We started our trip to Montréal with our quickest train journey so far, just under 2 hours from Ottawa, and we arrived into Gare Centrale at lunchtime on Sunday. A quick bite to eat and then a short walk to check in at the Grey Nun’s Residence at Concordia University. It definitely reminded us of our time at St. Peter’s (Katy) and Linksfield (Craig) halls at RGU. The communal toilets and showers were definitely not the highlight of the stay but we survived and we both managed to shower without forgetting to take anything with us! With a busy few days to follow we decided to stay local and had a lovely Italian meal at the nearby Wientein & Gavino’s and then, for a bit of fun, we went to Putting Edge. A fair 18 holes were played by both at the futuristic style crazy golf on Guy Street however neither of us were below par (53) although Craig did win by 2 strokes (not that he is competitive about it at all!) Our stay in the super cheap university accommodation meant that sadly we did not have the luxury of air conditioning for our stay and we feel we are able to relate to the UK at the moment as we struggled to sleep with only a fan and open windows in 25C nighttime temperatures.
We left our hostel and headed to Union Station with our bags strapped to us. In the sweltering 30C heat we couldn't have been more delighted when we boarded the train to Ottawa to find it was super comfortable and, most importantly, air conditioned! The journey ran over by about an hour but apart from that VIA Rail would put Scotrail to shame (Craig had a bigger smile when he saw how much leg room was available).
A 4am alarm. A 5am pick-up. A dark drive through a relatively quiet New York City, we arrived at La Guardia airport at 05:45 and boy were we early. Checked in, baggage dropped, security negotiated (no extra searches today) and omelettes finished we still had over 2 hours to wait. Fortunately the stone’s throw over to Toronto was quick (ahead of schedule) and we headed downtown on the Union-Pearson (UP) train, after some misadventure on the internal rail transfer system of course.