July 20, Thursday- Ottawa! Big day…
After chatting with Terry and Pat the previous night we had a lot of ideas of what we wanted to see in Ottawa and that took priority this morning. After we moved the boat to a better and hopefully quieter spot, I headed to the tourist office where free Parliament tour tickets are available. I waited in line about an hour and Dirk saved me a seat in the bleachers across the way on the Parliament lawn so we could watch the changing of the guard at 10am.
We walked around a bit and enjoyed a street musician playing a sax and beating a drum at same time. When he stamped one foot the bass drum would sound! We walked 10 minutes back to boat and met more loopers in the canal (nice) and then went for the Parliament tour.
The centennial flame above is on Parliament Hill and the National War Memorial and Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is in Confederation Square.
The tour of Parliament was fascinating and breathtaking with the architecture, art and views from the Peace Tower – the tall center of the Parliament. We started in the area of the House…
We then moved along beautiful corridors to the amazing library. We were told that areas of the original Parliament building had much of the same internal design as the Library. The entire original building burned down in 1916 except for the Library which was heroically preserved thanks quick thinking and it’s steel doors.
The next area to visit was the Senate – in Canada the members of the Senate are appointed, not elected, by the way.
The official tour was completed and we were welcome to take the elevator up the Peace Tower for great views of the Ottawa area. Our boat is not quite visible but is in the canal after the bridge in one of the photos!
One more room to mention, the Remembrance Room, where the fallen of all Canadian wars and conflicts are honored on walls and in separate volumes. The room began with WWI and the entrance also honors the animals that served in the wars.
We next walked to the Ottawa City Hall where Dirk applied for his small but worthwhile Canadian Pension, and we also saw the Firemen’s Circle of Honor and a crazy dinner option called the Sky Lounge. For $230/person you too can sit at a table, strapped in and hauled up 100 feet or so in the air and served drinks and dinner. They have 4 servings a night for up to about 20 people! (Better not drink too much – there’s no loo up there!)
We ended the day talking with boat neighbors from Canada (in the boat in front of ours) that gave us great advice on where to visit on south of here on the Rideau Canal and further along the way. It was a typical boaters hello that can easily turn into an hour or more of great stories. Very enjoyable.