Greetings from Ottawa,
Today was spent getting to better know Ottawa. Started with a trip to Parliament Hill for a tour and changing of the guard before making my way to the Byward market to see what it was all about. On the way to the market spent some time in Major’s Hill Park twice as it’s that nice. Also visited Notre Dame Cathedral, Supreme Court and perused a few other locations.
You can go on a free tour of the Parliament during weekdays. If you’re going to make the trip, you may as well be there for the changing of the guard. The changing of the guard occurs at ten in the morning all summer long and is worth catching. In case you’re wondering, it’s where the guards change and there is a real ceremony to it. The House of Commons and Peace Tower were both unavailable but the Senate and library were great, particularly the library.
Part of what makes the library so different is that it’s the only part of the original structure that is still standing. Most of the building has been rebuilt due to the devastating fire of 1916 that destroyed everything but the library. The Senate was nice and considerably smaller than the House of Commons for good reason.
After Parliament Hill wandered around taking photos of things between drinking random beverages and eating random meals including a beaver tail. They are a local tradition that is basically deep fried to perfection dough of some sort with seasonings that make them delicious. Eat this in the Byward Market which is Ottawa’s entertainment district with countless clubs, restaurants, cafes, bakeries and more.
If you’re in the market area and like food, consider heading to the produce market where there are stalls with vendors selling fresh local produce. The market is open 363 days a year and has 175 stalls but imagine summer being considerably busier. Lining the streets behind the stalls are related shops. Some notable ones are The House of Cheese, Saslove’s Meat Market and Lapointe Fish. So you know, Lapointe’s have a 11lbs lobster photoed below for about $140, it’s massive.
Headed by Social in the old cobble stoned court yards before going back to Major’s Hill Park and eventually ending up visiting the Notre Dame Cathedral and appreciating the Canadian Museum of Civilization and National Gallery of Canada from afar. It was one of those tourist days where you see lots but also spend a good portion of town just being part of the city opposed to seeing the city. You take your photos and end up in other tourists photos as “that guy sitting on the bench” when they took it.
At 9:30 tonight there is Mosaika which is a sounds and light show that tells the story of Canada. You can see the video here for an idea, looks pretty unique, especially with Parliament Hill as a backdrop. It’s hosted nightly from July 6th – September 6th. Apart from that there are countless places downtown to pass some time at.
From my window I can see that the streets are getting busy as it’s that time of day, people done work and on their way. Currently thinking about food and not much else. On the topic of food, went to on York Street last night. They specialize in small dish meals and you typically order 3-4 dishes until satisfaction. Had several dishes and recommend the arctic char or grilled shrimps.