On the road to Ottawa, we made a morning stop at a restaurant/store that also featured various animals, including a Llama, in pens. Here they are. I included the sea gull because we ran into those birds everywhere we went in Canada. In spite of them being a general nuisance, I think they are pretty, graceful birds.
After the morning break, we proceeded to Kingston, where we had lunch. We were now in the 1000 Islands area of Canada. These are islands of all sizes located in the St. Lawrence River. They are a tourist attraction in themselves. Unfortunately, they were not included on our tour, so after lunch, we headed for the other famous attraction in the area, Upper Canada Village. This is a recreated 1860's town, complete with houses, stores, churches and mills. Both the interiors and exteriors of the 40 structures are authentic to the era. Visiting the village is like stepping back in time. The woolen mill, lumber mill, and bakery actually make products (using 1860's equipment and techniques) that are sold to the public. Here are the pictures I took.
If you are curious to learn more about Upper Canada Village, visit this web site:
We arrived in Ottawa in the early evening and checked in to the Lord Elgin Hotel, located near Parliament and the Byward Market area. then headed across the river into Quebec for our supper at the Le Muses Restaurant. We were told that the fellow who was in charge of the place that evening had served Bill Clinton and his daughter. We were the only customers, and the wait staff were pleasant and helpful, but some were not entirely secure with the English language. French is the most common language of Quebec. Overall, despite the restaurant's reputation for serving celebrities, I was under whelmed. The food, while OK, was nothing to write home about.
The next morning, we toured the city of Ottawa, pop. 775,000, which is Canada's capital. Some famous people from Ottawa include Peter Jennings, Dan Aykroyd, Paul Anka, Rich Little and Matthew Perry. The Rideau Canal connects Ottawa with Kingston. In winter, the section of the canal that passes within the city becomes the world's longest skating rink. Some residents actually skate to work. The tour included the R.C.M.P. (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) stables. We saw many of the horses the Mounties use and the areas where they put on riding exhibitions. Interesting, but a bit smelly.
After the morning tour, some of us left the bus in the Byward Market while others returned to our hotel, which had an ideal downtown location. What is Byward Market? Well, within an area roughly four blocks square, you'll find museums, cafés, specialty food shops, boutiques, galleries, restaurants, pubs, a department store, and more! My mouth watered as I looked at the food displays in the outdoor stalls. I later learned that some of the group had spent the afternoon taking a tour inside the parliament building. They said it was a great experience. Our tour director had suggested that we might take in the National Gallery, War Museum or Royal Mint. There was also the casino and cruises on the Ottawa river. So many things to see, so little time.
Had we been here in May, we could have taken in the famous tulip festival. It was here, in 1945, that Canada planted some of the 100,000 tulip bulbs given by Holland as a thank you for providing safe haven for members of the Dutch Royal Family and the role of Canadian Veterans during the Second World War. Five decades later, the Canadian Tulip Festival is now the largest tulip festival in the world
Here are the few photos I took in Ottawa. They include the parliament buildings and a portion of the interior of the Canadian Museum of Civilization. I know, I should have taken more pictures.
Several of us had dinner at an Irish Pub not far from the hotel. I could not resist ordering the "Bangers and Mash." This turned out to be link sausages and mashed potatoes made with buttermilk. It wasn't bad.
The next day was "day 5" of our tour. We headed for the province of Quebec, and Quebec City, stopping along the way at the shrine of Cap de la Madeline.