Monthly Archives: August 2013
Hiking Mount Royal was a day’s work
The Montreal tourist guide book, our bible for the past 1o days, said the best way to see Montreal’s Mount Royal is to take the Metro to the Peel Street exit and walk the ten blocks to the base of the trail that goes to the top of the mountain. From there a nice graveled road leads to the top says the guide book, adding it’s “a worthwhile challenge.”
The uphill hike of Montreal’s Mount Royal park.
That’s not much of a hike for a couple accustomed to walking three to five miles daily so we gladly accepted the challenge. Like most guide books, this one left out the part about the first ten blocks were all up a steep hill. So is the rest of the hike. We are “flatland walkers. Occasionally, a bridge walk over the river is thrown in for kicks, but the first ten blocks up Peel Street en route to Mount Royal, which, by the way, isn’t a real mountain, kicked our behinds. After visiting an aptly placed water fountain and park bench, we made our second dumb decision of the day as we started up Mount Royal and chose a series of stairs to ascend before realizing that we could have taken a longer zig-zag road route that was much less vertical than the stairs.
The Hughes’s pose for a picture in front of St. Joseph’s Oratory, Montreal, Canada.
We joined a train of walkers, joggers, and bike riders and headed for the top on a trail that was conceived by the same designer of Central Park in New York City. His name was Frederick Law Olmsted and I’ll bet he never walked all the way from Peel Street to the top of Mount Royal after designing the park in 1876.
St. Joseph’s Oratory, Canada’s largest church, is built on the slopes of Mount Royal and is a National Historic Site.The first chapel was built on this site in 1904.
Jacques Cartier, whose name adorns a bridge, a major thoroughfare and a host of other landmarks in town, is also responsible for giving Canada its name. Also give him credit for being the first European to scale the hill in 1535. In 1642, De Maisonneuve made a pilgrimage to the top of the hill to fulfill a vow made after a flood swept up the town and erected a cross at its summit. Today’s cross is 103′ high and decorated with LED lights making it visible from most parts of the city.
In winter, the park has seven cross country ski trails along with tubing and tobogganing runs. The mountain was also the site of the 1976 Summer Olympics road race cycling event.
Shirt-soaked and worn-out from the upward hike, we arrived at the top of Mount Royal, stopped for a snack at a small eatery and enjoyed a mountain top view of the Montreal skyline from the Kondiaronk Belvedere scenic lookout. The summit has a beautiful manicured meadow that overlooks a lake with a beach and picnic area. The view from here is impressive.
After spending half the day on the mountain, we made a wise decision and took a city bus to the the nearby St. Joseph’s Oratory, Canada’s largest church. We had walked enough for one day.
After visiting the Oratory, we walked about three blocks to a busy neighborhood and found a pub. A waitress showed us to a table and presented us with a menu, all in French.
“English?” I asked, hoping for a menu we could or a waitress who could translate the menu..
“Good luck,” she replied, and walked away.
A view from behind the altar of St. Joseph Oratory.
We had been warned by friends that some French Canadians were not particularly friendly to English speaking visitor; maybe even less enamored with those from the states. After about five minutes, another waiter stopped by our table and asked if we were ready to order.
I told him we couldn’t read the French menu.
“Well, we have both English and French menus. Why didn’t the other waitress give you the English menus?, he asked.
He brought menus we could read and dinner was ordered. That was our first reminder that we were in French Quebec.
Millions line bridge, river shoreline to watch world’s best fireworks
In 1985, the first year Montreal held its international fireworks festival, more than 5.7 million people lined both sides of the St. Lawrence River to see the best and largest fireworks show in the world. The crowds have since declined some since that opening night, but not the spectacle.
The eight or nine 30 minute “pyromusical” shows, which begin in June and conclude in late July, bring together the best pyrotechnical companies in the world. Competitors will explode almost 6,000 explosions in each show.
Along with thousands of others, we chose a vacant field on the east shore of the St. Lawrence River in the town of Longueuil while many lined the Jacques Cartier Bridge, which is closed to vehicular traffic about an hour before the shore. The Port of Old Montreal is also a popular viewing spot. We had an unobstructed view across the river to La Ronde, a Six Flags amusement park, near where the fireworks were staged.
