Sunday, September 13, 2009

Ottawa: a neat capital

Click on the pictures to enlarge.

The second part of my trip to Canada included a twenty-four hour visit to Ottawa. We drove for a bout two hours from Montreal to the capital of Canada. The weather was gorgeous and a glorious sunshine brightened our trip. While my husband drove I munched on candied almonds, read the instructions and played navigator. I am proud to say we didn’t get lost in spite of my ususl poor sense of orientation.

The moment we stepped into our hotel room, the phone rang. It was one of my two high-school friends who live in Ottawa and was impatient to meet. They both joined us in the lobby. My husband smiled to his ears while watching our hugs and screams of joy. It was my fifth reunion with one of them and my third with the other since that far away graduation day.

We invited them to dinner in a restaurant of their choice on the canal. Later they gave us a tour of downtown Ottawa by night. We ambled through streets of cafes and restaurants in a lively city.

In the morning, my husband and I strolled in downtown and stopped at the Byward Market for a delicious breakfast at the very famous Moulin de Provence Bakery in Ottawa.

Look at the pictures and you will recognize President Obama who indulged his sweet tooth at this place. A video of the president ‘s visit played continuously and a special counter offered Obama cookies.

"I understand you've got some Canadian cookies … in the shape of a maple leaf," the president said during his surprise walkabout in the market last Thursday.
The baker, Claude Bonnet, obliged with maple-leaf-shaped sugar cookies with red and white icing.
"I figured, I'd get some points from my daughters," Obama said.

Since then the bakery is selling the Obama cookies all over United States and Europe.

One of my friends met us after breakfast and gave us a tour of the city.
We passed in front of the Parliament.

And visited the splendid Cathedral of Our Lady.

Notice the steel spider-shaped structure across from the cathedral.

We toured the Museum of Civilization. The front of the building looks like a face. Later we stopped by my other friend's house for lunch: salmon smoked in Ottawa.

If you like to travel and love to read, come and enjoy my international romances. I will take you around the world through stories that simmer with emotion and sizzle with heat.


Jane said...

Ooh, the famous maple cookies. I got to taste them for the first time earlier this year when my friend went to Canada for work and he bought some maple cookies in the airport.

Sandra Cox said...

Sounds like a lovely vacation, Mona.

Mona Risk said...

Hi Jane, you should have seen the store: a shrine to Obama, with continuous videos, a huge poster, American flags...

Hi Sandra, it was a fun vacation I won't forget.

Brenda Gayle said...

Hi Mona,
As a native of Ottawa it is great to see my beautiful city get some profile. Those cookies are fabulous. I always bring some to the store managers when I do signings in the US.

Molly Daniels said...

I LOVE those cookies:)

So THAT'S what Ottawa looks like without ice and snow (giggle)! We stayed at the Holiday Inn and only went to the airport and the Mall. I do remember the Parliament building, and missed the 'spider'. See? I need to go back in the summer!

Cate Masters said...

I'd love to hop the border to Canada! Except now you need a passport. :( A few years ago we vacationed in the Thousand Islands right on the border - also a very cool place. Thanks for sharing your photos!

Mona Risk said...


Indeed your city is fabulous. I wish I could post all the pictures I took of the river. Is it the St. Laurent here also? My husband said, a twenty-four hour visit is not enough. We may come back.

Mona Risk said...

Molly, what a coincidence. We stayed at the Holiday Inn too. It was very central and we could walk to the market.

Mona Risk said...

Yes Cate, you need a passport and stay in line for thirty minutes at least to go through customs.

Mary Ricksen said...

I lived in Ottawa for a couple of years while in High school. Did you get to see the changing of the guard. That's so cool too!
Ottawa is such a clean city and so tourist friendly.