Ottawa – The Nation’s Capitol
It has been whirlwind weekend spent with Alexander in his new home town, Ottawa. I’ve been disconnected from the internet since Thursday. And I really did not miss it at all.
It was good to spend time with my best friend and see the city, in the Winter. He lives in the heart of The Village. Just blocks from Parliament Hill. He just landed a new job working on the Hill for an MP. We toured the neighborhood where he will be working. The building sits between the Canadian Supreme Court building and Parliament Hill. MP’s are spread over several buildings, because they are numerous, so they could not be located in One Building.
Canada’s Supreme Court …
This is the building Rafa will be working in very soon. Very Swanky !!! Next door to the Courthouse.
Yesterday, we spent the afternoon touring The Peace Tower and the Memorial Hall. We missed out on an English tour of The Hill, tickets were sold out. I’d never seen that part of Parliament Hill before. And I have a bunch of photos from the Tower, looking down over Quebec (Gatineau) and Ottawa Proper.
I read “Shake Hands with the Devil,” written by Romeo Dallaire. It took me over a week to read. And while up the tower I took photos of places that he mentioned in the book. He was living on the Quebec Side, while in Ottawa, and several times in the story he crosses a certain bridge and finds himself in Confederation Park, where he finally hit his bottom, over a bottle of scotch.
We then visited Memorial Hall, where the names of all the soldiers who have been killed in the service in Canada’s Military are inscribed.The room is quite magnificent, and holds a wealth of meaning to our country.
The last time I was in Ottawa, last Fall, we attended a multi-media presentation which was projected on the face of Parliament Hill, and tells the story of how Canada came to be and how Parliament Hill was built.
Yesterday, we got to see the Tower from the inside and hear the story told by a guard in the Hall. And she shared with us all the constituent pieces that make up the room, from the stones on the floor, to the conflicts carved on the walls, and the several Books of Remembrance, located all around the room.
All of the soldiers who have died in the service of Canada, in all the conflicts over the decades, their names are written in Memorial Books. There are several. Every day at 11 a.m. the page of each book is turned by the keepers of the hall.
If you are family, of any soldier, in the books, you can communicate with Parliament, when your family members name appears on the page turned for that day. You can come to Memorial Hall and witness the page being turned, to pay respects to your honored dead.
After our tour, we headed for the Rideau Canal, which runs through Ottawa from the Ottawa River, across the city. The river is frozen, and is the worlds biggest skating rink. There were hundreds of people skating all along the river, which we walked for quite a bit, on the ice.
It Was Cold !!!
By the time we finished our afternoon event, we pulled up to the Rideau Center Mall, for some rest, warmth and quiet. Sitting in the food court, which was unlike any I had ever seen before.
All in All we walked about 8 kilometers over the day, from beginning to end. We went back home to rest for a bit before we hit a Thursday Night meeting in Ottawa. On Friday night we hit another meeting in the neighborhood close to home. The meetings we hit were close and within walking distance. It was good to hit a meeting each night and meet other alcoholics in the city. We did some service, and found Rafa someone to work with, I hope.
We visited the Book Bazaar located just down Bank Street from home. This used book store was HUGE and covered two floors with books piled from floor to ceiling. We spent some time looking around and I picked up a couple of books. If we had more time, and serious amounts of money, one could do some serious damage in a shop like this.
After the meeting Friday night, we came home just knackered. So we all went to bed early, and slept in late this morning. Rafa treated Meg, and myself to a breakfast of champions, which was nice to break bread all together.
This afternoon, I went to play some Dungeons and Dragons with Alexander and his friends. We did not get very far, because I had to catch my Uber to the Bus Station around 2.
Our bus departed Ottawa at 3 p.m. stopping in Kirkland and at the Airport here in Montreal, before ending its run at the central bus station at Berri.
The trip out took four hours because we got stuck in bumper to bumper traffic because our major highway system is under construction and is all torn up as they rebuild the whole entire structure.
Parliament Hill snowed under …