Awesome Ottawa

Hey peeps, I hope everyone has been well. For the last two weeks I have been away on holiday- we got home Friday morning, and then I was at a hen weekend (not sure it is the best cure for jet-lag) but now I am home properly so get ready for some long recap posts!

First up was Ottawa, the capital of Canada.

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We had an afternoon flight to Montreal and then got the bus to Ottawa the same day, and so had a full day the next day sightseeing. The city was really walkable- everything was so central. The houses of parliament were right by our hotel, and they did free tours (you had to get a timed ticket though so best to get one early).

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While we were waiting for our tour time we walked on a little tour (from our guidebook) and at one point could hear a band. Then this came into view! They were accompanied by a couple of police cars, so the roads were just sectioned off as they marched past, then immediately reopened!

The tour was really interesting- I don’t know much at all about Canadian politics (other than they have the “Queen of Canada” as their head of state- I did find it funny to hear her being called that) so the tour guide went into a bit of detail about the two sections of parliament (they are more sensible and have non elected but non inherited positions instead of our House of Lords). The guide also talked about the building- the clock tower was modelled on Big Ben, and there was the mot amazing library- we were not allowed to take photos but it was so ornate with floor to ceiling beautifully carved shelves- apparently like something from Harry Potter.

After that finished we walked around the city some more- there were lots of lovely shops to browse, as well as plenty of memorials – there was one for jazz musician Oscar Peterson (there is a picture here as I didn’t take one)- it was him sat on a bench by a grand piano (with space on the bench for picture posing) and music was being played too which was lovely.

2014-07-24 15.47.35This was the National Aboriginal Veterans Monument which I thought was just stunning and thought-provoking.

We also walked through a park and by a canal and saw loads of black squirrels- I had never seen them (or even heard of them) before. Then we had a little rest in the hotel before heading out for the evening (when we arrived the night before we were lucky to receive an upgrade to our room- probably as it as late so not many rooms left I imagine- and one of the services was a turn-down service; this one was super posh and when we got back they had even put on some jazz music for us- so fancy!), as every night during the summer there is a special light and sound show on the Houses of Parliament, called Mosaika (again, images here as Andy took some with his camera but I didn’t try with my phone). The show is free, you just turn up and sit on the grass and enjoy. Amazing.

For food we ended up in the same diner twice- Zak’s diner made amazing pancakes and French toast for breakfast, and then I had a lovely goats cheese, spinach and strawberry salad for dinner.

Last summer we went to Victoria on Vancouver Island and Ottawa reminded me of that- some of the architecture is very British, and it was nice and compact. The gorgeous weather helped too! There are loads of museums there too, and had the weather been bad we probably would have visited them, but seeing as it was such wonderful weather we made the most of sightseeing outdoors.

It was a great start to the holiday anyway. Have you ever been to Ottawa? 

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18 thoughts on “Awesome Ottawa

    • So many people have relatives in Canada- it is one of my favourite countries, well worth a visit.
      Yes the jazz music was so funny- at first we could not work out where the music was coming from as we didn’t realise they had been in!

  1. I’ve never been to Canada, Boston is as close an I’ve been. Love the idea of visiting Canada but will live vicariously through your posts for now 🙂

    • Well their Queen is our queen, but they refer to her as the Queen of Canada you see. It is interesting as she performs a similar duty to here (eg signing off laws) but when she is not in the country (which is most of the time) they have an official position for someone who stands in and does it for her.

  2. This sounds brilliant! I definitely want to go to Canada sometime and see different bits and bobs. How cool that they have black squirrels as well – bit random but a nice change from our usual grey ones.
    And what a treat to get an upgrade on your room. We’re off to Berlin in September (impending doom of a marathon…) and I’ve ticked the box for having an upgrade if one becomes available but you pay a set fee if it does happen (which is less than what you would pay if you chose it up front – very reasonable in fact). I guess it makes sense to fill these more expensive rooms for the hotel.
    The diner sounds lovely too. I think when you find a really nice restaurant then it’s easy to go back – I know Ben and I did that in France and in our American holidays.

    • Yes another place we went to had a lovely cafe which we went to twice and would have gone to again had we stayed there longer.
      I have never heard of that upgrade option- sounds like a great idea, especially if you are there for the marathon- you will need pampering! A few times we have been upgraded after arriving late in the evening- I think they assign rooms on check in so if you get there late sometimes that is all that is left.

  3. All hail the Queen of Canada 😉 I would actually find that quite disconcerting to hear too!

    Ottawa looks absolutely amazing. Canada is one of the countries I’d love to see, so I’m looking forward to the rest of your recaps 🙂


    • Exactly ! I mean I know because of the Commonwealth etc that she us queen of other countries but she lives in England you know !

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