Thursday, August 23, 2012

An Hour in Ottawa

Many of you already know that I've just been on an Arctic cruise. If you didn't know before, you do now! ;-)

Needless to say, its going to take time to get the approximately 2000 photos sorted out and ready for viewing. What I've decided to do, is sort each day and/or event individually, and do a blog post about each. That way it won't be too overwhelming for me to get the photos processed - or too boring for you guys having to wade through the whole lot in one go!

I'm starting on Day 2 of my journey - I'd already traveled by road from Invermere to Calgary the day previously, about 4 hours' drive (happily, I didn't have to drive myself), and overnight at the Super 8 (cheap and cheerful, clean and quiet) near the airport before my flight to Ottawa.

Upon arrival in our nation's capital (no-one told me its so humid that it feels like Maui!), I was rather surprised to find that there's NO airport shuttle service - its either taxi, or take the bus. Needless to say, I took a taxi - worth every penny of the $40 inc tip for the door to door service (no way I was lugging my 22kg suitcase and {unmentionable weight for carry-on} camera bag down main street Ottawa, even if the bus stop is just 100m from the hotel's entrance!). The route my driver took from the airport was lovely, along narrow, almost countryside roads then through older neighbourhoods, houses like I've only ever seen on tv (nothing like this out west, more like houses in the UK!), then along Rideau Canal! So pretty!

The Fairmont Chateau Laurier is where the cruise passengers were overnighting in the city. I'd usually not be able to afford a place like this but Adventure Canada, the cruise operator (can't say enough good things about them!), had arranged a smokin' deal for the group (the deal apparently didn't extend to a 10" room service pizza: C$28 including tax and tip and "service"!!!). The hotel's a classic old-world property, my room felt like a room in Nana's house, brocade and tassels, thick carpet and a high bed that swallows you in clouds of down!

I was knackered (already!) after the past day and a half of traveling, so decided to see what I could of the city in the single hour I had before I had to be back at the hotel for the cruise briefing. I dumped my stuff in my room, grabbed my camera and my rain coat, and hit the road. Two steps outside the front door, the heavens opened to deliver a summer afternoon downpour worthy of the old Transvaal.

Undeterred, I trudged on, camera sheltering in my coat - didn't matter if anything else got wet - and everything did! I was delighted to discover that the hotel's just a block away from our Houses of Parliament, so I walked around there, checking angles, light, etc, waiting for a break in the rain. Here are some of the few photos I got:

Queen Victoria

One of my Rain Shelters - the Private Entrance!

The View from my Hotel Room Window.

My Room's Front Right Corner of the Left Wing

I've no idea when the next post will be ready - hopefully within a week!

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  1. Cool pics there! How long was your cruise? I missed out on that tidbit of info.

  2. Thanks for visiting, Jeremy! Most of the time I didn't even know the significance of what I was taking photos of, just that I liked what I was seeing and wanted to capture it before I lost the light completely!

    The cruise was 11 days/10 nights ... with the travel on either end, I was away for 2 weeks.

  3. Being entertained by what I read and learning at the same time - even extending my vocabulary. You can never be "knickered" oops "knackered" reading such a blog. I'm getting the knack for the new word just in the "knick" of time.