Saturday 27 January 2018

Still planning Day 22, Summer 2018: The Adirondack

In the past, we've only blogged trips on Little Rabbit's Planning. After a couple of days of migraine-inducing marathon planning for Summer 2018, I set myself a limit of 1 hour/day and decided to blog the process.

From Google: the 'trench in the trees' and a Canadian border post, about 20km west of the train crossing.

The Adirondack from New York to Montreal

(Updated: 7.34) 8.15 - the train goes up the Hudson River Valley, through Yonkers (8.44), Crouton-Harmon (9.03), Poughkeepsie (9.45), Rhinecliff (10.01), Hudson (10.21), Albany (10.47-11.10 - Rennselaer Station is small but very sweet), Shenectady (11.33), Saratoga Springs (12.02), Port Edwards Glen Falls (12.23). So many places I’ve heard of.

It continues past the Adirondacks on the left and Lake Champlain on the right: Whitehall (12.47), Ticonderoga (13.20), Port Henry (13.42), Westport (14.02), Plattsburgh (15.20). So many places I’ve never heard of.

Amtrak assumes that if you’re riding their trains instead of sweating through airports, you’re doing it in a spirit of decadence. Therefore, they publish a nice little guide brochure, telling you about the places you’re going through.


Amtrak restaurant cars are pretty nice, but the Adirondack doesn't have one. I wouldn't count on the cafe car for anything other than weak coffee, weak beer and a packet of crisps potato chips. I already made a note to buy enough food for the trip.

Canadian immigration

US immigration is at Rouses Point, Canadian immigration is at Cantic, round about 17.00? I think they do the immigration controls on the train and it looks as though it may take a while. As a US citizen, Mike just needs ID to enter Canada. For a while, I thought that as an EU citizen I needed a passport and an eTA. It turns out the eTA only applies if you’re entering Canada by air. Let's just hope there isn't a special clause for people entering by train and leaving by air. NOTE TO SELF: I still need to call Amtrak to confirm the ID we'll be using at the border. We really should have done this when we made the train reservation. We assumed we could enter it afterwards, as you can with plane reservations, but apparently not.

While I was researching the immigration process, we learned this interesting tidbit about the USA-Canada border: instead of a wall, they maintain a trench in the trees! Along the whole border! We zoomed in on parts of this border with the satellite view in Google Maps. You can see the trench, and even some little neighborhood roads across the border which seem to be blocked with concrete bollards.


We arrive at Montreal Gare Centrale at (updated: 19.01) 19.11, passing through Saint Lambert (18.57) on the other side of the St Lawrence River. It’s a 15 minute walk to the hostel, partly through Montreal's Underground City (if we can find our way). I've reserved a double room with a shared bathroom for two nights.

Quite a few restaurants in Montreal close on Monday, and many others close by 22.00. I’ve noted some open and likely places close to the hostel in Google Maps. One or two have outdoor terraces. Also, I think Place d’Youville, on one side of our hostel, is pedestrianized in summer.

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