We were ready to burn off some steam and depart from our accommodations. It had rained for the past twenty hours. With that ended, we unloaded the bikes and began our journey downtown. It was only an unfortunate two miles. We had so much more energy to burn.
We parked our bikes at the corner of Elgin and Laurier and converted the tow behind into a stroller. We were off to Parliment to watch the 10:00am changing of the guards. It's Shelly's alumni thing. I revisit St. Denis Centre, Shelly revisits the barracks. For two summers Shelly blew her trumpet and marched to the beat of the Ceremonial Gaurd. Daily life in the military was no easy task, I suppose, when you are armed only with a silver Kanstul 1000 and a bear skinned hat. However she lived to tell about it, and see it as a spectator for the very first time the other day. I could tell she was very proud of the job the band does, and proud for herself for once doing it. There were a thousand plus people watching....
With that ticked off, we explored more of the square kilometre or so of Parliment by foot without going inside. We got up and down Spark's Street, to the Byward Market of course, and just around. It would be back to the bikes and over to Quebec pedalling. The best view of Parliment is from the Gatineau side of the river.
Shelly was a bit apprehensive at first with the volume of traffic, but we got into our bike line on the Macdonald Bridge and ease set in. I had done all of these Ottawa activities just under two years ago. So it wasn't a big deal to me. But Shelly found her stride and amalgamated into the flow of things. Wouldn't you know it, but the 3 mile trail along the PQ side of the river was closed. Blasted. But we had a nice ride nonetheless. The topper was stopping for an hour at this amazing horticultural exhibit of Canada 150 at the base of the Bridge.
There were about 25 enormous creations telling a historical Story of Canada. All the pieces were sculptured from vine, ivy. MosaiCanada150 was its official title and it is highly impressive. I can't say I had a favourite piece. They all seemed to outdo each other.....
By now, being mid afternoon, many of voyagers would have been content at their spoils and returned to dock. But having missed a full day yesterday, we were still on a mission. It would be up to Landsdowne Park area for some food and play.....
Still not content after a few pints of Beau's Lager, a few glasses of mystery red wine for Shelly, and nachos, it would be up to Hogg's Back and Moonies Bay.
Hogg's Back is quite the impressive display of water exiting a dammed up area into a narrow passageway. There is no way it flows as fast or strong as Niagara Falls, but it was moving!! I had never been there before and it is well worth it to see.
Moonies Bay was just shutting down for the day. Beachcombers were packing up to leave, and families were arriving for the playground facilities. Huge, huge Canada150 money has been pumped all over Ottawa, but no where more noticeable then these playground area at the beach. They had a unique and indentifiable structure for each of Canada's provinces and territories. It took up the foot print of a football field anyway. So ya.... The kids loved it.
We returned to our abode and we were all beat down, tired, cranky and usual. We did a lot. We saw a lot. We asked a lot of the kids.
I would definitely return to Ottawa another time. The thing is it is an outdoor place. One can't do anything about weather, but it really was too bad we had that rained out day. I wouldn't stay at the AirBnB place again either. I would recommend it for people if there wasn't anything else, but not for us.
Off the Quebec City.