Canadian Grand Prix!

Montreal Travel Blog

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For the weekend from the 23rd to the 25th of June, 2006, myself, Jill, Aisling, Sean, Shane, Una, Catriona and Barry headed to Montreal in Quebec, Canada for the Canadian Formula 1 Grand Prix! Shane was the only big motorsports fan out of the lot of us, although I do like watching it from time to time. Unfortunately I can't find the photos and videos (I have lots) right now, so when (if!) I find them I'll be sure to post them up!

We hired two cars for the trip, with myself, Jill, Una, Catriona and Barry in our car (a 2006 Chevy Impala), and Shane, Sean and Ais in the other. The drive took somewhere in the region of eight hours, and I drove the entire way. It was a good drive though, and we had a laugh! We had decided to stay at the Ramada Inn just outside of Montreal, and amazingly we found it soo easily! As much as I blame Google Maps for getting me lost in Boston so many times, I think it did a good job of directing us to our hotel! The hotel was actually quite nice, with decent, spacious rooms.
I think it was reasonably priced too.

I think we were exhausted that night, so we just stayed in the area around the hotel for food and got an early night. The next morning we were up bright and early, and we got the bus to the nearest metro station, which took us to downtown Montreal, which could only be described using one word: INSANE! The atmosphere was crazy, with the hype of the grand prix spread throughout the city. There were exotic cars on show, and the streets were bustling with people. We then navigated our way on the metro to the race track, where the crowd was absolutely massive. It was a roasting hot day too, and the 7Up sprinklers went down very well :) We made our way to our seats and enjoyed watching the drivers zoom around the track trying to qualify in as good a position as possible before the race the next day.

One thing I should point out is that the noise from these machines is unbelievable. It is so loud, and it is highly recommended that you invest in a pair of ear plugs if you don't want to damage your ears! We didn't do this, and to this day if I ever feel like my ears are ringing I attribute it to the grand prix weekend in Montreal! Our seats were right on a chicane, which I thought would allow us to get a good glimpse of the cars as they came around our way, but it was amazing how fast they were. They would come into the corner at ridiculously high speeds, slowing marginally and then they zoomed straight back off, down the next straight!

On the Saturday night we ventured into the city and sampled some of Montreal's insane night life. We went to some club that was playing cheesy 80's disco music.
They had these weird tables that were backlit and changed colours every couple of minutes. Of course, the colours were bright neon, as you'd expect! In fact, I think the club was even called "Disco"! How's that for cheese-o-rama!

With slightly sore heads we got up early the next morning and headed back down to the track where we enjoyed the race! If the qualifying was good, this was something else! It was amazing to watch the drivers attempt to overtake their competitors at about 200mph just coming out of a corner. We did see plenty of overtaking going on, and the best part was when a group of drivers came along at the same time! I really hope I find my videos of this, as you'd have to see it to believe it! Fernando Alonso won the race, and afterwards we stayed around the track where the sponsors had plenty of entertainment on offer!

After the race we ventured back to the metro station near the hotel, where we had cleverly parked the car this time.
We had already checked out of the hotel and were ready to head home! Of course, a little surprise awaited us in the fact that the main road between Montreal and Boston was closed, so we had to take a detour through some wonderful farming villages in southern Canada! This added a lot of time to our trip, but it was cool to see these farms, it was like a taste of home for us! I drove most of the way home, and I think we finally got back at 1.30am. The other car didn't make it back until about 4.30am as they left Montreal a little bit later than us! Shane was living in Providence, and had to get up at 6.30am and drive to Providence to pick up his workmates, so I'm guessing he wasn't in good form that morning!

When I got to work on the Monday morning, Mike one of my former workmates was dying to hear all about the trip.
My team were always fascinated by the way me and my friends would just get up and take 8 hour road trips at the weekend! They almost lived the weekend through us, if you get my drift!

I would recommend the Canadian Grand Prix as an experience to anyone. I wasn't overly impressed by Montreal, as it was a little too insane, but perhaps when the F1 isn't one it is a little bit more normal! A great weekend and a great experience!
X_Drive says:
I would so much enjoy attending a Formula 1 race. That had to be a real blast!
Posted on: May 06, 2007
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photo by: cvanzoen