When our train arrived in Montreal, we found ourselves in an underground station. We walked a short distance into a large food court, then to elevators that took us up to....the lobby of our hotel! We had just had our first experience with Montreal's underground city. Our city tour began almost immediately, before we could even check in to the hotel. I suppose the rooms were not ready yet. By the way, our hotel, Queen Elizabeth, is supposed to be one of the 500 best hotels in the world. Out of curiosity, I checked room rates as an individual. The best offer was $229 Canadian per night. That's about $173.00 U.S. (The tour price included all hotel charges, so I don't know what the tour company paid.)
Here are photos I took of some of the places that I thought were interesting. First, the Notre-Dame Basilica and it's separate wedding chapel. With more than 7,000 pipes, the Casavant pipe organ is one of the largest on the continent. If you want to hear the organ roar, drop in for the 11 AM solemn Mass on Sunday and pay special attention to the recessional.
The quality of the photos of the altar and organ are not very good. The interior of the church was dimly lit, and a camera flash would not help over the distance involved. The cool blue lighting behind the altar was really beautiful.
Now, it is the last day of our tour. We first visited the stadium built for the 1976 summer Olympics, then the nearby Montreal Botanical Gardens, one of the world's finest. I will not attempt to describe the various flowers and plants we saw. Let them speak fro themselves. You will recognize the recreation of a Japanese temple setting. Some of the photos are of the roses collection, of which the Gardens are justly proud. They were recently given a "world's best" award by international experts.
If you want to see more of the 1976 Olympics that Montreal hosted, go to this site:
We had a memorable farewell dinner on this last day of the tour. The dinner was at our hotel, and we were given a tour of the kitchens. Very impressive. The food was, as usual, excellent. I think the French Canadians really know how to cook. I left Canada with a good impression of the places I saw and the people. The folks I ran into were among the friendliest I have ever met.