One of the joys of an early morning flight is arriving at your destination with a full day ahead of you. We’re checked into our hotel and off on our first day in Ottawa by 9:30am. After a stop at Bridgehead Cafe for a much needed coffee jolt and at Parliament to pick up tickets for an afternoon tour, we decide on a city tour to kick off our trip. It’s a common travel pattern for us – use the first morning to quickly get an overview of a city before exploring it in more depth during the rest of the trip.
It’s a sweltering day with the temperatures already pushing 30C when we hop aboard the bus. Taking a seat on the top level, I’m glad I liberally applied sunscreen before leaving the hotel. Here we are just as the tour is about to get started:
The 90 minute tour covers the downtown Ottawa area, loops over to Gatineau, meanders in through Rockcliffe, back through the Byward Market, and then takes a scenic route along the Rideau Canal to Dow’s Lake to finish up. Here are some pictures of the highlights along the way.
Locks of the Rideau Canal beside the Chateau Laurier:
Canadian War Museum (didn’t make it inside on this trip, but will on my next visit). Notice the Morse Code pattern on the windows on the “fin” on the upper right – it spells “Lest we forget” and “N’oublions jamais”:
Although I lived in Ottawa back in the 90s, this tour showed me a few things I hadn’t seen before and it was a good introduction for Jodi who didn’t have much time to explore the city while attending a busy conference. All in all, it was a great start to the first day.