Our trip was mostly for the concert, but we did take a side trip to the Botanical Gardens to see the Magic of Lanterns at the Chinese Garden. Even before it got dark the colorful exhibits were awe-inspiring. A woman, Shen Qi, was playing "Scarborough Fair" on the Chinese violin. The peaceful gardens, combined with the music wafting through the air was magical. I purchased one of her CDs. As we wandered through the other gardens we spotted the flash of a red tail and to our shock and surprise a beautiful fox loped jauntily past us and disappeared in the bushes. We could hardly believe what we had seen, but later, in the Japanese Garden, it ran toward us again. This time, my husband was fortunate to get it on film.
Our hotel, the Auberge Bonaparte, where we enjoyed a lovely group dinner on Saturday night.
One evening we all had wine up on the hotel's rooftop terrace, where there is a small area with chairs and a table for intimate gatherings overlooking Basilica Notre Dame and the lights of the city. Bonaparte's, the hotel restaurant, was superb. Our room price included a cooked to order breakfast each morning, which was a huge value. Again, reminiscent of France, we had fresh croissants, a beautiful little fruit salad, yogurt, omelets or any other type of eggs, among other items. Our dinner the evening after the gardens was a group affair. We had a table in the back room in the corner where we could visit undisturbed and we sat and ate and drank for hours. The menu had variety and was superb. Best of all the prixe fixe was really reasonable.
Here are some photos of our weekend in Montreal. For more on Eric and the Voices for Hope concert and photos of the rehearsal of the concert, see http://www.erickunze.com/