As luck would have it we had four free days between our Montréal and Halifax house sits. A reasonable amount of time to play tourist in Ottawa. We have managed to visit the capital cities of 18 other countries and it was always a bit embarrassing to admit that we had never been to our own capital so the time was ripe.

We were extremely fortunate to be here during the celebration of Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee. In addition to the beacon lighting we also walked by to enjoy the lights projected onto the Parliament Building.
Continuing with our good luck we also happen to be present for the Ribfest on Sparks Street. Oh my, what a feast.

A word of caution if you are a museum goer and are planning a trip here. Avoid Monday and Tuesday, as most are closed. As we arrived Sunday night we had to do some adjusting of our plans.

The single most powerful monument, in my opinion, is the National Holocaust Monument. The shear size and rawness of the design, along with the gripping images depicted on the concrete were a testament to the brutally and resilience of humans.
The National War Memorial with the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is a beautifully rendered and moving tribute to Canadian veterans who have served and sacrificed for our country.
We understand that old buildings need restoration, however it is still disappointing to arrive and find that places like the Parliament buildings are closed and inaccessible due to ongoing work. It did provide an opportunity to get the best exterior shots we could.
Continuing with the inaccessibility theme. The impressive Notre Dame Cathedral and Basilica were nice to observe from the outside, but inaccessible while we were there.
All was not lost though. The Rideau Canal locks were very impressive and access to them was pretty well unrestricted. It was neat to be able to walk out onto the gates to get the perspectives you wanted. Sadly at that time my main camera lens picked that moment to pack it in and stop working. Oh, the challenges we face.
Unfortunately we never made it into the National Gallery of Canada. It is an impressive looking building but it lost out to the National War Museum where I happily spent an entire day.
Our last day of museums was spent on the money side of things We did a tour of the Royal Canadian Mint and later, wandered though the Bank of Canada Museum. The Bank of Canada is made up of very in-depth displays and some neat interactive activities. However it was edged out by the enthusiasm of the tour guide at the Royal Mint. Both are great places to visit, especially if you don’t want to have to spend hours going through them.

We enjoyed our time in Ottawa even though we were made painfully aware that we are out of practice in spending hours a day walking. We also had a wonderful opportunity to meet up with a couple we had met on a cruise 7 years ago. A great reason to check out some establishments in Byward Market with people familiar with the area.

Welcome to our travel blog. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to say, "I'm out of here?" Well we did, and in 2013 we made it a reality. We sold or gave away all of our possessions other than what fit in our luggage and we set off on an endless adventure. Part of our goal is to share our experiences with others and hopefully provide some information, motivation, or just a moments escape. The general idea was to look for a place that would be ideal to settle down in. However in the meantime it is about experiencing life in different countries amongst different cultures and learning how to understand and appreciate each other. A large part of our time is spent housesitting which provides an excellent opportunity to experience more of the "normal" neighbourhoods as opposed to the tourist locales. Though we make sure to enjoy those as well. So through plenty of photographs and a running commentary come and share with us our life on the road.

1 comment on “Ottawa

  1. Anonymous

    Gosh Peter, The Tomb of The Unknown Soldier is moving.
    Excellent pictures.


Leave a Reply