From Montreal, we take the bus to Ottawa, where we spend CanadaDay. Everyone tells us that this city isn’t as beautiful as the others in Quebec, it’s true, but spending a day in Ottawa, on July 1st, is highly recommended.
We start with one of the most visited places: the National War Memorial. It is here that we are in the full tourist center, with a lot of things to visit. As we are on July 1st, the roads are pedestrian, it is very pleasant.
Here is the Chateau Laurier, now a luxury hotel. Its magical side reminds us of the luxury castle in Quebec City
Rideau Canal & Locks
One of Ottawa’s famous experiences is skating on the Rideau Canal Skateway, the largest in the world according to the Guinness Book of Records. When the surface of the canal is sufficiently frozen (early January to early March), you can skate on the 7.8 km of ice, which stretches from downtown Ottawa to Carleton University via Dows Lake. Free of charge, of course.
The quiet Rideau Canal is marked by a series of small locks. I still have an obsession for locks, I don’t know why 🙂 it’s maybe because of the movie Amélie Poulain. You have to come early in the morning because this part is closed for fireworks in the evening.
We are fortunate to witness the crossing of the locks by a small boat and realize that the closing and opening of the gates is done in an automated way but they have kept the controls of the time.
Going gently up the path from the locks, one gets a beautiful view of the Parliament Hill. Unfortunately, this part will be closed in the evening so despite a nice potential view on the fireworks, we can’t stay here.
Major’s Hill Park
Everyone meets at Major’s Hill Park for free activities offered within the park and the many food trucks. But from here, the view will be hidden by the trees, it isn’t the ideal place for fireworks.
We stroll by and come across Ottawa Sign. Mandatory Sightseeing Passage hehe
…before meeting us at the ByWard Market. There are more fancy restaurants than a real farmer’s market. But everything is still very beautiful. If you still haven’t bought your maple syrup, now is the time.
It’s already time to worry a little bit about fireworks. We are trying to find a place on the lawn in front of Parliament, but we are told that the fireworks will be fired behind Parliament. So we don’t bother and prefer to go to the other side.
We were given the program for the day and Canadian flags. Everyone is dressed in red, the atmosphere is superb!
Finally, the best views of the fireworks display will be when we cross the bridge and stand on the lawn – looking down on Parliament Hill. Type RABASKA CANADA on Google Maps to get the exact location. Here, we’ve been given speakers so that we can listen to and follow the concert taking place in front of Parliament. The only singer we recognized was Cœur du Pirate, who we saw during the Quebec City festival in Quebec City.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t take any pictures, but the fireworks were really worth it, it lasted a very long time and in North America, fireworks are a great thing.
After the fireworks, we walk home because it is impossible to get your hands on a cab or a Uber. 40 minutes, quiet. The atmosphere is festive and very secure.
The next day, we leave for Washington – and will celebrate July 4th, the American National Day in Washington DC.