With the approach ot the National Patriots’ Day what more natural than to going to Ottawa, the capital of Canada. This is the perfect opportunity to discover Ontario and to admire the beautiful colors ot the Canadian Tulip Festival, which takes place every year at this period. The city has lots of charm with its cultural side, its cosmopolitan population and its many green spaces. At the end the discovery of the capital was a nice surprise, here is the report !
Day 1: Byward Market – the Canadian Museum of History – Little Italy – Lake Dow
We arrived in the capital after a 5-hour drive, directly in the ByWard Market. The market is well known for its shops, artisans, merchants but also for its restaurants, cafes and bars.
Before starting the visits we agreed on a lunch break to recover from the long hours of ride and so as to have strength for the long day ahead us.
After swallowing a huge hot dog we headed towards the Parliament. The Chateau Laurier (hotel) is close also. Unfortunately no more tickets were available for visitors of the Parliament, so we decided to come back the next morning. Indeed, since the attacks of October 22 2014 a new procedure was set for visits: a limited number of visits per day, safety checks as in airports, tours in small groups with a guide and a security guard.
We continued the visits with a crossing of the Major’s Hill Park and the Alexandra Bridge, which lead us to the Canadian Museum of History. The museum was very interesting with a space dedicated to Canadian history, another on the history of Inuit and Native Americans and also another which is the children’s museum (very nice but beware the children may not want to leave!).
Once the visit of the museum was over we headed back in the neighborhood of the Parliament before taking the direction of Dow’s Lake. The program for us was concerts and activities for the Tulip Festival and also a walk in the Little Italy district which was not far. In the streets nearby you can also see many pretty nice houses. We ended the night with a beautiful fireworks at the lake!
Day 2: Parliament – Rideau Canal – Bank Street
The next morning back to the Parliament, or rather in front of the building just in front of it to pick up the free tickets for the tour: a line of an hour was waiting for us. After a long time we finally had the tickets. Finally the wait has allowed additionally to the tickets to have the location of the meeting point and the size allowed for the bags (is it possible to create a website?).
The visit itself was a bit short (45 minutes) but nevertheless interesting, with interesting explanations of the guide and a discovery of several rooms, some with striking portraits (Queen Victoria, Queen Elizabeth …). There was also the library that reminded me of the one in Harry Potter.
To complete the visit of the Parliament we ent to the Peace Tower, which included an observatory with a beautiful panoramic view of the city. This time the tour was without a guide.
After the visit of the Parliament I went by myself towards the Rideau Canal for a walk. The setting was pleasant and ideal for walking, with green areas, a bicycle path and another path for pedestrians. In winter you can also do some ice-skating on the canal, which is becoming during the season the biggest ice-skating place in the world! You could also see joggers, boats, some people canoeing or others paddling.
On a bridge in the middle of the walk I saw many padlocks on it, it seems that I’ve already seen that somewhere, does it remind you of anything?
Finally the walk by the canal ended at Dow’s Lake. Many tourists were there for the tulips.
After a last photo shoot for the tulips I headed back to the Parliament (the meeting point for the return in Quebec), by walking through Bank Street, a shopping street with shops of all kind. The walk ended after an hour of walk : it was already time to go home.
– King Eddy Burgers
– Pub Italia
– Street bank
Free parking on weekends:
– A good deal because anywhere else you have to pay for the parking. This one is located at the intersection of Albert Street and Metcalfe Street.