Metro mastered, lots of music and sightseeing in Montreal
This is only our second trip into downtown Montreal via the metro and while we don’t exactly fit in like locals, at least the locals aren’t staring at us like we’re from a foreign country. We have not, however, fooled the metro ticket sellers. They speak only French and we speak only English. We have mastered a conglomeration of sign language and single words at the same time sporting a totally lost facial expression that begs for sympathy. It’s no wonder they don’t want us in their country.
Perfect place for pictures.
Seasoned metro riders don’t make eye contact with anyone–locals or foreigners. Heads are down, eyeballs are scanning free tabloid newspapers from the metro station and others are thumbing fancy cell phones that surely can’t grab a signal as we cross deep underneath the St. Lawrence River heading into downtown Montreal. Half the riders have ear-buds stuck in their heads and eyes closed. We rush to line up like locals before the subway stops, then follow the crowd up a couple flights of stairs like we’re late to catch a flight. That’s how the locals do it. We have this thing figured out, even while toting a couple cameras and wearing a Florida Gator cap–neither should signal we’re Floridiot tourists. Ha.
The metro drops us off conveniently within 50 yards of one of more than a half dozen stages where a dixieland band is playing to a packed and standing crowd. The Montreal Jazz Festival is underway. Since it is a workday, the crowds are manageable. and we wait until seats open under the tent. We listened to a couple of bands then walked about a half dozen city blocks to Old Montreal, passing through the gates of China Town. The main street through China Town was closed to vehicle traffic many years ago, creating a convenient pedestrian walkway for tourists who enjoy gawking at the ducks hanging in the fresh meat markets and the retail stores.
Taking a break on one of the centuries old streets in Old Montreal.
The French established a fur trading post in the Old Montreal area in the early 1600’s but abandoned it after hostilities with the Iroquois. The area was resettled by the French in the mid 1600’s but became British after the French and Indian War in 1763. We are walking some of the original cobblestone streets.
When in New France, visitors should eat like the French, so we ordered fancy crepes for lunch at the locally popular Jardin Nelson on Jacques Cartier Place; one with asparagus, ham and cheese and the other with chicken, pesto and cheese. We dined street side under a canvas canopy and watched the tourists pass by as a light rain started, for which no one is prepared. Eat slow, we did, and the rain stopped as we were sipping a second glass of bubbly.
We walked some of the 350-year old cobblestone streets, peaked inside a few art galleries and antique stores–some in buildings that dated back to the 1700’s while the real tourists were getting a closer view of Old Montreal aboard horse drawn carriages. The St. Lawrence River and the Old Port area is only a block away and offers a three quarter mile walkway along the waterfront. It is a popular destination for locals who want to exercise along the pedestrian paths. Other activities along the river include an IMAX theater, beach, boardwalk and boating. The waterfront is also home to several annual festivals .
Oriental gate welcomes visitors to Montreal’s China Town.
- Oriental gate welcomes visitors to Montreal’s China Town.
With some daylight left, we visited the huge old Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal which dates back to the 1820’s and is located on the site of the first parish church of Notre-Dame in 1672. A bubble maker (for lack of a better title) was delighting and entertaining a dozen youngsters in the plaza in front of the Cathedral. He had what appeared to be a homemade bubble-making rig; string tied in a net fashion between two sticks which he dipped in a gallon bucket of soapy solution when swirled, would produce bubble as big as basketballs and larger.
Youngsters entertained by a bubble making street performer in the plaza at Notre-Dame Basilica.
- Youngsters entertained by a bubble making street performer in the plaza at Notre-Dame Basilica.
Visitors enjoying an ice cream break in Old Montreal.
- Visitors enjoying an ice cream break in Old Montreal.
We returned to the Jazz Festival and enjoyed a group of musicians performing near the stage along main street. They played mostly Dixieland music. The popular Heineken Gardens stage featured a four piece blues group, again to packed crowds. This was a local busker group which was enjoying its first invitation to take the stage at the international festival.
We took the metro back across the St. Lawrence and arrived home as dark approached. A malfunctioned battery cut-off switch had turned off all power to the RV sometime during the day. Always something. It took an hour to track down the cause of the outage. With the problem fixed I grilled fresh Alaska sockeye salmon on our new grill and again we set plates on the outdoor picnic table and toasted Montreal’s nice cool weather as the sun went down on another cloudless evening. We did not suspect that tomorrow would bring temps in the low 90’s and a very uncomfortable day of trying to enjoy music under a scorching sun.
NEXT: It’s just too hot!!
