Slept in till 9am. We are very pleased that there are no noisy neighbours around us… All is quiet while we sleep in. We had our coffee and tea and a leisurely breakfast. Then we are out the door by 10:30am heading for downtown Ottawa.
I have noticed that the drivers in Ottawa are not aware of their surroundings and just go where they please when they please, often cutting each other off. I am constantly on the alert for the other drivers. It is so bad that the city has found it necessary to post signs like this.
We are downtown, heading for the World Exchange Underground Parking. Oh there it is up ahead.
We weren’t in there for more than a minute and I got lost and next thing I know we are heading back out onto the street again. Had to do a go around a second time and try it again.
Finally parked, we take notes and pictures of our surroundings so that we can find our way back here. Then we walk up to street level and begin our walking tour.
The Parliament Buildings are just ahead.
Our first stop is the Visitor Centre to browse through and pick up any brochures that we think we might need. Along the way to the Visitor Center we pass by a Terry Fox monument.
After arming ourselves with all the info and brochures, we decided that we better have a bite to eat before continuing. So we sat in the food court of the World Exchange Plaza. Karen liked the Beluga Whales and Narwhals that were swimming in the air around us as we ate our lunch.
After our slices of pizza, we were sufficiently fortified to continue on to the Centennial Flame. I am pretty sure that if I look through boxes of old photos at home, I could find photos of me standing here in 1967. If I ever find those photos, I will come back and edit this posting with a “then and now” photo.
More photos of the Parliament Building. As you can see by the clock it is almost noon, so we hang around outside to listen to the noon chime.
Just as the first bell of the noon chime rang out, there was a very very loud explosion as a cannon went off a few hundred yards away. Then another and another loud explosion… I thought maybe we were at war with Quebec on the other side of the river, but it turns out that this was a 21 gun salute to honour the birth of the Royal Baby…
Well that sure was loud and when the smoke settled we got in line to go inside the Parliament Building. We will come back another day and do a guided tour, but for now we will be able to see the Peace Tower and the Memorial Chamber.
The Peace Tower is the big clock tower. First we have to pass through a security check where they confiscate my 1 1/2 inch pocket knife that I have on my key ring. I can get it back at the end of the visit.
Up we go in the elevator to the top of the clock tower.
We are whisked to the top of the tower where we step out of the elevator to see views of Ottawa.
This is a view of the Supreme Court Building.
More views of the city.
This photos shows you where we are in relation to the clock tower.
We rode the elevator back down after viewing the city and walked through the Memorial Chamber. Because of the lighting, the photo quality was poor.
Back outside we wandered around looking at statues of famous Canadians and Royalty. This is George Etienne Cartier.
Near old George, was Queen Victoria.
There was a nice overlook of the Supreme Court and the Ottawa River.
There used to be hundreds of wild cats on Parliament Hill, looked after by one of the ground keepers. Sadly the caretaker passed away a few years ago, the cats were all rounded up and adopted out to caring families. No longer do the cats roam Parliament Hill and the area where the cat sanctuary was has been closed.
A statue of Alexander MacKenzie.
This round shaped building attached to the back of the Parliament Building is the Library of Parliament.
John D Diefenbaker’s statue.
This bell is the Victoria Bell, from the original Center Block Tower. It was the primary bell in the Centre Block Tower (now called The Peace Tower). Well back in 1916, the Center Block caught fire and the story is that the fire was raging by 11pm and by midnight the fire was nowhere near burning itself out. The Victoria Bell rang out the 12 bells for the midnight hour and on the 12th ring it broke free and came crashing down through the burning tower. Todays angle of display is the same angle that the bell came to rest in after its descent down the tower through the flaming inferno.
A statue of Queen Elizabeth II
This artistic monument is dedicated to the struggle of Canadian women in the 1920’s and their quest to gain equality. “Women are Persons”
Sir John A. MacDonald.
There are a few statues that we couldn’t find, and we may go back to find them on another day, but for now, that is enough. We head for Spark’s Street.
Along the way we pass the Chateau Laurier Hotel… very reminiscent of an old castle.
Next we pass by the National War Memorial and the Grave of the Unknown Soldier.
We walked along Sparks Street for a few blocks till we got back to where we had parked the car. There are very trendy shops and stores along this street. Interesting to walk by, but we did not venture into.
We found our car without any issues, and pointed it towards Wal-Mart. We have a few things to pick up. We got that done and as we were leaving the Wal-Mart parking lot we noticed that there was a Denny’s. Hmmmm.. we hadn’t been to a Denny’s since we were last in the USA… I remembered how good their sundaes were and when I suggested that we should go in, I didn’t get any argument from Karen… So we ordered our favourite Denny’s sundaes. A chocolate ice cream with hot fudge sundae for me and a strawberry ice cream with strawberries sundae for Karen… mmmmm good.
Back at the campground the sky was getting dark and there were thunder storm warnings for the area. I thought it would be a good idea to roll up our awning and put the outdoor chairs and mats away before the storm blew through. I am glad that we did that because the rain poured down and the winds picked up. Who knows what would have blown where and the winds probably would have damaged the awning.
The storm was over and done with about 45 minutes after it began. I will wait till the morning to set up our chairs again and pull out the awning. Tonight we relaxed and worked on naming todays photos and writing the blog.