Saturday, May 04, 2013


Pau went to a Genetics conference close to Montreal and I tagged along for a short vacation. We spent four days at the hotel in an amazing room with views to a frozen lake. It was great, although Pau had to work most of the time. He presented a poster and a short talk and I couldn't be more proud.

After the conference we spent the rest of the week in Montreal, getting to know a tiny little bit of the city. Right in the first hours a couple passed by us on monocycles. We were definitely in the city of Cirque du Soleil and Just for Laughs. Not really our kind of entertainment...
We rented a beautiful loft on AirBnb. Beautiful on the inside, that is. The building itself was really squatty and noisy, but it was fun and a lot more private and cheaper than a hotel. I was prepared for all the cold weather I expected from april in Quebec, but luckily it was sunny and warm every single day we were there.

I don't want to say we were disappointed with the city because we did see some really nice places (like old montreal, one nice neighbourhood with lots of cafes and bookshops and this art instalation with musical swings), but I admit I was expecting a lot more. French really is the first (and pretty much the only) language there, which is awesome but made me feel a bit weird at times, having to explain I don't speak french everywhere. It was one of my first trips, and definitely the longest, to a place where I don't speak the language at all.
I'm probably spoiled by the way things are in Vancouver, because I felt the city to be a little bit decadent and dirty. There were abandoned buildings right downtown and a lot of potholes on the streets and sidewalks. It was also weird to see a lot of strip tease and sex- related shops everywhere. The shop's windows were also dark, dirty and decadent... I wish we taken more pictures to illustrate it all. We're still not very good in the picture taking department.

As for the culinary adventures, there was not much on the conference phase since we were stranded on the hotel eating buffet food, but in Montreal we tried Shabu Shabu, which is a sort of Japanese fondue, that has nothing fondue-y or tasty about it, unfortunately, because the idea seemed really fun. It's a pot of vegetable stock placed on top of an electric stove to which you add tofu and vegetables to cook, dip them on different sauces and much, while sipping on the vegetable infused stock. It all ended up tasting next to nothing with very strong hints of a foul algae. Definitely a one time thing.
While in Chinatown we bought some fake meats made with shiitake mushroom to cook at home that were really tasty. On our last day we had veggie burgers and poutine at a very very cute place on Mile End, that nice neighbourhood, finishing up with a sugar and lemon crepe and coffee for desert.


This is Pau taking over. It was a very lucky coincidence the that the first time we're in Quebec my best friend's band from Barcelona is playing there. We got to spend almost 24 hours together which fuelled me up with social happiness enough to survive until we next time visit Barcelona. Plus we went to an awesome punk show with Crazy Spirit, Glam and Una Bèstia Incontrolable. Pretty preeeetty cool altogether.

Just an ordinary French-Canadian punk car, I guess.


Crazy Spirit.

Punk house breakfast.

Last but not least, we bought a totally awesome vegan shitake mushroom lamb in a Chinatown supermarket and we cooked the best of meals. Too bad that we didn't take any pictures of neither the frozen package nor the final outcome. 

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