Finally I've found the time to write the second part of my backpacking in North America post! I've just got back from Paris and leave for uni tomorrow so have been hugely preoccupied with getting all my washing done (glamorous, I know) and gathering everything I need for Falmouth before I leave. So that's todays reason behind how useless a blogger I am. But back to the post... After New York I headed to Toronto where I spent three days. I didn't actually see much of the city because I had such a lovely couchsurfing host and such lovely fellow couchsurfers staying there that I spent all my time with them in the park playing softball and flunkyball (google it)! I really appreciate being able to meet such amazing people who I probably wouldn't have met if I'd been travelling with friends. Travelling alone definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone in that respect.
I also stopped of at the Niagara Falls with Leon, one of the fellow couchsurfers. It definitely wasn't what we were expecting! Beside the falls is a huge industrial park full of hotels and casinos and even a Starbucks... I don't understand that, why ruin such a beautiful part of the country?! However the waterfall itself was still really impressive, it's so long and so loud! We paid to go behind the falls into the huge tunnel system which was pretty cool as you get to see the falls much closer than you do from the tourist walk way. It was also only $20 from Toronto to Niagara by coach so I'd still recommend going if you're in the area!
After Toronto I headed for Montreal. Again I was staying with a couchsurfing host plus her flatmates and they were lovely. Overall I had a really positive experience using couchsurfing. I had heard some weird stories which made me nervous before going but it was completely fine. I think as long as you're staying with someone who has great reviews you can't go too wrong but definitely trust your instincts. Originally I was meant to be staying with a different host in Montreal but I felt he was sending weird vibes closer towards the time of my stay so I cancelled with him and found my new hosts where I was really happy!
Montreal was really beautiful, I was there for just under a week so had plenty of time to explore the city. I especially liked Old Port. Lot's of churches and a cathedral combined with French being the first language in Montreal gave it a really European feel. Also there is the actual port which is really pretty and there was a food festival on at the time which I enjoyed (stuffed myself)! I spent a lot of time relaxing in parks, reading and listening to podcasts (PanDolly and Guardian Long Reads are my favourite if you're interested) and of course eating crepes. Mount Royal was really lovely too. I went up once in the day and once in the night for the view of the city and also because the walk is really nice. They have a piano up there and luckily for me lots of talented tourists to play it. One evening I sat listening to different people play for hours, it was so relaxing. I was really sad to leave Montreal as it was the last stop on my trip. Travelling alone is definitely something I'd do again but I'm back at uni now so it will have to wait for next summer! Hope you enjoyed reading about my trip, let me know if you have any questions!