Our second day in Ottawa promised to be a good one. Our reconnaissance of the previous day gave us a plan and we now moved to act upon it. First part of the plan was to have breakfast at the conveniently located Chez Cora. Lori’s brother John introduced us to this spot in Winnipeg, and they have since opened locations in Calgary. It is a high end breakfast place, started up in Quebec, If you get a chance, do it.
Full, we embarked on part 1 of our day, the bus tour. We have done bus tours in several places, especially when the sites are spread out over a large areas as they are in Ottawa. The convenience of being able to hop on or off at designated spots is appealing. We hopped off at Rideau Hall, the home of Canada’s Governor General. The current holder of this office (Queen’s representative in Canada) is David Johnston. The grounds are large and the home is, as expected, stately.
There are some interesting traditions here. One of the most famous, and coolest, is the planting of trees on the grounds by visiting dignitaries. There are trees here that have been planted by such varied people as Eleanor Roosevelt to William and Kate. Each tree has a plaque near showing who’s tree it is and when it was put in the ground.
From Rideau Hall, , we hopped back on a bus and continued our tour. I snapped a quick picture of an unusual statue. Don’t really understand the significance but am sure some artist somewhere was quite pleased with thier paycheque for this.
The next stop on our tour was a boat ride on the Ottawa River. We have done river tours on the Thames in London, the Seine in Paris and the canals in Amsterdam. A very good way to see the sights from the “other side”. We recommend them as a vital tool to kill some time and snap some dramatic photographs.
The boat tour ended, much to the delight of the tour guide as it was the last tour of the season for her. When we last saw her, she was hopping up and down on one foot, yelping with glee that she would not have to say the same thing for the 2,578th consecutive time. On our way back to to the Bywater area, (supper) I stopped and took a photo of the Rideau Canal, looking up from the river toward the Chateau Laurier.
The visual (touristy) portion of our day having now concluded, we moved on to our favourite part of travelling, the cultural side. We had been given a recommendation by our server the previous night to go to a restaurant called Mama Grazzi’s. She said it was authentic Italian, reasonably priced. We located the establishment and got a table. The meal was enjoyable and the wine was good. What I especially liked was the ambience. We were on the second floor with a good view of a square behind the building. The service was decent and I would not hesitate to recommend the place to you.
After lingering over wine, we decided to head out for a: more wine and b: dessert. We wandered through the Bywater area (definitely the place to be) and stumbled upon Must Wine Bar. The place was packed, but we lucked out and got a table inside, right against the street window. We ordered some wine and proceeded to watch Ottawa pass by our window. A very busy evening, great for people watching. After a glass we ordered some tapis off their menu and, surprise, some more wine. The ambience was great, the wine great and the food was perfect. I would easily recommend to our friends.
We enjoyed the evening, but we had to hit the road in the morning (after Cora’s of course) as we had booked for a short stay in Mont Tremblant. Fall season was beginning to really hit and we were anticipating a beautiful, colourful drive through the Laurentian Mountains to our destination.
- Ottawa, The Capital Region of Canada, October 2011 – Day 1 (joebeans2002.wordpress.com)
- Kate Middleton and Prince William Symbolize Their Love With a Tree in Canada (popsugar.com)