Hypothetically, if you suddenly awoke at noon on a Sunday to find yourself laying face-down and horizontal across your bed with one shoe, no pants and a fan on full-blast pointed directly at your forehead, what would you do? Go back to sleep? Answer your roommate’s two-hour old text wondering if you want coffee? Get in a van with a water bottle, your camera and three of your best friends and drive around the city for five hours? Yes, that’s the one! Don’t shake your head, this is the best idea you’ve had all week, we promise.
Hangover Tourism: the act of touring your city by vehicle (thus, little actual walking required) – and all the monuments/sites/spots you can’t be arsed to visit regularly – while you are hungover-as-shit and wouldn’t be doing anything productive anyway, apart from catching up on True Blood/Peep Show/Girls (HAVE YOU SEEN HBO’S GIRLS YET? DO.) and eating grilled cheeses. With yellow mustard.
Yes, hangover tourism is a thing, and it’s a thing you should try.
Start your roommate’s boyfriend’s van (he can drive), pile in, crank the tunes (the obscurer the better), roll down the windows and just driiiiiive. Here are some topnotch and easy-peasy things to see!
The Top of the Mountain. We mean the east-facing lookouts that are accessible by car, where you park along the side of the road, walk three feet and check out the landscape. Sure, there are usually a few tourists around, but the view is magnificent, all the way to Olympic Stadium and like, Vermont or something. Anyway, the usual 500 stairs to the top is generally unappealing on your best day, so you may as well ‘climb’ the mountain with four wheels and a headache. There is a beautiful park and a lake or two up there, as well. Onwards.
Ridiculous Mansions in Outremont. Grab the first left-turn you can find off Côte-Sainte-Catherine and slowly meander up the side streets, where the rich play. The homes are intense cathedrals of stone/glass/wood/brick/steel/elaborate landscaping with beautiful cars parked in the driveways and nobody around. Ever. Maybe like a gardener or something, but that’s it. And it’s not creepy! Why else would people build homes like that, if not to be seen by a van-load of bleary-eyed 25 year olds driving 7km/h? Exactly.
The Other Side of the Mountain. Continue heading west on Côte-Sainte-Catherine. Take a gander at HEC, some private high schools, the CEPSUM and UdeM. You know how you always go out on St-Laurent and Bishop and the people at the bars with you are all 23 year old Anglophone McGill students? This is where the other half of Montreal’s youth population are educated. Found them!
Saint-Joseph’s Oratory. While you have a vehicle at your disposal, we highly recommend you drive up to Saint-Joseph’s Oratory, that really big basilica in the mountain that you can see in the distance as you drive into Montreal on the 40 (or, the one you can see from every rooftop in Outremont). The cost of admission is $5 per vehicle, and it beats the heck out of taking the (very holy, don’t get us wrong) stairs. The interior is stunning and peaceful, and the city-view from the steps is fantastic. Have a sit-down. Swig of water. Take some photos. Call it a day.
On your way home, pick up some Romados chicken and/or Indian take-out before passing out on your couch (again). Go on, you deserve it.
~ Tyler Yank