In the Jail!

Trip Start Apr 27, 2009
Trip End Apr 27, 2010

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Where I stayed

Flag of Canada  , Ontario,
Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The hostel in Ottawa has to win the award for most original - it used to be a jail and still continues the theme so instead of rooms they have cells! It was pretty cool.

I only had a flying visit to Ottawa because I added it in to my itinerary when other things were already booked but I think I managed to fit plenty into my 1 day stay! After being admitted to my cell I headed back to Parliament Hill for a tour of the government building. There is a strong British influence on the design of the government chambers and the House of Commons is very similar to it's namesake in London. Although I knew that Canada used to be under British rule and is still part of the Commonwealth it was still a little strange to hear them refer to the Queen as the Queen of Canada! I was interested to learn that the Canadian flag was only designed in 1982, it seems very recent for a country that has been self governing for quite some time. At the end of the tour I went up the Peace Tower at the centre of the building (it has a lift so no steps this time!) for a view of Ottawa and the surrounding area.

After a walk around on the ground and a pit stop for food I headed back to Parliament Hill for a light show about Canada that was projected onto the buildings - very smart! However, I should have included a pit stop for bug repellent because some evil beasties (otherwise known as ants!) decided to use my legs for dinner, not so smart!

This morning I went for a walk along the Rideau Canal then up to the War Memorial to watch for the parade of the ceremonial Canadian Forces guards and then followed their march up guessed it...Parliament Hill for the rest of the changing of the guard ceremony. I was warm wearing shorts and a t-shirt so I dread to think how how they were in their uniforms and bearskins! After all the ceremony was complete I hurried back to get my release papers from the jail and catch my bus to Toronto.

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