A Travellerspoint blog

Falls, pain and challenges

overcast -6 °C

After a pretty successful first night at skiing the previous night, I was pumped for an exciting day of skiing. I started by catching a chairlift to the summit and trying out the green run. Unfortunately, I wasn’t as prepared as I thought I was. I struggled to control my speed while skiing down slopes, consequently to stop myself from hitting a tree or someone and severely injuring myself, I had to fall straight down on the hard snow – very painful! Speeding down slopes without much control was not only potentially dangerous but almighty scary and painful. So after finishing the green run an hour later I felt miserable, wet and sore, and headed to the pub for lunch.

I sat in the pub for a couple of hours – not drinking! – but defrosting and trying to figure out what I was doing wrong and how to solve it. After using trusty Google to search for advice for skiing correctly and hitting the bunny run to tweak my technique, I felt I was more prepared for my next ski run.

That night, the whole MISN group had a pre-drinks party in one of the chalets and then we bussed back to the chateau at the base of the mountain to go clubbing. The chateau had been converted into a club with a DJ, drinks and even a mini-race track! I had a great night partying with my new friends!

Posted by mccardj 14:54 Archived in Canada Tagged skiing mount_saint_anne Comments (0)

Learning to ski

sunny -5 °C

Today I departed for Mount Saint Anne in Quebec City on the McGill International Student Network (MISN) ski trip. We arrived at a very modern and spacious chalet called Montmorency Chalets and were soon settled in. Before I hit the slopes that night, I needed my ski gear. I hadn’t realised how much gear is needed to ski – a helmet, goggles (or in my case sunglasses), very warm gloves, and, of course, skis and poles. With my gear in tow, I had my first ski lessons. I picked up skiing pretty quickly, I learnt how to move, stop, then turn. Soon, I was ready to tackle the bunny hill and did pretty well.

After my brief round of skiing, I headed to the pub with the group to warm myself up. The pub had a brilliant view overlooking Mount Saint Anne and the ski resort and I tried Budweister for the first time – it was pretty good. After dinner and a few drinks, we took a yellow bus (just like in The Simpsons) home to our chalets. We capped off a great night by playing some drinking games and partying.

Posted by mccardj 14:50 Archived in Canada Tagged skiing mount_saint_anne Comments (1)

Ice skating on Beaker Lake

overcast -2 °C

I began my day with a quick session at the gym then headed to Mount Royal Park to meet up with some of the McGill international students. We headed up the mountain bound for Lac aux Castors, or Beaver Lake, to do some ice skating. The lake was very large and completely frozen, ideal conditions for skating. I found the skating very challenging and dangerous at times because the surface wasn’t very smooth and even had footprints and cracks in it. I really enjoyed the skating and only fell over once. I’ve had a tremendous weekend of fun, learning and adventure. I’m hoping for an even better one next week.

Places visited:
• Mount Royal Park
• Beaver Lake

French words learnt:
• Lac => lake
• Castors => beaver

Posted by mccardj 11:44 Archived in Canada Tagged mount_royal beaver_lake Comments (0)

Notre-Dame Basilica

overcast -6 °C

I had a sublime time today exploring more of the city with Julian. We walked down the very hip street of Saint Laurent through to Chinatown. We passed the Lucien-Saulnier building, the old Montreal courthouse, and City Hall on our way to the Notre-Dame Basilica. Before we entered the basilica we had lunch at Eggspectations, a restaurant similar to Pancake Parlour. I had a scrumptious strawberry pancake with maple syrup. The toilet doors were quite funny there, with ‘Jack’ on the men’s toilet door and, of course, ‘Jill’ on the women’s toilet door.

After lunch we headed back to the basilica to explore the world inside. The inside was awe-inspiring. The basilica altar was enormous with towers and intricately craved statues and ornaments. The entire place was without doubt the most stunning building I have ever seen. It felt very holy.

Once we said goodbye to the basilica we continued to Old Port, which is the area beside the grand and frozen Saint Lawrence River. During our walk, we came across a street artist performing magic tricks and playing with fire, thoroughly entertaining the crowd. We eventually headed home after a very interesting and exciting day.

Places visited today:
• Old Montreal
• Chinatown
• Lucien-Saulnier Building
• City Hall
• Eggspectations
• Notre-Dame Basilica
• Notre Dame West Street
• Old Port
• Vauquelin Square

French words learnt:
• Étudiant => student
• Place => square

Posted by mccardj 12:29 Archived in Canada Tagged notre-dame_basilica old_montreal old_port Comments (0)

The End of My First Week

snow -4 °C

Today was a relatively quiet day. It capped off the end of my first week of university for 2011. Overall my classes are interesting and I am enjoying them, but they are quite challenging so hopefully I can keep up with the pace. I also went to the gym for a work-out for the first time this year. It was quite difficult but rewarding. For dinner I cooked myself hamburgers, chips and vegies. It was very tasty and well cooked! Despite that, I don’t really enjoy cooking, too much work and cleaning up. I’ll stick to the eating part.

French words learnt today:
• Nord => north
• Sud => south
• Est => eas
• Ouest => west

Posted by mccardj 12:12 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

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