First stop: downtown Ottawa's Byward market. Not sure what the rhyme and reason is here, but there are several blocks of little shops, sidewalk kiosks, buskers, pigeons and places to eat that make a vibrant and fun place to hang out. We stayed through lunch here and ate some of the best Mexican food I've had in a long time. Everyone loved their lunch here- even Avery was digging into the sweet chipotle sauce and bathing her quesadilla in it! I was a fan of the garlic jalapeno sauce myself; all were made in house. The only thing was the humidity and heat...
poor cars still have to navigate the roads with shops that spill right to the edge
hot and waiting for lunch
good eats here!
a hidden courtyard- less busy. who wouldn't want a bike like that?
We made a stop at the 'tomb for an unknown soldier'. We felt bad for those poor guards out in the heat in those tall furry hats. But the guide there said that they rotate new guards in every hour. They really do stand as still as a post, except for every now and then for no reason that we could see, they march back and forth. Maybe something in their hat tells them it is time!
Avery was a little scared of the guy and his bayonet tipped gun...
Then it was time for our tour inside the parliament buildings. Off we went to a hopefully air-conditioned building! We met with the group and guide we had booked and had to go through security before entering the building. There were security guards around every corner- you'd think national interests were at stake here, or something!
The interior is gob-smacking ostentatious and over-the-top marvellous. What a weird place to work every day.
Avery's photo- cool! Our elected members sit here and decorously debate important issues.
Avery thought it was funny to find a King named Francois hanging on the wall, and took a picture to show our host:0)
big fancy door in a big fancy doorway
where the magic happens
umm- yeah. That's a hallway.
And that's a roof.
We then went to the top of the peace tower, right under the clock. You can see the peace tower in earlier pictures- its the tall pointy building with a clock on it!
You could see a lot from up there! And! We were right under the clock. You could also see the bells through the elevator door as you went up/down.
Then on to our last stop- the mint! There are actually two coin mints in Canada- one in Ottawa and one in Winnipeg. The Winnipeg mint makes all of the general circulation coins, while Ottawa makes the collector coins. The process is very interesting, and they are very picky about the coins that are released. I guess 40% are melted again for one reason or another. No photos were allowed inside the mint, but you could take them in the gift shop.
gold bricks- a chance to see a few million dollars worth of gold just sitting there. I doubt it was real...
Coins for collectors
Coins to commemorate the queen's jubilee. There is an actual diamond set into this one.
The pop machine at the mint. I thought this was very funny!!!!
And with that, good night! Better get to sleep before the adventure continues tomorrow:0)