Monday, May 03, 2010
Watching game 6 of the playoffs between the Ottawa Senators and Pitsburgh Penguins. After watching game 5 go 3 periods into overtime but Ottawa taking it (yay, Leclaire!), we went to Sens mile to watch game 7 amongst a hell of a lot of other hockey faithfuls (including a guy driving around with a sign saying 'believe'). Anyway, despite steaming 3-0 into the lead (when these photos were taken), they lost! We cheered ourselves up with sugar. Oh, and I finally got to try the Quebecois delicacy - poutine. Brits will love it - it's chips, gravy and cheese, hey, what's not to love?!
Every year Ottawa has a tulip festival. Though I actually missed the tulip festival, the spring came early so I got to see all the tulips, hurrah! Shiraz, as well as filling me in on all the various rules around hockey, also gave me the odd history lesson on Canada (not that I remember much, I have a memory like a sieve!). Anyway, he said the reason for all the tulips around Canada's capital has something to do with a dutch princess being in Ottawa at the time and ready to give birth but wanted to be on dutch soil. Anyway, because my memory is rubbish - I've just looked it up and if you're really interested here it is: History of the Canadian Tulip Festival.
Ottawa is a really very pretty city - I loved wandering around - particularly by the river looking up at Parliament Hill. It also has some fantastic galleries...I made it to one! The National Gallery of Canada is really amazing. I loved the building and was really impressed with the art inside. I especially loved the work of Tom Thomson and the group of seven - gave me something to look forward to in terms of getting out of the cities and checking out the landscapes ;o)
I also ventured over the bridge to Gatineau - back to Quebec! I loved wandering around museum of Canadian Civilisation. It was far too sunshiney to actually go in it but I thought the building was really beautiful.
Sunday, May 02, 2010
After a hell of a lot of dithering, I checked out Craig's list to see if there were any rideshares going to Ottawa. Bus, train and plane travel is a bit pricey here (here being such a vast land an' all!). Anyway, other than getting tips from people on hitchhiking, I've also got them about Craig's list. Craig's list is like Gumtree and is basically what I look at first before anything else! It's also great for catching lifts from one place to another for a share of the petrol cost, hurrah! Okay, so you probably pay a little more than petrol costs but it's still cheaper than a bus. Also cool, because you end up chatting to more random strangers - especially when they are full of travelling and job hunting tips!
I stayed in Ottawa with lovely friends Nadia, Shiraz and their very much loved cat Zeus (or Zeusy). They were amazing hosts... as well as it just being a bit refreshing not sleeping in someone's lounge, it was great to catch up with them as hadn't seen them for nearly 10 years! Also lovely to feel immediately comfortable with them ;o)
We went out to Byward Market for food, they taught me lots more about hockey, took me to aqua fitness, hiking around the Pink Lake in Gatineau Park, out for a family barbeque (my first of the summer!). They also introduced me to Tim Horton's. It's a Canadian institution and although it's not the best coffee in the world (or even close), I'm really rather fond of going in one for a small coffee with cream. We also watched hockey marathons and glee marathons. God, I love Glee. And think I might even really like hockey now too... (except when they go 3 periods into overtime!)