Learning German and hiking in the Austrian Alps

Which French do you speak?

French is such a diverse language and its speakers can prove to be extremely creative. Did you know, for instance, that different French speakers use different words to count, that some of them grow up using French words that have a different meaning to that in Standard French, or that they use different idioms depending on where they come from? Well, if you’re interested to know more about the French spoken outside of France, I gladly invite you to read further.

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Over in Vancouver

Consistently ranked among the most liveable cities in the world, Vancouver is a place of incredible opportunity and diversity. This picturesque Canadian metropolis is surrounded by nature: mountains, forests, and the sea. However, Vancouver also packs in a large population due to well-planned high-rise residential towers that protect and preserve its green spaces.

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When in Montreal

Hello everyone! This article will feature 10 fun things to do when visiting Montreal! From cultural and sporty activities, to typical Canadian foods to try, we hope these suggestions take all preferences into account.

Montreal is an absolutely wonderful city, offering a wide range of varied activities during every season.

Without any further ado, let’s begin!

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A short and fascinating trip to Quebec City!

Being French, I have always been fascinated by Canada and its French-speaking provinces. Travelling to Toronto last summer, I took the opportunity to visit a friend in Quebec City and see it for myself.

1st Quebec4One of the most striking things for me and for anyone from France, I believe, was the accent. Quebeckers sound so exotic to me! It was really refreshing to hear different manners of speech and a whole lot of new idioms and even vocabulary. This lovely accent also makes them sound incredibly welcoming and friendly. Actually, that might not be the whole truth since they are genuinely welcoming and friendly people anyway!

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Incroyable! Wunderbar!

They say that French is one of the richest and most beautiful languages in the world, but if you ask me one thing it does lack is an appropriate superlative to describe Montreal. “Incroyable” is probably the closest but it still feels insufficient. Wunderbar, on the other hand, best captures my feelings about Montreal. I came to this conclusion near the end of my stay. I had just seen two amazing free shows in Old Montreal; coupled with a trip to ‘Tam Tams’, Montreal’s weekly drum circle and cultural festival.

I realized that I had just had an entire days’ worth of entertainment without spending a dime! I walked along the St. Lawrence River in the Old Port satisfied with the fact that there are very few places in the world where you can do that. Certainly, not in Berlin that’s for sure!

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Retail Therapy in Montreal!

One word and one word only comes to mind when I think of Montreal: SHOPPING! As your average red-blooded American girl, I already had my share of shopping experience under my oh so fashionable belt when I arrived in Montreal, BUT even I was soon exhausted from going from boutique to fabulous boutique in this amazing city!

Of course, I’d come here to learn French, and that’s what I did – not only in my classes every morning in the school – but also every afternoon, out exploring the city and its wonderful shops!

There simply isn’t enough time in the day to see every store in Canada’s fashion capital and thanks to their expansive underground, you don’t even have to go outside the city centre if you don’t want to. Sure, they have big name chains but what makes Montreal shopping particularly special is the little shops you can’t find anywhere else. What’s best about these tiny boutiques is that you know no one back home is going to be wearing what you’re wearing.

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It’s colder than Spain!

There are not enough adjectives for describing my stay in Quebec. I can just say that I’ve discovered another world there! I live in Spain, very close to the French border and when I decided to live in a French speaking country to improve my French level, I thought Canada would be the perfect destination for discovering a new culture and French accent and what I’ve found there has exceed my expectations! From the people to the food or even the new winter weather experience have been fascinating!

Actually, I wouldn’t have thought that it could be so cold! And then you could say “Yes, but you’re a Spanish girl! You don’t know anything about cold” Well…that might be true, but we reached even -50° in February! I was wearing all the clothes I had brought: thermal trousers and t-shirt, two pairs of trousers, a long-sleeved shirt, a jumper, a huge fur coat, a scarf, a hat and gloves and I could still feel the “cool” air going through them. It was a good and exciting experience that I could stand just for an hour thanks to the caribou (a typical and strong drink that I wouldn’t have drunk if it hadn’t help me to warm up), while the carnival parade was crossing Quebec’s streets.

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Why Montreal is my dream city!

I have never in my life been to a place that screamed at me “Come to live here”… until I went to Montreal! It is AWESOME!

Even though I had never been to Montreal before, I wasn’t expecting to find it much different to the cities I know in the US. Boy was I wrong! After 5 minutes of being there and despite the fact that Montreal is bilingual, you are still in no doubt that the city is utterly French… yet it’s still quite different to any French city. It’s completely unique!

Honestly, I’m sure there cannot be another place in the world where you can sit in a ‘resto-bar’ with a name like ‘Le Vieux Dublin’, enjoy a European beer while watching Les Canadiens play ice hockey against the Boston Bruins with commentary in French, then pop to the brasserie next door for a dinner of Quebec cheeses, foie-gras, and veal burgers!

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