Slept in till 9am and then got up for breakfast. Today we are going to visit the ByWard Market. Our drive this morning takes us along the banks of the Rideau Canal.
We are driving on the Colonel By Drive.
There are very nice walking and biking trails. Ottawa has a lot of green space and promotes the use of the walking and biking paths.
The GPS takes us to the parking lot at the ByWard Market. We pay our parking fee at the automated kiosk and then begin our tour through the market.
The ByWard Market is the oldest continuously running farmers market in Canada. The main market building operates all year long.
The outdoor vendors are seasonal as the weather permits.
There is such a variety of fruits and vegetables.
All are so very nicely displayed.
Of course, we do not buy any of the fresh fruits and vegetables. We just walk by and head straight to the Bakery to buy butter tarts and croissants. We then continued to walk past all the fruits and vegetables and wound up at the BeaverTails stand. The President of the USA, Barack Obama, made this place popular when he stopped here during his visit to Ottawa and bought some beaver tails.
Beaver Tails are basically fried dough, shaped like a beavers tail, covered with sugary toppings… It is a very “Canadian” treat and very tasty, much better than those fresh fruits and vegetables we passed by earlier.
While we were enjoying our snack, a lot of police officers and police cars started converging on the area. They were putting up yellow police tape and asking everyone to leave the area.
That ended our visit to ByWard Market and we later heard on the radio that there was a suspicious package found and so the area was evacuated as a precaution. We made our way back to our car to drop off our purchases and then walked along Sussex Drive towards the Royal Canadian Mint.
We walked past the American Embassy. I would guess that the funny structure on the roof of the building is probably a helicopter landing pad.
This building with the huge spider out front is the National Gallery of Canada.
A little further along we arrived at the Royal Canadian Mint.
You can’t take any photos inside the building. The tour was very interesting and we got to see how the coins are made. Paper money is not made here at this facility.
Neither are circulation coins made here. Only commemorative and collector coins are made here now. Originally all currency was made here, but now a facility in Winnipeg produces all the circulation coins and paper money.
At the end of our tour we were allowed to pick up a 28 lb bar of gold… Unfortunately it was chained to the desk. In todays market that bar is worth somewhere around $700,000.00
After we toured the mint, we walked back to our car at the ByWard Market. As we walked past the American Embassy a van was waiting for the barricade to be dropped so it could enter the building. Pretty neat how that barricade disappears into the ground and then raises again as soon as the vehicle is past. That barricade was up and the garage door was down before you could blink an eye.
We got in our car and then drove and parked on a side street, very close to the Prime Ministers home at 24 Sussex Drive. We watched as armed police officers walked a beaten path along the perimeter fence. There were security cameras positioned every 100 feet or so.
When the cops weren't looking I snapped a photo of the house through an opening in the tree branches. I felt that every security camera was zoomed in on me as I approached the fence to get the shot. Who knows if Harper was even home.
Across the road from Stephen Harpers house is Rideau Hall. This is where the Governor General resides. It is mostly open to the public for touring.
There are ceremonial guards out front performing sentry duty.
We stood smartly to have our photos taken with the guards. Apparently Karen stood more smartly than I did.
We passed through the gates and onto the property. We went straight to the visitors centre to learn what we could.
There was plenty of information on the past and present Governor Generals.
There are beautiful gardens and sitting areas throughout the property.
There is a Pacific Coast Totem Pole.
We noticed that many of the trees had little markers at their base, so we took a closer look and realized that these markers told what kind of a tree it was and who planted it and when.
This Red Oak was planted by Richard M Nixon, April 14 1972
Then we found the tree that was planted by his wife, Patricia Nixon.
While everyone else was walking on the pathways, Karen and I were well off the beaten paths wandering around through the trees like lost fools. We were checking out the different markers to see who planted which trees.
Down one of the pathways we could see the Unity Pool and way off in the distance we could see the Parliament Building Peace Tower.
Next we found this Silver Maple planted by Nancy Reagan.
Ronald Reagan’s tree must be around here somewhere, so we continue the search, but instead we find John F Kennedy’s tree.
And Jackie Kennedy’s tree.
We found several trees throughout the grounds that were planted by Queen Elizabeth, but the one I thought was interesting was the one she planted when she was just a young Princess before becoming the Queen.
We found the tree that William and Kate planted in 2010 when they visited Ottawa just after they got married. It was fitting to find that tree since they just had a baby yesterday.
Here we finally found the Ronald Reagan tree.
And the Nelson Mandela tree.
We startled a little red fox out of his hiding spot in the trees and he took off along one of the pathways.
We are near the main house now, so we walked up to get a closer look.
Uh Oh… here come the ceremonial guards, I hope that they are not upset at us for wandering off the established pathways and are wandering around under the trees.
Nope, they were not after us, so we followed them as they marched up to the front of Rideau Hall and watched as they performed the changing of the guard.
Back to our tree searching and we found Bill Clinton’s tree.
Also found this stone Inuksuk hidden among the trees.
We never found Hillary Clinton’s tree so when we returned to the Visitor Centre, I asked if there was one, but it turns out she was not with Bill when he visited Rideau Hall. I guess President Obama didn’t have time to plant a tree either when he was here, he must have been too busy eating beaver tails.
It was time to head back to our base at the Sleepy Cedars Campground and have some dinner. I BBQ’ed some hamburgers for us along with some potatoes and onions with butter in foil on our Weber Q BBQ. Very delicious.
After dinner I got a fire going in our fire pit. We are hosting our friends Ann and Jim this evening. Karen got pictures of me in a typical pose… deeply engrossed in my iPhone.
And she got photos of our shadows sitting around the fire.
But again completely forgot to get photos of Ann and Jim. So here are some more fire photos as we all sat around talking the evening away.