We drove the short distance from Nepean to Ottawa and John located the house his Aunt and Uncle lived in when he stayed here for a month. We also drove by the church where his dad married his aunt in 1968 and the hospital where his other aunt was a nurse.
We had two full days in Ottawa so we picked the things we most wanted to see and did them first. If there was more time we would do other things (there wasn’t). First on the list was Rideau Hall, the home of Canada’s Governors General – the representative of Her Majesty the Queen. We had a great tour, just the two of us and our guide Nicholas. Since it is a working residence no photos were allowed inside. The grounds are massive, with open park land, a children’s play area, a rose garden and a large grove of trees; mostly oaks and maples but a few other varieties as well. All of these trees have been ceremonially planted by royals or heads of state when they make official visits to Canada – there are over 100 of them. The Queen has planted 5 trees. We found at least one tree that was planted by every member of the royal family, including the one planted by Prince William and Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. There are trees planted by five US Presidents. We found three of them: JFK, Truman, and Nixon. Many other nations were represented as well.
After Rideau Hall we drove out to the RCMP Musical Ride Stables only to find they were closed for two weeks holiday. The exhibits inside were interesting though, but I was very disappointed not to see the horses.
The Official Landau
Night view from our hotel
The second day in our nation’s capital we wanted to see two museums: The Museum of Nature that had an exhibit of the top 25 photographs from Canadian Wildlife Magazine’s photography contest and The War Museum that had two special art exhibits: one called “Witness” which was paintings done by war painters during WWI and “Transformation” which paralleled the works of Canadian artist A.Y. Jackson and German artist Otto Dix before WWI, during the war, the time between WWI and WWII, and during WWII.
At both museums we went directly to the special exhibits we wanted to see then toured the rest of the buildings. We spent 2 1/2 hours at the Museum of Nature (and didn’t see it all)
By the time we left the War Museum when it closed a 6 pm we were very foot sore. But….we had to see the Parliament Buildings and the Chateau Laurier before we left so we had our cab drop us off on The Hill and after taking our photos we walked the kilometer back to our hotel, stopping at The Fox and Feather Pub for dinner.
Two full, but interesting days.