues bar. Few drinks there, and we all set sail to call it a night back at the hostel.
With our final morning dawning, we all got up to make the most of it. Firstly, breakfast. We took a short walk and decided just to go into the first greasy spoon we found.
Poutine and burgers may not scream breakfast to most people, but for those at the end of a 5 day bender, well, yes, yes it does say breakfast.
Not terrible poutine, but a plastic burger.
We took a stroll down to the science centre to watch some childern.... Hm, that doesn't sound right does it? We actually went in to pass the time, but alas everything was in french, and it seemed expensive. We also didn't want to leave as it was about 40 celcius outside, and nice and air conditioned inside.
We did however take our leave after a while, and walked along the St Lawrence.
After taking in a bit of sun, and walking through the market, we made one final stop into the hostel. And were pleasantly greeted with beers.
After a few we took lunch, to a simple chain of brew pubs (with some god awful beer), one of which location is located in the heart of Toronto, near Yonge and Dundas square. So if your ever in Montreal or Toronto, and have a deep craving for shit food, and terrible beer, go to the Three Brewers, or Le Trois, Brasseurs.
Michael had a dry crusty Quesedilla.
Paudi with the Mexican wrap (which he ate... what in the fuck? Paudi my dear friend, you have the taste buds of a rabbit.)
And I opted for the dry, sauce less, flatbred.
I wouldn't feed this to my dog... If I had a dog.
With time now dwindling to get our bus to Toronto, we headed back to collect our things. The hostel receptionist gave me a deal, to return a bag of empties, and be able to collect a few bucks in change. As degrading as it may have been, after 5 or 6 days of drinking, my wallet could take something going back into it. So I accepted. To my misfortune however, I did not seem to understand his directions. To further my sorrows, it was not only a heavy (50+ lbs) bag, it was also the hottest day of the year.
Finally, a store! That wouldn't take my bottles... FUCK.
And there I am, the closing act in our midsummers night piss up. Drenched in sweat, exhausted, hungover, reeking of liquor, booze pouring out of my sweat glands, carrying a 50 pound bag of empties for approximately 7$. The bottles went into the nearest trash bin... sort of.
And what is the moral of all this you may be asking yourself? Don't help people. That's right I said it. At least not for 7$ anyway. Also, don't eat at the three brewers. Oh and avoid eating at the Biodome as well, unless you dig having your food ripped apart by a fat sweaty frenchman who's probably not washed his hands, or himself since the separatist movement lost momentum.