Green Card Ready
We decided to visit our neighbors up north for a quick, weekend getaway. Normally, Yagmur would have needed a visa but since she’s a U.S. permanent resident, she just needed an eTA (electronic Travel Authorization) which is easily attainable online for only 7 USD. Before heading off to Canada’s capital, Ottawa, we decided to pay a visit to Montreal.
We arrived at the airport and decided to buy two, 3 day metro/bus tickets (~14.50 USD pp). It was very simple to use the machine to buy our passes. There are also clear instructions right above the machine explainging which type of passes they offer.
Our first stop that morning was of course: brunch. We found a nice spot called Le Passe Compose. Having no clue what was delicious, we asked them to give us their 2 best dishes for us to try 🙂 We were not disappointed!
We explored all of Old Montreal.
Some of us contemplated the meaning of life.
The rest of us came to the realization that the best photo angle is not the one where everyone looks good, the best photo angle is the one where your gf looks good. #doublechin
We continued our journey and checked out the beautiful Notre Dame Basilica of Montreal.
Afterwards, we made our way to the top of Mount Royal for a beautiful view of Montreal.
Wherever we went, all signs pointed to Canada.
Canadians = Just Being Nice
After 2 days of exploring Montreal, we took an early train ride to Ottawa. I have always found VIA Rail Canada to be cheaper (30 USD pp) and better than Amtrak.
Upon arriving at Ottawa’s train station, we tried to purchase a bus ticket to head downtown. Unfortunately for us, paying via credit card was not an option. All bus tickets had to be purchased on the bus with cash. We tried to withdraw cash but the debit machines weren’t working. There was also no place to exchange currency.
Not wanting to just hang out at the train station all day, we double checked with another bus driver on what are options were.
“Can I pay you with USD? None of the ATMs are working and it looks like it’s cash only.” I finished explaining to the driver. He printed out 2 tickets and handed them to us.
“How much is it?” I asked to confirm.
“Don’t worry, take them. I’m just being nice.” he said with a smile. “and by the way, this bus won’t take you downtown but the next bus will.”
“Thank you so much!” I told the driver and dropped the little Canadian dollars that I had in the money box at the bus. It was definitely not enough but thanks to that bus driver, we got our bus passes for the day.
With no real plan in sight, we stumbled upon the office that gives out free tickets to check out the Parliament of Canada.
Walking around the downtown area was beautiful.
Total Costs $1,028 (SRB: $505; YA:$524)
The only difference in our costs between us was the eTA and travel insurance Yagmur had to get because she was a US permanent resident and not a citizen.
Her Budget (35.16% LTD)
We are definitely headed in the right direction. Traveling to a neighboring country made things easier and cheaper given that international weekend trips are definitely not easy from the U.S.
Her overall budget increased by 3.49% since Yerevan, slight improvement compared to Yerevan’s 4.77% increase, bringing her budget to 35.16% LTD.
Our Progress (42.86%)
Adding another trip to our map is always a good feeling!
With an early flight here and a night flight over there, the long weekend in Canada was definitely felt Monday morning at work. Nevertheless, it was worth the quick getaway to our neighbors up north!