lundi 4 novembre 2013

A weekend in Ottawa

During my trip to Canada, my sister her boyfriend and I decided to visit Ottawa.
Saturday morning we hopped into one of the famous Greyhound buses and off we were to go and discover Canada's capital city.
It was in 1857 that the queen of England decided to make Ottawa the capital of Canada because of it's strategical place in the country. It is between Montreal and Toronto, and is also the city the furthest away from the USA border (back then Canada still feared to be invaded by the USA).
The town is therefor full of history and old buildings.

The bus rde from Montreal to Ottawa was only 2h30 long. 
Once off the bus we headed of to the place we had booked to spend the night. It was a double room in a university campus. In Canada, during the holidays, they let the university dorms out to tourists at very reasonnable prices. The room - more like a small flat - was really spacey, plus it had a great view over the city.
After a quick lunch we set off to discover Ottawa.
The first thing we came across were the famous locks on the Rideau Canal
It is the oldest continuously operated canal system in North America. The 200km long canal connects Ottawa to Kingston. It was opened in 1832 as a precaution in case of war with the United States. It remains in use today primarily for pleasure boating, with most of its original structures intact.
The locks are still opened and closed by hand!

After a little walk around the lake we headed off to Parliament Hill to visit all the old buildings.

The Supreme court of Canada
''Judge Amanda does not seem impressed...Judge Bel does not very credible with pink and blue hair...''

The Parliament
The magnificent library in the Parliament.
Legend has it that not one of the carved flowers in the library is identical to another.

All this walking around and sight-seeing made us rather hungry by the end of the day! I decided to try a  bison burger ; not bad at all!

''Loan, it's the spider you're supposed to squash!! Not me!!''

Parliament Hill

When night fell we returned to the Parliament to watch the 'light and sound' show.
This must be my fave part of my Ottawa weekend.
The show was really interesting. 
It explained all about Canada's history and culture using beautiful light pictures accompanied by great music.

We got photobombed...the old guy behind me ^^
The next day we hopped onto one of those 'hop in - hop off' double decker tour buses that you see in all touristy destinations.
I don't really like visiting a town in such a 'lazy tourist' way, but I must admit that when you only have a day it is the only was to see as much as possible! Also the explanations about the different places visited was interesting.

Changing guard at the Parliament.

First stop for us was the War Museum.
The was musuem was really interesting and well organized. It tells you about all the wars that Canada has been through, from the time of colonisaton up until today.
A Jeep!!

Then we visited the Civilizations Museum.
It is actually in the region of Quebec, not Ontario (the other side of the river from Ottawa)
Again, it was a very interesting museum.
It is enormous, and filled with lots of indian art and culture.
My sister and I had fun playing in the children's area :)

The museum also had an exposition about Haitian Vodou on...
It was really interesting to learn more about this strange religion, but I still find the 'dolls' as scary as hell!

For the end of the day we continued our little tour around the city in our tour bus, without hopping off. 
Before we knew it, it was time to catch the Greyhound coach back to Montreal.

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