Although we were flying out of Toronto we knew we wanted to travel just a bit further east to visit Canada’s capital city Ottawa. It was definitely my favourite stop of the trip and the only place that I wished we could have spent more time in. Built on the border of Ontario and Quebec the city is spattered with old buildings and turquoise rooftops peek out around every corner. In the bright November sunshine it really was incredibly pretty.
The other amazing thing about Ottawa – apart from the beautiful architecture – is the museums. You could stay here for weeks and go to a different museum or gallery each day, as it was we only had three days which was not really long enough to see all that we might have liked.
We bought a tourist saver ticket which allowed us to visit the Canadian War Museum and the Museum of Civilization for a reduced fee and it was definitely worth the money. The War Museum is housed in a building that looks like it could withstand a nuclear attack, almost completely below ground it appears from the horizon looking ominous, yet inside youdon’t notice the lack of light and instead can spend hours learning about all the wars Canadians have fought and the impact and creation of the country as a result of them.
Across the river, in Quebec is the museum of Civilization. Its domed roof and curved walls are clearly visible from the other side and the architecture itself was almost as intriguing as the potential held by the contents inside. Once within its walls we were treated to engrossing exhibitions full of reconstructions of First Nation houses and townships throughout Canadian history.
We spent a morning exploring the Parliament buildings that sit perched on a hilltop over looking the river which was fascinating. Smart suited civil servants were rushing about in every direction, but we were free to admire the view and the statues that are scattered around the buildings. I took tea with the ladies who passed an act declaring that women could become MPs and lent my scarf to another who was horribly under dressed for the frigid temperatures.
Other Ottawa highlights included trying Beaver tail (deep fried pastry, ours came with chocolate) being upgraded to a hotel suite that our London flat would disappear into at least twice over and our last North American diner experience.