Outdoor cooking and eating is a way of life on the road
The regulator on our portable gas grill has malfunctioned and despite a couple trips into Montreal in headache traffic to find a replacement, we gave up and bought a new one. Gas in the old unit was flowing at a trickle, not nearly enough to grill anything.
The effort was made to find a new regulator since having dependable outdoor cooking gear is almost a necessity in RV’s. Although we have a 40-foot RV, kitchens are generally small. Our older model Monaco has a three burner propane stove and a combination microwave-convection oven that can prepare most foods, but will also heat up the inside of the RV. In addition, counter space is really limited. Besides, cooking outdoors is a traditional part of camping, even with a fully equipped indoor kitchen.
Charcoal grills work well, but not as convenient when traveling from campground to campground. We cook and eat outdoors almost every evening, which is one of the joys of RV traveling. Clean-up is also quick and convenient.
The unit that served us well for three years was a two burner portable job that was hauled in one of the underneath storage bins. A small 10-pound gas cylinder that can be refilled at most campgrounds, is carried for fuel.
Martha also has a new portable convection oven, a Mother’s Day gift from our daughters and families. This “superwave” oven sits on an outdoor picnic table and plugs into the RV’s house power through an outdoor plug. Cooking a whole five or six pound chicken takes about an hour and provides leftovers for lunch tomorrow when traveling. It also fits in the underneath bin.
All except baked Sebago potatoes were cooked on our new grill tonight: a couple steaks, asparagus, tomatoes and onions. We toasted the shiny new unit with some adult beverages as the sun set over Camp Alouette near Montreal, Canada. Weather tonight will be cool enough to leave the windows open.
Tomorrow we ride the subway into downtown Montreal, listen to some music at the Jazz Festival, then have lunch in old Montreal and do some sight seeing.
Hunt for grill parts finds a huge downtown shopping center in Montreal
From Martha’s Journal:
It’s raining again and we have decided to drive from the campground into Montreal to a Canadian Tire Store in the continuing search of a regulator for our ailing portable gas grill. After fighting horrific traffic and driving more than 20 miles in the rain, we learned the following day that there was another Canadian Tire store within 10 minutes of the campground. What a waste of time and effort. So is hunting for a new regulator.
Canadian Tire is similar to a Sears or Wal-Mart store and one would expect these large superstores to be in standalone buildings. Looking for a standalone store was also a mistake. We suspected the GPS had sent us on a wild goose chase and drove around a busy one-way city block twice before we found the store inside a huge multi- story shopping center in downtown Montreal. An indoor parking garage occupied a couple of floors of the building, the rest were shops, including a huge grocery store. We needed a map just to find our way out of the garage. Which, by the way, brings up another new problem. This was our first experience with self-pay garage parking. The instructions were in French but thanks to an English speaking passerby, we simply pushed a button and received a time-stamped ticket. When returning, we inserted the ticket back into the electronic parking device and the amount we owed (in Canadian money) flashed up on the screen. We inserted a credit card and received a paid ticket in return which we presented to an attendant at the exit. Very efficient.
This shopping plaza, called Alexis Nihon Plaza is a 2.4 million sq ft complex in downtown Montreal, consisting of a shopping center, two office towers, and a residential building. The shopping mall is connected to Atwater Metro Station, which joins the building by a short tunnel. Finding a full-sized grocery store on the third level of a shopping center was a complete surprise; not often are they even located in the heart of the city. However, this is a very big city with a huge downtown population and, I suspect, many do not have personal transportation and depend on services that are within walking distance or close to bus or subway routes. In addition, packing a bunch of stores in one large building keeps locals shopping indoors and avoiding the bad weather in winter. We will talk more later about the thriving city under Montreal.
After all the effort we were unable to find a regulator for our gas grill. Instead, we walked through the grocery store and picked up a few items before starting the search for the parking garage and heading for home.
During the past few days we have tried a half dozen places to buy a new regulator without luck. It’s time to junk that thing and buy a new grill. The driver agrees.
Moving day in Montreal brings on its own problems
Winters in Quebec are brutal and not the best time of year to get kicked out of an apartment and onto the street.
Seen as a warm weather solution to keep landlords from evicting tenants during the winter, the Canadian government in the mid- 1700’s picked July 1 as the day all rental agreements can begin.
Although the rule was changed years ago, the moving day tradition continues. And it has contributed considerably to Montreal’s economy plus adding a bunch of headaches for municipal services and utility companies.
Cable television and power companies struggle to turn services on and off to thousands of customers during a brief time span. Moving companies are booked months in advance to move tenants, often bringing trucks that are too large for the city’s narrow streets. Lots of part time workers, many inexperienced mover want-to-be’s, haul washers, dryers, pianos and other heavy equipment down several flights of stairs. Friends with pickup trucks are pressed into service. Since there are more moving customers than movers, out-of-town companies arrive to help pick-up the slack and a few extra bucks.
A by-product of moving is a street littered with abandoned mattresses, junk and trash which is picked over by treasure hunters and left scattered for city workers to haul away.
IKEA, the huge Swedish furniture store, drove city streets the week prior to moving day giving away free boxes.
Pizza stores add extra help for the day, including delivery drivers.
The local newspaper did a feature story on a company that customized bicycles to pull a small trailer capable of carrying appliances and boxed belongings.
While we avoided downtown Montreal we went shopping on Canada Day, or Moving Day and noticed many moving vans, trucks and loaded personal pickups driving “stuff” to a new destination.
July 1 is still moving day for many Quebec residents.
We went back to the campground, cleaned the RV and cooked steaks and roasted corn on the grill and recalled times once during our early married life when we could move all our possessions in a pickup truck.
NEXT: Music, good food and Old Montreal.
Rainy days are not a bit bad
FROM MARTHA’S JOURNAL:
It’s blowing and raining and three o’clock in the morning and feels like it’s blowing and raining inside the RV. Maybe its because we went to bed last night with the windows open. Half asleep and fumbling around in the dark, I close the bedroom windows, found the main control panel and flipped the switch to bring in both slide extensions to silence the canvas coverings over the slide-outs which the winds are blowing so hard they are beating the top of the RV like a drum. RV owners know the experience.
The slide-outs are mechanical extensions that increase by several feet wide, the interior space of the RV. The large slide is 29-feet long and extends the living room, kitchen and bedroom areas adding an additional two feet in width by 29 feet long. A corresponding slide on the opposite side expands the full width of the bedroom. With the slides extended, it’s like living in a downtown apartment on wheels. Newer RV’s come with four slides and are much roomier and more costlier than our seven-year-old model.
With the slide-outs withdrawn, navigable room inside the RV is minimal; reduced to a narrow isle lengthwise from front to rear down the center of the RV. Imagine your living room and bedroom scrunched up against the wall on three sides. It is somewhat claustrophobic in the bedroom but still comfortable in the living room where there is a full-size couch that converts to a bed and a reclining chair.
Although the RV weighs 35,000 pounds, it still shudders and rocks occasionally in the strong winds, warranting a questionable look from Martha and bringing Heidi to her feet. It’s not a bad storm, just a passing interruption of the day’s event, which was supposed to include the opening day festivities of the Montreal Jazz Festival. Scratch the music festival along with tonight’s international fireworks show. And, Canada Day, which is comparable to July 4th in the states, will be celebrated Monday. Good luck. Since Monday is also July 1, it’s moving day (not us) in Montreal. Wait until you hear about that!
With sleep long gone and a cup of coffee in hand, I’ve settled in a chair at the kitchen table and powered the laptop, opened and read emails, read a couple papers back in Florida and paid a few bills. Martha is in the recliner knitting and Heidi is sitting at the front door wearing her best “hang-dog” sympathy look. Wonder what she wants?
The rain continues. It will be an inside day and a good time to catch-up on overdue RVcrossroads.com blogs, process a few pictures and send a few maple leaf postcards from Canada to our Florida-Georgia grandchildren who are probably expecting alligator wrestling postcards. Usually on rainy days the Lady of the Manor, who has twice my energy and enthusiasm, insists on cleaning the “house.” I’m laying low, really low. Besides, it’s 3:30 a.m.
And since dogs don’t come equipped with raincoats, I’ll wait as long as possible before taking long-haired Heidi out in the elements. Just hold it, dawg, I tell her. She understands, too.
Five minutes later, I’m in raincoat with umbrella, leash and flashlight in hand and trailing a perky, now soggy, golden (shoe) retriever through Montreal’s Alouette campground looking for just the right spot. You know they can hold it forever, even longer in the rain. Each mark left on a limb, post or tree, is another dog’s DNA which she sniffs studiously to ascertain its origin. Since Heidi is a natural blonde female, she’s a squatter, not a hiker, although sometimes she gets the two mixed up when some big guy leaves a trail a couple feet up a tree and she can’t reach it. She will lift one leg and squat on the other, at least she tries. And once is not enough. I swear she rations it. Three or four more times she squats and covers scents before we return to the RV.
