Go skating on the Rideau...
Go skating on the Rideau Canal, in Ottawa, and include a stop for hot choclate and a beaver tail. Or check out Canada Day (July 1st) on Parliament Hill, with tons of entertainment and amazing fireworks. And be sure to go to the Hershey Factory in Smith Falls (south of Ottawa) - bulk food choclate store...yuuum.
Lou on a pull out mattress....
Lou Bess, what else? Of course, the sun was shinning madly. If we had gone to bed at a sensible hour, it would surely be raining as it had mercilessly the night before. So, instead of shooting dawn shots of Ottawa’s old town center in glorious glowing light, I lie a bit parched in the bed of one LouBess. She had graciously given it up and was then most likely in a similar state on her kitchen floor, on a pull out mattress, not passed out on the linoleum. We began a dialogue through the open door without even getting out of bed but soon enough it was time to face the waiting world. With three people to shower it took longer than I had hoped to ready ourselves for the city grand tour and once outside in the perfect autumn weather, I kicked myself silently for my love of beer and late night tales of travel. But I am not one to cry over spilled beer so we made our way hurriedly to the renowned Parliament Buildings to capture some shots before the sun was too high. (conclusion below in Fondest Memory)
The Glebe, one of the older...
The Glebe, one of the older districts in Ottowa, has great restaurants and fun shops. Try The Glebe Cafe for great Middle Eastern food. Walking along the canal is pretty and peaceful; in fact, you can go pretty much anywhere in Ottowa on foot (I did!). In the winter the canal freezes over and you can go skating the whole 2 miles of it - but beware, Ottowa is COLD!!!
Ghosts of Vimy Ridge
Will Longstaff is my favorite war artist and his painting called "Ghosts of Vimy Ridge" is my favorite painting in Canada. In 1931 Longstaff painted Ghosts of Vimy Ridge in which he portrayed the spirits of servicemen of the Canadian Corps. The Memorial stands on Vimy Ridge on the summit beneath which the shimmering spirits of Canadian soldiers gather in the silvery moonlight. The painting now sits on display in the Canadian War Museum.
Longstaff has done similar painting for the Australians with "Menin Gate at Midnight", the English with "Immortal Shrine (Eternal Silence)", and New Zealand with "Carillon".
I also had an opportunity to...
I also had an opportunity to go on a tour of Parliament. This has to be one of the most beautiful buildings in the world. Buckingham Palace, the Cathedral of Chartre, and a few outhouses in the Vatican may be prettier, but I haven't actually been in those yet, so Parliament will have to do. I stood in the neogothic architecture of the Great Hall and stared in absolute awe at the flying buttresses, Gothic arches, and wonderful stone curlicues. I didn't want to leave, but the tourguide led us into the library.
I swear I almost wept, it is so beautiful. From the parkay hardwood floors to the immense and intricately-carved bookshelves, I was overwhelmed by the intense beauty and vision of the architects. I have never seen such a pulchritudinous room. I'm sure the vast majority of the books were dreadfully dull and filled with charts, figures, political records, and the ilk, but the setting made me imagine they were the most fascinating books in the world.
The group I was with stood in the room and stared with gaping jaws in absolute silence. This was ART in all-caps.
I can't really say anything about this that wouldn't sound trite, so I'll just shut up about it now. But please, if you're ever in Ottawa, go on the tour. You couldn't possibly regret seeing this, except for the grounds of jealousy.