Oh Canada! Happy 150th Birthday Ottawa
This is the first of a 5 part series highlighting my road trip across Eastern Canada. I made 150 stops (that were documented via Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/thegetawayqueen/?hl=en) in honour of Canada's 150th birthday. The total trip took 20 days with over 8000KM travelled.
I've been to O-town before but it was for business travel and close to Halloween - so it was freezing. ANYONE that knows me, knows I have NO desire to hang out and "tour in the cold". So I basically wrote it off. What a mistake!!! It was my first stop and almost my last stop. I had so much fun touring this neat little city. There was so much to do and see and it was great meeting up with a friend who spoiled me with a great meal.
Parliament Hill had a lot going on. During the day I was able to tour the main building. It was fascinating. I am not usually into this kind of stuff, but I really enjoyed the tour. Keep in mind you have to go really early (around 7:30am) in the morning to line-up for your ticket. The ticketing office is located directly across from Parliament Hill and the tour is free. There are limited tickets available and they give you a time slot as to when your tour will begin. You just need to make sure you are at the front door one time. On this particular day, there was a yoga at lunch session happening on the hill. At night, it comes alive again with the Sounds and Lights show. A free show you do not want to miss.
It was by fluke that I actually saw the Changing of the Guards on the Hill. It occurs daily at 10am in the summer but you need to come a little early to get a good spot. It lasts around 45 minutes and is quite the production with a regimental band and pipers. This was definately a highlight for me.
Inside the Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica - the MOST gorgeous church I have ever seen.
When I was looking for things to do in Ottawa Mosaic Canada 150 did not come up as a highlight. It was actually two friends that told me about it and I'm so thankful they did. Located in the Jacques Cartier Park in Gatineau this free exhibit was created specifically for Canada 150th celebration.
Over 2MM flowers were used to form 33 topiary sculptures. The exhibit depicts the horticultural friendship that unites Canada with Asia. Sheer work of art. Bravo, well done!
Tent Room inside of Rideau Hall
Kontinuum is a light and sound show that takes place in the Lyon underground Station.
Look at this library inside Parliament. OMG....and this pictures doesn't even do it justice. It is breathtaking inside there.
Welcome to the official Residence of the Governor General of Canada, Rideau Hall. I went looking for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. I even told the guard I had an appointment with JT. Yup, looked him dead in the face as I uttered the words. He was dumbfounded, confused. What did she just say? He was getting ready to radio his supervisor when I cracked up laughing. You should of seen the sigh of relief on his face.
P.S. JT does not live at Rideau Hall. He was staying in the Summer House because his permanent home was under renovations.
Meet Maman, the giant spider located outside of the National Gallery of Canada
On my last day in Ottawa, I spent a few hours exploring the Canadian Museum of History. I'm definately not a museum person, but I am so happy I went in to see this one. The great displays tell story after story about our rich Canadian History. Definately worth spending time there.
The infamous Rideau Canal with a boat in the Locks. It is 202 km long and connects Ottawa to Lake Ontario and the Saint Lawrence River. In the winter it turns into the worlds largest skating rink.
No trip to O-town is complete without a stop at the Royal Canadian Mint. For obvious reasons I couldn't take pictures inside, but one thing I learned is that we actually do not mint (make) our dollar bills there anymore. They continue to make Canadian coins and precious base metal collector coins.
In Ottawa looking at Gatineau in the distance