Thursday, July 23, 2009

Ottawa Trip

The Canadian Parliament Buildings

The locks on the Rideau Canal

So we are back from our trip to Ottawa. It was fantastic, lots of fun! If you are looking for a nice, small trip to take, I highly recommend it. Oddly enough, I'd never been to the capital of my country! I'm ashamed of myself, but now we are planning to go back in the winter when the canal freezes over for lots of skating fun!

We took the train (VIA Rail) there, which was a five hour trip. We didn't have a car when we got there, but found that we didn't really need one for the most part. Everything is within walking distance (some walks much longer than others) and there isn't much parking around anyway. Where there is, you are going to pay through the nose!

My one complaint about the trip would be the expense, as food was very pricey. But that's to be expected, as it's a touristy area, and trendy too. But the people were all very friendly, all completely bilingual (switching easily back and forth from french to english) and the city is so clean! Even though they say that Toronto is a pretty clean city (I disagree, especially with the current garbage strike ~P.U.!~ but perhaps I need to travel more and experience other, dirtier cities) it's got NOTHING on Ottawa. There were quite a lot of homeless people, but for the most part, they were also very polite, inobtrusive, and not as scary as some I've experienced in T.O.

Everywhere you go, people are biking in Ottawa! I think it's wonderful, and you can see for yourself that the obesity rate doesn't seem to be as high there. I would love to take our bikes there next time, and do some of the trails, but seeing as how we plan to go in the winter, mmmmmm, not gonna happen!

We stayed at the Residense Marriott, and while the hotel itself seemed a little older, I had no complaints. The rooms were clean, even the kitchenette which housed it's own dishwasher, and the service was great. There was a complimentary breakfast every morning, with everything you could want; eggs, pancakes, waffles, yogurt, cereal, fruit, bagels, toast, muffins, oatmeal, the list goes on...The pool was also nice; the water was warm and there was a hottub too. There was also a great gym, but I didn't use it, walking all day was enough.

We visited many museums, including a wonderful children's museum that had lots for kids to pretend. It was sectioned into different "dramatic" areas, with some parts as dwellings from different countries. It was really great, but boring for parents. We were wishing that we could just leave the kids there while we saw the rest of the museum (it was inside the Canadian Museum of Civilization) and exhibits. We also visited the Royal Canadian Mint, which only makes collector coins, not the coins we use (they are made in Winnipeg) and also the Parliament buildings (see top, I still can't get pictures to go where I want, RRRRGGGHHH).

Ok, that's about it for now, gotta post photos on Facebook now.


  1. That sounds like a great trip! I've skated on the Rideau, and eaten beaver tails in Ottawa. But that was quite a few years ago. BC ... Before Children. Ottawa is really only about an hours drive from our cottage, so maybe one day we'll go there with our kids. And walk like you guys ... just leave the van in one parking spot for the day.

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. Sounds like tons of fun! I haven't been to Ottawa since I was a kid for a school trip or something! I would love to go again. I've always wanted to skated on the canal too! Are you going to go for their winter carnival? I can't for the life of me remember what it's called. I think it's in Feb. When I was working my company used to sponsor the event every year. it's gonna bug all day until I remember the name!

    Off to google it.