20170630 – Day 2

Got up today and went to a restaurant down the street for breakfast.  We were hoping to rent a car and go to the Diefenbunker today, but apparently there are no car rentals to be had in Ottawa this weekend and no transit service to the Diefenbunker.  Half the people we’ve talked to don’t even know where the Diefenbunker is, and there are no local sightseeing companies that go there, so that’s kind of a disappointment.

We decided instead of go walk around the Byward Market.  One of my coworkers had helped develop a touch-screen interface for a display there, so I wanted to check that out.  Unfortunately it just started to rain lightly when we got off the bus.  We walked through part of the market, checked out the Inspiration Village, and found my coworker’s project in a German exhibit.

We walked up to Major Hill Park, but it was all blocked off in preparation for tomorrow.  So we headed over to the Rideau Canal, but most of that area was also blocked off.  We went through the extensive security to get onto Wellington Street and onto the lawn of the parliament buildings.  The rain was coming down much worse at this point.  We were told that to stake a good spot for tomorrow we should aim to be in line for security by 9am, which was a bit worrying.  Spent the next while walking along Spark Street Mall, got our Tim Hortons and Beavertails. Decided we were tired of the rain and headed back to the hotel.

Got dinner at the food court of the shopping mall across the street from the hotel and wandered around the mall until it closed at 21:00.

20170629 – Day 1

I used this site as a journal back in 2008 during a family trip to the east coast of Canada, so it seems somewhat fitting to use it again for another trip 9 years later that is in many ways a part 3 to that 2008 trip (which was a part 2 of a 2005 trip).  This time we’re spending a few days in Ottawa around Canada Day for the 150th anniversary of confederation, and then spending 10 days in Newfoundland (since we didn’t hit it in previous trips).

Today started unreasonably early to be at YVR airport for a 9:30 PDT flight. Particularly unreasonably given that we were all up late the night before to finish (well, start and finish) packing.  The flight itself was rather boring, we were in mild turbulence for the second half of the 4-hour flight which meant the seatbelt sign was pretty well constantly lit.

We left Vancouver at 9:30 PDT and arrived in Ottawa at 17:30 EDT, so a 4-hour flight ate up the majority of the day.  The weather in Ottawa is a stark contrast to the previous times we’ve been, being much more like the weather you’d see in Vancouver in November. That is to say, rain and 15℃ temperatures.  Hopefully it improves for July 1st, but the forecast doesn’t look great.

We got to Ottawa and set about figuring out how to get to our hotel at the other end of town.  Decided to take the local bus along the transitway.  It was pretty much like a standard bus, although I always forget that everyone else seems to have trouble understanding bus schedules and routes and transfers. It all made sense to me, and we did successfully make it to the hotel. We’ll be doing most of our travel to/from downtown Ottawa via the bus, although we’re looking into renting a car at some point to see the Diefenbunker.

We had dinner at the hotel restaurant, which appeared to be staffed by a total of 2 people. The food was edible, but not particularly great. Tea was served in a Thermos that had previously contained coffee, so that was kinda awful. We’ll probably try the food court at the nearby mall for future meals.

These posts always seem a bit disjointed and abrupt, but they’re mostly just a summary of the day’s events so I guess that’s just how it is…