We had two days in Ottawa. One was spent with Sam and a part of that we had to go exploring on our own. The other we pretty much had to ourselves. I went to law school at the University of Ottawa so we drove around my old campus where I recognized almost nothing. But then, what did I expect? That was fifty years ago! We drove out past my old home in Parkwood Hills, that had all changed, and in fact even driving around it was hard not to get lost. So many years had passed. The rest of thime we did pretty much “tourist” things.
We went first to the Byward Market again to have a good look around and to have fish tacos again at El Camino where we had lunch with Sam and Bianco the previous day. They were every bit as good on this second day as they were the first!
Down East Menu
After lunch we walked up to Rideau Street, past the Chateau Laurier Hotel and the across the Rideau Canal and its locks down to the Ottawa River. I walked here dozens of times in the 1960’s and this part of Ottawa has not changed much. Different stores, new sidewalks and lamp posts, but the old historic buildings have not changed.
Across from the Rideau Locks is the Canadian War Memorial to our fallen heros and we stopped there to admire it. This too is unchanged. It is a beautiful spot and the bronze statuary is amazing. They have guards on duty by the Cenotaph and while we were there we got to witness the changing of that guard. Not so impressive as the guard at Buckingham Palace but impressive enough!
The National War Memorial set in Confederation Square was first dedicated to the dead of the First Great War in 1939 by King George VI. In 1982 it was rededicated to include the veterans of the Second World War and the Korean War and in 2014 were added the dead from the Second Boer War and Afganastan. Built of 503 tonnes of rose-grey granite from Quebec it is surmounted by 32 tonnes of bronz statues.