Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Ottawa & Gatineau: Our Capital, Multicultural City!

A whirlwind long weekend in Ottawa proved to be an adventure! Very Edmonton-like in its atmosphere, minus the tough trucks and lack of Autumn foliage, Ottawa's uniqueness brings a hint of French culture to a small Canadian city. Speaking simultaneously in French and English, residents switch from one to the other as if they were the same - a wonder I wish other cities had.

Lorina & I wandered the market-ridden streets like Dalhousie, boutique shops on Murray and York, and the classic city centre mall called Rideau. Friday evening I tried my first Beavertail ; a deep fried resemblant of the elephant-ear desserts at the Scandivanian tents at Heritage Days.

Saturday we embarked on a 12 km hike in Gatineau, Quebec. Although the Ottawa transit system is far superior to Edmonton's, and includes an amazing bus-only lane and $3 ride to the airport, we did find it difficult to find someone who could tell us how to get to Gatineau sans auto. After way too many detours, we arrived for our hike and shivered our way to see bright autumn colours and Pink Lake's scenery.

Monday, I decided to explore the city as Lorina headed back to the office - unfortunately I was a week too much into off-peak season, and museums were closed Mondays! I hear the Canada War Museum is a site to see. The Royal Mint and Change of Guards are worth it too; I saw it 14 years ago but it was memorable. In lieu of the museums and art galleries, I created my own historical walking tour, showcased in the slideshow below.

Just a simple weekend of breakfast at Cora's, which was good but uncharacteristically cold (Lorina tells me her Lucie breakfast was not up to par), buying jewelry at markets, and coffee with Lorina's friends - it was an excellent break from my hectic lifestyle. I even had the opportunity to meet Dennis and Naomi again at Royal Oak pub near Ottawa University, in another mini Singapore reunion - this time not halfway across the world!

After Canmore & Seattle this summer, small weekend trips seem ideal; maybe I'll make it a bi-monthly tradition!

Check out the slideshow ! Facebook users, please click View Original Post at the top of the "note", as facebook does not support embedding video.

No comments: