Thursday, September 22, 2011


Am so glad that I had the privilege to visit Capital Hill at least once in my lifetime. Had a tour of the Parliament building which took us through many arched hallways, into the Senate chamber, the Hall of Honour, and the memorial room where books of each war bear the names of fallen soldiers. A new page in each book is turned each day at 11AM.
The library stands as the only original building of 1868 as the rest of the Parliament buildings were damaged in a fire. The library is a three story, round building of stunning carved woodwork with a statue of Queen Victoria presiding over it's beauty. (No photos allowed)
We went through two security checks, the second holding our hand bags and cameras as we had the privilege to sit in the gallery of the House of Commons to listen in to the first morning of the fall session of the 41st Parliament. We were there during the lunch hour so will have to forgive the rather visible absentees as a member of the opposition read a bill followed by minimal response. Our local MP Ron Cannon made a 10 second entrance to toss his paperwork on his desk before disappearing and alas, before I could wildly wave at him :)

Took a pleasant, guided boat tour down the Rideau Canal. Put our walking feet back on to tour the National War Museum; HUGE, comprehensive of all conflicts and peace keeping that our country has ever been involved with, SOBERING.

Every night over the past weeks we think we have walked our feet off, but after a good night's rest there is always new energy to explore. Drove down Sussex Drive for a peek through the trees at the Prime Minister's residence and then across the street we enjoyed a walk through the parklike grounds of the Governor General's residence. Along the pathways are over 100 tress planted over the years by visiting dignitaries and royalty such as the maple tree below planted by King George VI in 1939. The Fountain of Hope in front of the residence is in memory of Terry Fox.

The Canadian Museum of Civilization is a must on any visit to Ottawa. It truly was amazing and after 5 hours we felt like we should receive an honorary history degree. NO MORE MUSEUMS!
Time to get away from people and the city so a lovely drive into the Gatineau National Park. The maple trees were just beginning to turn colour and we were imagining the spectacular sight it will be in a few weeks.

A most Interesting place within the park is the former estate of William Lyon McKenzie King, Canada's 10th Prime Minister with the longest term of office at 22 years. The estate is over 300 acres of parkland with three residences which seems highly unecessary for a man who never married, but then he was quite eccentric if you check out his biography.

Mr. King used stones and columns from old bank buildings and Ottawahouses to create garden windows. In one area are 'the ruins', buildings he never completed but decided to leave them in that state of art expression.

We are heading home, but have one last stop in Orillia to visit my sister -YIPPEE!

1 comment:

edie said...

Thanks for the visit. It was such a pleasure to have you as house guests. Now you will need a holiday from your holiday.