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My Favourite Place

Not having great curtains in your flat has its perks: you wake up as soon as the sun has risen. This meant that getting up for Nordic ski practice at 7am when it is -20 degrees celcius outside isn’t as hard as you would expect. My favourite place in Montreal was Mount Royal. A beautiful “mountain” (more a hill by Scottish standards) is the central, social green hub of the city. It’s big enough to get lost in, but not too bigIMG_1142 so you can find your way out a few hours later. In the heart of summer, it is a place for chilling in the park, having a picnic and frolicking on the green grass amidst the trees. In autumn, it is a place for taking pictures and viewing the beautiful red maple leaves. In winter, however, it becomes a snowy mound of… snow – a perfect haven for Nordic skiers. It has classic ski tracks which circle all the way around the mountain, as well as smaller trails which can be used by the more experienced skiers who wish to challenge themselves, whilst providing the opportunity to spot squirrels and raccoons too.IMG_1946 On Tuesday and Thursdays mornings, we would meet at the team room in McGill gym, dressed up head to toe in warm gear, our red nordic ski team jackets hiding the multitude of layers we had on underneath. We would wax our skis, depending on the temperature outside, put on our boots and bravely head outside. We would then head up Mount Royal, slowly winding our way along the white paths, between the trees which had been kissed the night before by an icy cold winter’s frost. The mountain itself had a tranquil air about it. It was a silent place, an area giving pleasant experiences to those who walked its paths. I loved its trails lined with trees, its squirrels collecting acorns and its -30 temperatures in winters. It was my favourite place. IMG_3682 I asked a local man stood next to an iconic angel statue on the bottom loop of Mount Royale their favourite place in Montreal. They smiled and pointed down towards their feet. He replied: “right here.”IMG_5219

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