Snow, slush, rain and wind. These are some of the things one has to deal with while living in Montreal during this season. Let me be the first to say, it is a small price to pay in exchange for experiencing all the beauty and excitement thriving in Montreal. These last two months have been cold, yes. But I wouldn’t imagine living in Montreal any other time of the year because Winter is just so breathtaking here.
My roommate and I started an amazing tradition that I recommend to every current and potential study abroad student. Once a week, do something together outside of the dorm that requires teamwork. The laughs you share and the bonds you make become warm memories as you look back. We decided to hike up to Mont Royal once a week and enjoy the view from Chateau Royale’s balcony. The stairs leading up to the top are too many to count and the hike up is not easy. It was really funny the first time we went up because my legs are half the height of Ali’s (my roommate). She’d be halfway up the flight of stairs while my carrot stumps had to work overtime to catch up. We would hear my feet shuffling and both of us would laugh so hard it was difficult to breathe. She pushed me when I would want to stop and I made sure never to let her down. The first time we saw the view from the top, it took our breath away. It looked like an image out of a story book. The buildings are covered with snow and the lights tell their own story about Montreal. That view amazes me every time I see it.
Another thing that makes me want to be in Montreal every Winter is the event called, “Montreal en Lumiere.” This outdoor winter carnival that takes places after sunset is every person’s dream. There are fun rides like the Ferris wheel and sledding down an ice railway. The festival is at Quartier des Spectacle, which is conveniently located around the corner from our residence. (We live in the perfect location.) Montreal en Lumiere lasts for a little over a week and entertains crowds every night. If you aren’t attracted to the games and rides, the food will pull you in on its own. There are vendors from around the world that will satisfy your taste buds.
Finally, I was fortunate enough to experience the Winter Olympics in a place that actually has the season, unlike California where it is summer year round. The amount of passion in each Canadians’ eyes when they talked about the games blew me away. Or when Canada scored the world seemed to come to a halt as the minor celebration took place. I found myself watching the games and cheering for Canada. It seems like I’ve given up my red, white, and blue because Canada has my heart.
Trust me, you don’t want to miss this. Join us, we are winter.
– Lucy Dishoian, Public Health Sciences, University of California, Official Blogger, Spring 2014