Ottawa trip review
June 3,4,5 - 2014
Are you looking for what to do and what to see in Ottawa? This city located in southern Canada along the border between Ontario and Quebec, it is not only the administrative capital of Canada, but it is also the capital of the museums and culture where it is certainly worth spending a few days during any holiday in Canada. The museums in Ottawa are in fact numerous and include a wide variety of themes through large number of exhibits.
Photos of Ottawa. Like many other major cities in Canada, the downtown in Ottawa contains skyscrapers and is the main business and financial district of the city.
Ottawa Confederation Building is located in not far from the Parliament House in central Ottawa and has a Gothic style. It was built around 1927 and it currently houses the MPs and their staff.
The Confederation Building reflected into the glass of a modern building.
With its 202 km of length, the Rideau Canal connects Ottawa River to Lake Ontario, crossing the center of the city. Built during the first half of the 19th century, this channel was an important way of communication ensured through appropriate gate system to compensate for gradients. Nowadays, it is mainly used for tourist excursions in small boats.
Ottawa is bicycle-friendly city, despite the harsh winter. Some columns on the roadside advertise the bicycle as an ideal way to get around, showing in real time the number of bikes that are passed through during the day and throughout the year.
Ottawa Parliament Hill includes a complex on buildings in Gothic style built between 19th and 20th century. As the name implies, is the seat of the Parliament of Canada. The whole complex can be eventually visited through guided tours also from inside.
Ottawa is crossed by the omonimous river, which also serves as a border line between Ontario and Quebec, as well as the line of separation between the Ottawa (south of the river) and Gatineau (north of the river)..
The city of Gatineau in Quebec, as explained before, is located just a few minutes walk from the center of Ottawa. The city hosts the Canadian Museum of Civilization, a museum dedicated to the history of Canada. The museum is huge and would require an entire page to show all the halls, so I will put only few pictures just to give an idea about what to expect.
The Canadian Museum of Civilization is divided into several halls, each illustrating particular aspects of Canada. In a country where ice and snow are the undisputed masters for many months of the year, there is of course a large section dedicated to this subject, where visitors can find things ranging from antique snowmobiles, to Eskimo sunglasses.
A section of Canadian Museum of Civilization is dedicated to the Empress of Ireland and her sinking in 1914 occurred after a collision with another ship. Because of the extent of the tragedy and the dynamics of the accident, the Empress of Ireland is also referred as the Titanic of Canada.
Another section of the museum contains the reconstruction of old neighborhoods, including shops and houses of wealthy families.
After the visit to Canadian Museum of Civilization, I continue with Canadian War Museum located in Ottawa.
The Canadian War Museum contains exhibits that cover substantially the entire history of mankind, from the very first wood and stone weapons, ending with modern jets. Like the Museum of Civilization, also the Canadian War Museum is huge, so I publish only a few pictures just to give an idea about what to expect.
Photo of Hitler's Mercedes Benz. Among the countless items stored in the Canadian War Museum, there is also the armoured Mercedes car used by Hitler for some parades and seized by U.S. troops, before being brought into Canada.
Photo of Enigma machine. The Enigma was a sophisticated German machine used to encrypt and decrypt messages exchanged during World War II. These are just some of the many interesting items that you can find in the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa.
The Ottawa tour continues with a visit to Canadian Museum of Nature. The museum is divided into various rooms dedicated the animals of prehistory, to contemporary natural history, to the bioluminescence and to the geology and mineralogy.
Photos of dinosaur skeletons. The Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa houses complete skeletons of several species of dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals, such as the giant turtle.
Among the curiosities in the Canadian Museum of Nature, we also found fossilized dinosaur dung.
A large hall in the Canadian Museum of Nature is dedicated to the fauna present in various ecosystems on the planet.
The Canadian Museum of Nature also houses a nearly complete skeleton of a humpback whale (left picture) and the skeletons of some creatures that live in the depths around underwater volcanoes (right picture).
Very interesting is the section on geology and mineralogy, where you can admire a vast collection of minerals distributed in numerous display cases and where some "machines" interactively explain some concepts such as crystallization.
The tour of the museums in Ottawa continues with Canadian Aviation and Space Museum, a huge pavilion that contains a number of aircraft along with mechanical parts from various eras.
The huge hangar that houses the Canadian Aviation and Space Museum, has aircraft ranging from early models invented by the pioneers of flight, ending with the most modern fighter jet. Do not miss the section where you can see engines, turbines and other historical or modern equipment.
The last museum in Ottawa that I visit, is in the Canada Science and Technology Museum.
The Canada Science and Technology Museum in Ottawa is divided into various themed pavilions. The items range from first bizarre inventions, such as the apple-peeler of the 19th century (left picture) or the first panoramic cameras that could be rotated around a graduated dial (right picture).
A huge pavilion in the Canada Science and Technology Museum, hosts locos and cars, including the first car driven by steam engine (top-left photo).
Another pavilion is dedicated to communications, video and computers.
Where to stay in Ottawa? For my stay in Ottawa, I've chosen Albert House Inn
, a Bed & Breakfast only a few minutes walk from central business district and Parliament Hill, conveniently located near several bus stops.