Friday, July 8, 2011

Canada: Ottawa, the Capital

After visiting Niagara Falls, we drove to Ottawa, the capital of Canada, located in the province of Ontario.  While in Ottawa, we crossed into the province of Quebec and visited Gatineau, a small town near Ottawa that is more in touch with the French side of Canada.  While in the capital, we visited Parliament, the National Gallery of Art, a church and basilica, Supreme Court and the Byward Market, an area with shops and restaurants.  We also toured the Royal Mint and learned that the Queen of England's face is on all their coins since she is recognized as their monarch merely for ceremonial purposes.  Another highlight of the trip was taking a boat ride on the Rideau Canal, a canal that runs through town near the University of Ottawa and their military facility, like our Pentagon.  Food in Canada was much like food in the USA.  We did not try their famous 'poutine,' fries with gravy, cheese, sometimes fish or beef and other condiments...  We did discover "Real Gelato" and really enjoyed their Maple flavored gelato.  Finally, a treat for me was seeing several examples in shops, museums, and around town of Inuit Art, traditional Canadian art that shows animals in an abstract way as if their bodies are puzzle-like and made up of organic shapes.  Ottawa, even though a city, didn't seem like most, large cities we have visited.  People were generally friendly and many shops and place closed around 5pm-6pm 'business' time.

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