Standing outside and underneath the RV awning, I use a couple of old beach towels to dry us off. Inside the RV, we find Martha with knitting in her lap, taking a 4:30 a.m. nap.
Life is good.
aplartment on wheels
stepped out of the metro into the sights, soinds and smells of downtown Montreal and the headquarters of the jazz festival. within a half block was the first stage…one that was covered and a dixieland band bellowing out sounds of Bourbon Street. .
Cheese on fries? It will make a #$%%$ mess!
The dish poutine originated in rural Quebec, Canada, in the late 1950s. Several Québécois communities claim to be the birthplace of poutine, includingDrummondville (by Jean-Paul Roy in 1964), Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, and Victoriaville. One often-cited tale is that of Fernand Lachance, from Warwick, Quebec, which claims that poutine was invented there in 1957; Lachance is said to have exclaimed, “ça va faire une maudite poutine” (“it will make a damn mess”) when asked to put a handful of curds on some french fries, hence the name. The sauce was allegedly added later, to keep the fries warm longer. Over time the dish’s popularity spread mainly across the province (and later throughout Canada), often served in small town restaurants, bars, as well as being quite popular in ski resorts. (From Wikipedia)
Learn the Metro system to see Montreal
Downtown Montreal, Canada, an every-day scene from the top of Mount Royal.
Whoa horse!! Youngsters get a close up look at stilt characters as part of the entertainment at Montreal’s downtown Jazz Festival.
On our last night in peaceful Merrickville, Ontario, Canada, together with good friends Don and Sue we dined outside on grilled bratwurst sandwiches and shared a bottle of wine under the RV awning and talked about the past three days experiences until a late evening shower and mosquitoes chased us indoors.
Heidi, our golden retriever, went for a quick dip in the Rideau Canal the next morning as we prepared the RV for relocating to Montreal. After expressing our gratitude to Don and Sue for their hospitality the past three days, plans were made to meet again in 10 days in Quebec City. Since they previously lived in Quebec City, they have offered, once again, their guide services of the area. Touring a new city with friends who have local knowledge offers the opportunity to see the city like a local. It is even more helpful when the local language is a foreign language, like French.
It’s about 250 miles to Montreal where we will camp for the next 10 days. We were in Montreal about 10-years ago en route to a fishing lodge in northeast Canada and quite by accident, experienced the Jazz Festival and International Fireworks competition and vowed some day to return.
While the festival entertainment lacks the headliners of the past, we are here long enough to enjoy the free daytime musical events, tour Old Montreal, hike and see the city from high atop Mt. Royal, St. Joseph Oratory and experience more French food. Having the freedom to stay in a city and see all it has to offer is one of the advantages of retirement and RV travel. And, sometimes the rewards are unexpected. On a long trip out west a few years ago, we were traveling across Iowa and pulled into a campground west of Des Moines and was surprised to learn we were in the county where the movie Bridges of Madison County was filmed and also nearby was the birthplace of iconic actor John Wayne.
The drive to Montreal was uneventful, except for trying to decipher the French language road signs and converting liters of diesel to gallons. We gave up on both challenges and adapted quickly to the basic traffic signs, but were lost when blinking signs provided information on hazards, road closings or other issues up ahead.
We stopped at a rest area along the route, turned on the RV’s satellite television system and watched CNN before resuming the trip to Montreal. Camping Allouette is located across the St.Lawrence River from Montreal in suburb near Longueuil and today’s destination. Allouette is a huge 400-site campground and only 15 minutes from Montreal. It has earned Canada’s best campground title. Among lots of other amenities, Allouette has an RV wash and an on-site mobile repair service.
Montreal is a big city of well over 1.6 million residents and lots of traffic issues so we are making a “dry run” today, leaving the car in the campground and taking public transportation to enter the city. We found a public parking spot near Sherbrooke University, bought a couple round trip metro tickets, followed the hustling crowd and boarded a crowded subway. This particular route goes under the St. Lawrence River and emerges within walking distance of the downtown park location of the Jazz Festival.
