28 June 2014

The Trip part 4

We all traveled down to Ottawa together on the Thursday so that I could fly back home on Saturday.

We were treated to the hospitality of two wonderful families. I stayed with the Branch President's family and Dad and Tina stayed around the corner at the home of the former Branch President. I have met so many great people on this trip and their kindness and hospitality was truly appreciated.

President and Sister Brulé - my great hosts

Elder and Sister Rhodes with Brother Brent Conway (former Branch President),
my travel agent to get to Val d'Or and our Friday night tour guide
We arrived in Ottawa Thursday night and went straight to the Canadian Museum of Nature. On Thursday nights, museums are free, except for the special exhibit that we paid for and the main reason for going to this museum. 

The Canadian Museum of Nature, "The Castle" built in 1910 in the Tudor Gothic style. This was once the former home of the Museum of Civilization, The National Gallery of Art and even Parliament after the fire in 1916. (Picture from Tina)
I had seen posters everywhere for the exhibit "Creatures of Light, Nature's Bioluminescence" with a great image of a jelly fish. I had seen a fantastic jelly fish tank down at Epcot in Orlando and when I saw that the exhibit included live specimens, it sounded like a good choice. The poster and my expectations were not realized - sure the mushrooms that glowed were pretty cool but the live species were a few plants and a couple of teeny tiny fish with a little glowing light. No jelly fish! (unless you count the fake plastic creations displayed in the room). 

So not what I thought it would be but I loved the minerals section (took lots of blurry pictures there - more camera issues) and the birds and animals were displayed well although stuffed and the zoo is a much better way to see these. Oh well. 
Canadian Museum of Nature - including the skeleton of a blue whale - 19.8 metres
Saturday morning we enjoyed a yummy breakfast with the Brule family before heading down to Parliament Hill for a tour. The skies were grey and we had to pull out the umbrellas once or twice. We picked up our tour tickets and walked around the grounds until it was time to go inside.

Monument to Queen Victoria on the occasion of her Diamond Jubilee.
It was first displayed at the Universal Exposition in Paris in 1900.

Statue of Lester B. Pearson, Canada's 14th Prime Minister and
recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize for his work to create the United Nations peace-keeping force.

The guide to the Hill tells visitors to rub his left shoe for luck. When I told Dad, he promptly put his own foot up on the plinth and rubbed his shoe. "I make my own luck." 
We had a tour guide from Alberta who took us in at the Peace Tower and through the Centre Block. I enjoyed seeing where the home of our Federal Government, where debates are held and decisions are made. Now I want to go back someday and watch from the gallery. But with the renovations (a 30 year project), when the West Block is completed, this building will be closed for its turn for renovations. I'm glad I had this chance to visit.

Tour of Parliament Hill, Centre Block
Top Left (clockwise) The Senate Chamber, The Centennial Flame in front of the Peace Tower and Centre Block,
the main door to the House of Commons, Coronation portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, The House of Commons,
Hallway leading to the Parliamentary Library
After touring inside, we completed our walk around the grounds. Such gorgeous lilacs and views of the Ottawa River and buildings nearby. Dad and Tina tried out the whispering wall and it really works! It was good to see the familiar set of sculptures of the women of "The Famous Five" that has its twin standing in downtown Calgary in Olympic Plaza.

Pictures from the grounds.
From top left (clockwise) Exterior of the Parliamentary Library, The Alexandra Bridge across the Ottawa River,
Notre Dame Cathedral, National Gallery of Canada, Statue of  William Lyon Mackenzie King,
Two of the Famous Five (Henrietta Muir Edwards and Louise McKinney),
Queen Elizabeth II, Robert Baldwin and Sir Louis-Hippolyte Lafontaine
on top of a whispering wall

Friday night - we met Brent Conway for dinner and then got a guided tour from one end of Ottawa to another. We drove around the area by Rideau Hall, out to the Canadian Tire Centre, home of the Ottawa Senators, along the canal and around Dow's Lake, and finished up at Hog's Back Falls Park.  
View of the Ottawa River and Gatineau Shore from Rockcliffe Lookout, built in 1924
Hog Back Falls Park

Saturday morning was time for us to say our goodbyes. It was good to know that it was just for a short time and that I would see them again back in Alberta this summer. (update: approximately Aug 5)

We enjoyed pancakes at the Conway's home and we made a plan for me to get to the airport but still do some final sightseeing before my late afternoon flight. We drove down to the Byward Market area and parted ways. I headed over to the Notre Dame Cathedral to check out the inside. A beautiful building. 

Notre Dame Cathedral - a 170 year old basilica and a National Historic Site of Canada

After the Cathedral, I took a tour of the Royal Canadian Mint. It seemed fitting after my time in the Valley of Gold to finish my tour holding a 24 K bar of gold (under watch of a guard that did not allow a photo with him in the background).

"Lift a 24 K gold Bar, cast right here at the Royal Canadian Mint.
The bar weighs approximately 28 pounds."

And then my final walk through the market, finishing up with lunch at Wang's Noodle House.

Ottawa, Byward Market
Byward Market stall

Ottawa, Byward Market
Lunch in Byward Market - Wang's Noodle House

It was time to make my way to my meeting point with Genvieve - my ride to the airport and holder of my luggage. I'm glad we planned to meet outside of downtown - with the traffic all shut down from the road race on the weekend, I was happy to be traveling against all the cars trying to get to the city center. And glad to be heading home after being on the road for three weeks.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Loved following you along on your trip. Loved the pictures. I gathered up the slides and pictures I had of the Puzey family. I took them to Lalainias. She forgot to give them to you last time you visited. Next time remind her. Love Aunt Myrna

nRelate - All Sections