Canada, Travels

World Capitals: Ottawa, Canada

Today marks the beginning of what is – at this point – a very short series on world capitals. As of the writing of this post, I’ve only visited two: Ottawa and Washington, DC. But eventually that number will increase.

(Edit: as of the posting of this post, that number has now increased to three; we were recently in San Jose, Costa Rica for a wedding).

Interspersed with our three nights camped in Gatineau Park, we spent an evening cruising the Ottawa River and an afternoon exploring Ottawa on foot.

The Ottawa River cruise is what paved the way for my love affair with Groupon. I was browsing one day, looking for vacation ideas, and happened upon the $13 per person tickets. And so, one rainy afternoon in August, we found ourselves parking at Jacques Cartier Park in Gatineau, Quebec, and boarding the boat for our early evening cruise.

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Looking across into Ottawa from Gatineau, QC
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Canadian National History Museum – Gatineau, QC

Our guide spoke both French and English and shared everything in both languages as we meandered up and down the Ottawa River, with Gatineau immediately to the north and Ottawa on the southern banks. We were treated to some excellent views of downtown Ottawa from the river, views we wouldn’t have gotten from anywhere else.

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Rideau Canal and the Fairmont Chateau Laurier from the Ottawa River
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Looking back into Gatineau from the Ottawa River
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Rideau Falls tumbles into the Ottawa River

The following afternoon, we once again found ourselves parking near the riverfront in Gatineau and crossing the Alexandra Bridge on foot into Ottawa. It drizzled off and on throughout the afternoon, but we just donned our rain coats and didn’t let a little precipitation detract from our limited time to explore. We wandered past most of the main highlights – though we didn’t have time to actually go into any museums – before stepping into a local burger place off Sparks Street for some dinner.

Though by no means a thorough tour of Ottawa, we saw quite a bit and had a lot of fun. An assortment of photos is below.

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Ottawa, Ontario (on the left) and Gatineau, Quebec (on the right) from a high point above the Ottawa River
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Downtown Ottawa, ON
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Rideau Canal, a 200 km (125 mile) long waterway connecting Ottawa to Kingston, Ontario; also a UNESCO World Heritage Site – Ottawa, ON
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Sparks Street – Ottawa, ON
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Parliament Hill – Ottawa, ON
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The Centennial Flame on Parliament Hill – Ottawa, ON
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Looking out over downtown Ottawa from Parliament Hill

Stay tuned for an upcoming World Capitals post on Washington, DC!

5 thoughts on “World Capitals: Ottawa, Canada”

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