A few years ago I managed to live out one of my dreams to travel around Canada. The cities I visited were Montreal, Ottawa, Quebec and Toronto and I travelled using megabus. Canada is a huge country with a lot of land between their large and vibrant cities and I do not drive so I only had three options to get around; plane, train or bus. I chose bus because it was the most convenient and economical. megabus came up trumps in terms of covering the cities that I wanted to go to.
megabus is a low cost bus service that operates in North America, the UK and Europe. They have wifi, charging points and air-conditioning. They also have a toilet onboard and decent leg room so you don’t get too uncomfortable plus there are a couple of stops so you can grab a coffee and stretch your legs.
As I was in America visiting relatives in Atlanta, I took a flight to New York where I met my friend and we took the megabus to Montreal. It was an overnight trip which took off at around 11pm and arrived in the early hours of the morning. The trip was pretty smooth even when we crossed the border, we did not have to move because the smiling Canadian officials came onboard the bus to check our credentials. To be honest I could not have asked for a warmer welcome – they even had a sign up saying welcome to Canada.
Canada is interesting because it consists of 10 provinces and three territories, most of the country is broken up into regions of shared culture. For instance the country has French speaking cities such as Montreal and Quebec City and English speaking ones like Toronto and Vancouver.
Montréal is a gorgeous city with chic neighbourhoods. Everything is written in French and they even have their own Metro so it’s hard not to feel like you are in Paris. While we were in Montreal we took day trips to Ottawa and Quebec City which were close by. Ottawa has exactly what it takes to make it Canada’s capital city. Parliament Hill takes centre stage with grand buildings made of Victorian architecture and museums such as the National Gallery of Canada.
While Ottawa is full of the pomp and grandeur, Quebec City is the complete opposite. It is one of the oldest cities in North America and has amazing landmarks. It is also home to The Petit Champlain district’s which contains cobblestone streets that are lined with bistros and boutiques.
Then it was off to Toronto which to me was like heaven. It has everything; the financial district, a mainstream shopping area with high street shops, posh area with designer shops, hipster area with markets and arthouses as well as areas with endless chic coffee bars and restaurants. Part of the reason why I loved Toronto was because it is easy to get round with trams or the subway.
Then it was time to head back to New York, this time we travelled by day and I must say the welcome by the American immigration was nowhere near as friendly as the Canadian one. They might as well as had a sign up saying ‘ what the hell do you want?’ I just found them unnecessarily unpleasant.
Overall megabus is a great option if you are planning to travel around North America or even Europe. The prices are cheap, it is clean and it gets you where you need to go.
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