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Tam Tams and Mont Royal

Reason #167 Why I love Montreal

semi-overcast 65 °F
View And I'm Off! on LauraC2011's travel map.

So a couple of nights ago, while at McGill's Open Air Pub (affectionately known as OAP), Karla and I met a bunch of other students on exchange from ALL OVER the world! It was a gorgeous night, so we invited them to come back to our apartment and sit outside on our patio. Somehow, our gathering grew from about 10 to 30 people - ALL of whom were international exchange students! The life stories of some (read: most) of these students are incroyable! (incredibile). Let me try to give you an idea, there were students from France, Switzerland, Germany, Denmark (many were from Denmark!), Argentina, Norway, Spain (i.e. my roommates), Mexico, andddd I think that's about it. Suffice to say, I was the ONLY American, and the ONLY person whose first language was English - although everyone was so fluent you'd hardly be able to tell, aside from the accents maybe!

Anyway, this group of people has spent a lot of time together over the past couple days, and we're all becoming good friends. Yesterday, for example, there was this event called "Tam Tams" in a park less than 10 minutes from my apartment. Basically, people just kept showing up with African drums and jammed out all day long! There were people everywhere! There was a crowd surrounding the drum circle, there was a group of people dancing (kind of strangely) near the drum circle, and then there were hundreds of people spread out across the lawn just sitting, talking, and enjoying the atmosphere. Karla and I were among the first to arrive so we stood and watched the drum circle for a while, then some of our group started showing up and we all went to sit on the lawn. Over time, more and more people kept showing up, and eventually our group had grown from 6 to about 25 again. It was so nice, we all just sat around and talked for a good couple of hours. The nice thing about this group is that we're all kind of in the same boat. Most of the group is only here for 1 semester, and no one really has a set group of friends yet. Anyway, after a couple hours of mingling and relaxing in the park, we decided to hike up Mont Royal, Montreal's "mountain" (but really it's just a big hill).

We started our hike up THE most beautiful trail, surrounded by trees and greenery of all sorts, and what is one of the first, breathtaking attractions that we see? LARPers. Apparently they're everywhere... :/ haha For those of you who don't know, LARPing is short for Live Action Role Playing. Basically, it's a bunch of guys (and some girls) dressed up in medieval garb, battling each other with fake swords and fake shields...certainly a sight to be seen...some of our group stopped to watch for a bit; I, however, had to keep hiking to stop myself from laughing (and potentially getting stabbed with a plastic sword..haha). Anyway, that experience aside, the rest of our hike was amazingly beautiful! It took us about 20 minutes to hike to the 1st lookout spot, where we stopped to take pictures of the city's skyline and to feed some really friendly (and hungry) raccoons! I, personally, didn't feed them for fear of getting rabies (I've always heard raccoons were mean..and even though those little fuzzy guys with their adorable faces seemed really gentle, they didn't have me fooled!) Anyway, after about a 15 minute stop at this look-out, we continued our hike to the top, which was only about 15 more minutes. The top wasn't actually that exciting.. We did see the cross that stands illuminated at the top of Mont Royal, but there were trees surrounding it, so we couldn't see the city. We actually had to walk about 10 minutes back down to another look-out area, where we were able to see an even MORE incredible view of the city! Yesterday was one of those days where there were some blue skies, but for the most part it was a bit overcast, and every once in a while we'd have to endure about a 10 minute sprinkling of rain. This weather, however, made the view the second time SO much more amazing because we got to see the Montreal skyline plus, not one, but TWO rainbows! Breathtaking.

Eventually, we walked back down and ended our hike. I must say it was one of my favorite days in Montreal so far! And don't worry, there are a few guys in the group who've been taking pictures of all of this with their professional-level cameras, so once they post the pictures, I'll add them to this blog's photo gallery!

Alright, that's it for now!
Au revior!

Posted by LauraC2011 09:47 Archived in Canada

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