Dec 11 – Ottawa, Ontario

We had a quiet morning in our room because we were meeting John’s cousin and his wife for lunch at 11:45.  We lingered after the meal until almost 3 o’clock chatting and catching up on news.  After we parted ways John and I drove to the Parliament Buildings because I wanted to walk the pathway behind the complex and see the views of the city and the Ottawa River and all the statues of some of the former Prime Ministers of Canada that have been erected over the years.  Unfortunately, we had forgotten that there is a major renovation project going on at the Hill and much of the grounds have been fenced off. We walked around the side of the building below and were able to find a walkway around the back.  We checked with several of the construction fellows if it was okay for us to go and were told it was fine. Behind the main building there is a usually a good view of the rotunda, but it is now cordoned off with tall metal fencing.  Which also enclosed all of the statues. Rats. We had a nice view of the city and the Ottawa River as we walked around the back of Parliament Hill, but when we reached the far side we discovered that there was no exit.  The fencing crossed the path.  We turned around and walked all the way back again. There was a virtual geocache at the War Memorial so we walked over to find the answer to the question that we needed to log the cache as a find.  Part of the main path past the memorial is also closed because there is a climate change protest tent camp set up on the lawn.

We found the information  we needed and  crossed the road to go to find an earth cache at the Rideau Canal locks that are between the Parliament Buildings and the Chateau Laurier. Where we taking some photos of the locks and the chateau a fellow came jogging down the stairs.  He was in shorts and a short-sleeve top!  He asked us if we would take his photo to show his family at home in Minnesota. He was in Ottawa for work and figured he would be warm enough to go for a jog since it was supposed to be 40° F (which is 4° C).  It was colder than that and windy, but he didn’t seem to mind.  He said the next day’s goal was to run across the bridge you can see in the background and check out the statue that rises above our heads.  The temperature was not fazing him – he is, after all, from Minnesota!  He insisted on taking our photo.

The beautiful Chateau Laurier.

By the time we made our way back up to the street it was rush hour so we wandered around the area for awhile to let some of the traffic get out of town.  We had to drive out to the hotel by the airport where we were staying the night to have a short commute for our 7:45 am flight. We  had  parked  our  car  in  the  arcade  of  the  World  Exchange  Plaza. There  were  models  of  beluga  whales  and  narwhals  hanging  from  ceiling.As we began our half-hour drive to the Hilton at the airport it began to snow and within a very short time there was limited visibility and white roads.  We were very thankful we had spent the extra money to have winter tires put on the rental.  We passed a city bus that was unable to get up a small grade due to the ice.   But, by the time we got to the hotel it had stopped completely.

It was another early-to-bed night as we had to be up at 5 to get ready and get to the airport for our flight home.

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