Whenever we travel, Laura and I cut costs by swapping apartments. We weren’t planning any trips this spring, but a few months ago Laura saw a listing for a couple in Montreal who wanted to stay in Manhattan in May. We figured why not?
After working out all the details with our new French friends, we decided to forego a plane trip in favor of the Amtrak Adirondack line, direct from New York City to Montreal’s Central Station. The price was right and we heard from friends that it was one of the most scenic trips they had ever taken.
After waking up a few hours before our usual time, we headed to Penn Station and boarded the train to Montreal. The trip was scheduled to take 10 hours including all stops, so we settled in for the long journey.
We didn’t end up sleeping very much, as the scenery kept us awake for most of the trip. The first leg of the journey took us along the Hudson River, with views of the Palisades, West Point, Bear Mountain and other natural landmarks. Soon the background changed to sprawling farmland and small towns before we sidled up next to luscious green Vermont and Lake Champlain. It took a few cups of coffee to make it to this point, but the train was comfortable (despite the non-functioning WiFi) and we were enjoying the new experience.
Finally, we reached the border where we sat for about 45 minutes after customs agents inspected everyone’s passports and declaration forms. This was definitely the least interesting part of the trip, as the café car was closed and the scenery not so interesting.
We got on our way and a little more than an hour later, we pulled into Montreal’s Central Station, ready to find our little apartment and prepare for our first Québécois experience: dinner at the famed Au Pied de Cochon.
- Ryan and Laura