Several square blocks around Place des Arts are closed to downtown traffic and workers are putting the finishing touches on more than a half dozen stages. This festival will attract 2 million people to watch more than 1,000 concerts, two-thirds of which are free to the public in this downtown venue. Over 3,000 musicians and performers are scheduled to appear. A festival booth provided a program of times and places of concerts along with a helpful downtown map. Fortunately, the program was in both French and English.
Confident we had conquered the pre-festival transportation jitters, we grabbed a quick lunch, walked back to the nearby metro station, found the subway bound for Longueuil and headed home.
After exiting the subway station, we drove along the St. Lawrence River and found a waterfront public park from which to watch Friday night’s international fireworks show. Found a huge IGA food store and picked up some essentials before heading back to the RV to fix dinner on the grill.
Exploring Ottawa, Canada, and trying poutine, smoked meat sandwich
For the next three days we will use Merrickville as our home base and enjoy the sites of Ottawa, Canada’s capital city, with our Canadian RV friends Don and Sue volunteering to serve as tour guides. What a treat to have someone familiar with the area to help decide the day’s itinerary and suggest places to dine, highlighting foods that are native to Canada.
The rotunda inside the main entrance of Parliament Hill welcomes visitors Canada’s seat of government.
“Just wait until you try poutine and a smoked meat sandwich,” boasted Don. “Poutine” was entirely foreign to us, but we suspected the “smoked meat sandwich” would have difficulty matching the good smoked BBQ served in the south. I was wrong.
Don drove us through the picturesque countryside on the 45 mile trip, highlighting the Canadian government’s 78- square mile Greenbelt which lies entirely within the City of Ottawa. Designed to prevent urban sprawl around the nation’s capital city, the Greenbelt provides an open green space for recreation, conservation and farming that forms a crescent around the more populous areas. In existence since the 1950’s, it is now among the largest parks in the world.
The route took us along the banks of the Ottawa River and the Rideaus River and Canal system, with each having its own greenway. The Capital Pathway, for example, is 140-mile recreational path for walkers, runners and bicyclists, interconnecting parks and the waterways within the city. The internationally famed Rideau Canal, which is also a World Heritage Site and the oldest continuously operated canal in the country, becomes the world’s largest ice skating rink in winter when cold weather freezes the waterway.
We toured the huge Canadian Museum of Civilization, one of a dozen museums in the city, marveled at the fresh vegetables, ethic foods, and arts and crafts at Byward Market, Canada’s oldest farmers market and drove past someone of the 126 foreign country embassies with a diplomatic presence in the nation’s capital.
Lunch today will be at Dunn’s Famous in downtown Ottawa where we ordered a Quebec original–poutine–as an appetizer, on the suggestion of our guests. French fries with brown gravy and cheese curds are the traditional ingredients but many restaurants add meats such as pulled pork, seafood and sometimes caviar. It was uniquely different and tasteful, but adjusting to soggy french fires which are usually crispy in the states, takes some adjustment. We tried poutine again a few days later in Quebec City, this time with pulled pork and liked this combination, too.
Don also suggested we try Dunn’s smoked meat sandwich, another delicacy in eastern Canada. Expecting a traditional type southern barbeque sandwich, we were surprised when it arrived. A three inch pile of thinly sliced beef, served steaming and juicy on rye bread, did not taste or resemble in color, the traditional southern offering. Instead the bright red beef resembled, but did not taste like, corned beef.
Looking through a window of glass in the Museum of Civilization and downtown Ottawa in the background.
Hand cut on demand from a large brisket, the meat is brined for days, rubbed with spices and then slow smoked at a low temperature. It was dripping juice, unbelievably tender and did not need sauces or condiments. What a treat. Incidentally, Dunn’s offers whole smoked briskets for carry-out.
The following day we again walked the downtown streets of Ottawa and spent a couple hours at Parliament Hill, the center of government for Canada and comparable to the United States’ Washington. The Canadian Parliament meets here and across the street is the office of the Prime Minister. Other buildings house members of Parliament, Ministers and governmental officials.
We joined a line of visitors to take an elevator to the top of the Peace Tower which is the center piece of the Parliament Building, passing the 53 bells of the carillon on the way. The room at the top of the bell tower is a solemn, chapel- like room with stained glass windows overlooking the city that contains books filled with the names of fallen servicemen and women in all Canadian military conflicts. The 360 degree view from the top gives visitors the opportunity to see the metro area, complete with its skyscrapers, rivers and bridges.
Weather in Ottawa was cool at night but hot during daytime.
The market in downtown Ottawa in Canada’s oldest.