Happy Fourth everybody! I still can’t believe that it’s already Independence Day. Where does the time go?
As we celebrate our Independence Day from the British Empire (by watching the Mets fall apart once again in the last half of the game), our neighbors to the North celebrated theirs just a few days earlier on July 1st, or Canada Day, as they call it.
I had to see this.
So, what’s a better place to celebrate Canada Day than the country’s capital of Ottawa?
As suspected, Canada Day is a HUGE deal in Ottawa. I literally spent the entire day trolling the streets of Ottawa in the sun, taking in all the sites, street performers and the masses of humanity clad in the Canadian Maple Leaf Flag milling about.
Besides Canada Day, I was able to spend the following Monday in Ottawa before returning on Tuesday back into the US of A in time for our Independence Day.
Ottawa is an interesting city. A few observations if you will:
– I went for a run to further explore some of the city on foot. I took the Ottawa River Path which is this very nice bike bath that runs along the Ottawa River, past a lot of the museums and affords very nice views of the Quebec side of the city. It got kind of confusing at one point so I figured I follow the signs for the beer garden from the day before. When in doubt, follow the beer!
It also gets kind of desolate in some parts, which made me a little nervous when it was just me an this very raggedy looking man on a bicycle were the only two on the path and he kept making stops.
However, I also crossed the bridge and ran a little on the Quebec side. The views of Parliament Hill from the path are amazing. I highly recommend it.
Once you cross into Quebec, put on your French cap because it is quite a switch.
– Tim Horton’s is still pretty good for a breakfast on the go.
– There is a Mill Street Brewpub that opened up in one of the oldest buildings of Ottawa. It used to be a mill. A nice place to go hang out, try a flight and watch the Euro Cup finals while the others take their bus tour of the city.
– They like Beavers there…a lot (Two Beavers are Better than one!…How I Met Your Mother anyone?)
– Byward Market is the place to go for bars. It has some pretty decent shopping and a lot of restaurants. It is nice that there are produce vendors up and down the streets to pick up some nice berries.
– Poutine is available everywhere. Gravy and cheese curds on top of fries. What is not to like?
– We also made a brief stop in Massena, NY. There I was able to watch a 716 foot long ship carrying Wheat go through a lock along the St. Lawrence River. It was really awesome watching the whole process!
Ottawa is a very pretty city. You can check out all the pictures I took on my Flickr HERE!
Happy 4th of July everyone!