Thursday, September 17, 2015

Trading Rides

In Ottawa one must bike.  It is that simple.

 But these beauties would have done me well too:

On Tuesday morning I got going fairly early and navigated the bike trails with relative ease.  I wove my way downtown, and got to the Byward Market.  There was a bicycle parking stand and lots of activity, so I thought this would be a good place to leave my ride.  After a quick coffee I walked up to the Parliament building and got myself a ticket for a 9:20 walk-through.

The tour was pretty interesting.  It was a guided 50 minute walk around of the main house, including the upper and lower chambers, the library, and we could also go into the Memorial Chamber, and the Peace Tower.  The “House Chamber” was under construction adding 30 new seats to it.  That brings the number of federally elected representatives to 338 for this new parliament being elected in the next month.  The library definitely was the highlight of the tour in terms of the look/disposition of its area.  It really is quite stunning.  But overall the shinny floors, polished railings, and granite walls were in spectacular condition within this building.  There was a lot of portrait works of art of former elected officials, British monarchs, as well as Governor Generals. 

The building was quite, quite militarized.  Armed parliament police as well as RCMP were stationed everywhere.  I would not be exaggerating when I write that security, and not like Johnny-Security-Officer, was stationed every fifty feet in all of the halls and areas.  Getting into to parliament was an unnecessary affair too in my opinion.  Empty all pockets, open all bags, take off belts, walk through scanners, turn of cameras to ensure they are cameras, etc....  Totally silly and an over-kill. 

After that I walked a few kilometres to the War Museum of Canada.  It is another massive, massive building.  It has about 6 sections in it.  There was a pre 1812 section, 1812 and Boer War section, a WW!, WW2, Peace Keeping area, and as well as a current section with information and artifacts from the middle east conflict of present day.  So each section had its accompanying artifacts, models, content, pictures and all of that.  It was so much information, but really neat.  What really struck me was the passion, bravery, and strength (reputation) of the Canadian soldiers in the Boer War, and WW1 and 2.  That was highlighted quite a lot.  And it was neat to see the different equipment and supplies throughout the years.  I was there for about 2 hours. 

The other highlight of the day included a later afternoon walk-about in the Gatineau Park.  We headed to an area that was labeled “Waterfall”.  It was only about a kilometre to get there.  Anyway we got there and there was no waterfall whatsoever.  The creek was all dried up and not even a trickle was passing over the rocks.  It wasn’t all that bad because we were about 2 km from the McKenzie King Estate in the park.  It was really nice and well worth the 30 minute drive to get over to it.

That night we had a pizza scoff at a restaurant called The Grand in the Byward Market area of downtown Ottawa.

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