I got yesterday morning from the second largest landmass, the first nation of hockey and the best part of North America.

After bagging Mullet Creek, Mississauga, I went to Montreal to visit the suburb of Longueuil, from where the Quebecois name for a mullet, un coupe Longueuil, comes.

I was well impressed with Montreal – dating back to the 1600s and with a strong French influence, the city had a historic, continental feel that reminded me of a French or Belgian city, and which was lacking in the few other parts of Canada I’d seen.

It helped that I stayed in a very cool and sociable hostel for a couple of nights, where it was easy to meet fellow travellers and go sight-seeing together. Indeed, so intrigued were two other guys with my mission that they joined me on my trek to Longueuil.

MontrealAlso, Montreal presented me with a chance to dust off my patchy French. Other than staff in shops, pubs or restaurants, however, I didn’t actually speak to all that many Quebecquers.

The best use my French got was with a Catalan guy who spoke no English, with whom I chatted quite a bit, even stretching to a lengthy discussion about the comparative politics of identity in Catalonia and Scotland.

I was quite proud that my hesitant, faltering French managed this, although I gained substantial reinforcement of my theory that if you don’t know the French word for something, simply say the English word in a French accent and with a French ending, and you’ll not be far away.

There’s photos of my Montreal adventures, and more from the week’s adventures, in the Canada set in my Flickr.

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