Monday, February 05, 2007



Ottawa is the capital of Canada. It was made capital of the British colonial Province of Canada in 1857, and in the 20th century, a much larger region was created to serve as Canada’s Capital. In summer, when we visited it, the weather was fine: sunny and hot, which made us complaint of the air conditioning in our room at the Lord Elgin (the name of the British that brought the marbles from the Acropolis to the British Museum) Hotel. It seems however that in winter the temperatures reach to record lows. In 1943, minus 36.1° Celsius were recorded, which is the second lowest temperature recorded in a capital city (after Ulan Bator in Mongolia). In January, Ottawa is the third coldest capital in the world, behind the named Ulan Bator and Astana in Kazakhstan. This last was surely a nice place to visit Borat Sagdiyev, before a certain Sacha Baron Cohen decided to finish with him...

"LORD ELGIN HOTEL is an Ottawa Hotel Landmark, and was our home in Ottawa. It is located in the heart of downtown Ottawa, directly across from Confederation Park and taht can be seen in the photo, and just some meters away from the Parliament Buildings and the Rideau Canal"

"UP THE HILL - When we arrived, we left the luggage at the Lord Elgin Hotel and headed up the Hill to the Parliament Buildings. These started to be built in 1865 and were finished in 1927, and serve as the home of the Parliament of Canada. The East Block, seen on this photo, was built in two stages in 1867 and 1910"

"THE CENTRE BLOCK, which burned in 1916, is the most known building of the three. The building was entirely destroyed by a great fire, except for the Library of Parliament. It seems that a sharp and quick-thinking librarian was able to close the Library's iron doors and thus protect the fantastic treasures inside. The Centre Block was rebuilt in 1920, and the Peace Tower, completed in 1927 to commemorate the end of the First World War, replaced the old Victoria Tower that burned in 1916"

"TATTOO - We got to Ottawa on the last Sunday in August. So this was the closing day for the traditional Changing of the Guard parade. This day we were entitled to a most colourful military Tattoo!"

"THE ROYAL CANADIAN MOUNTED POLICE is unique in the world since it is a national, federal, provincial and municipal policing body. In the mid-fifties, when television was still starting in Portugal, there used to be documentary films before the main movies in the cinema houses. I still remember a typical one called «O Mundo em Noticias» (The World in News), where the voice reading the news, with a peculiar Brazilian accent, would say: «Na densa floresta do Canada, a Real Polícia Montada...» (In the dense forests of Canada, the Royal Mounted Police..."

"RIVERS - Ottawa is situated on the south bank of the Ottawa River, and includes within its limits the mouth of the Rideau River and the Rideau Canal"

"PARLIAMENT HILL seen from the other side of the Ottawa River"

"HAPPY TOURISTS in a beautiful scenario!"

"SAMUEL DE CHAMPLAIN is already known in this blog as the 17th-century geographer and map-maker who founded the city of Quebec in 1608. In 1613 he explored the Ottawa River and this statue, erected to commemorate the 300th anniversary of his second ascent up the Ottawa River, is supposed to be located exactly where he would have made his solar observation during his voyage in 1615. He's holding the famous astrolabe that the Portuguese navigators of the fourteenth and fifteenth century utilized. These used to turn to the skies to get to know where they were on the water..."

"THE VICTORIA MEMORIAL MUSEUM BUILDING was the home of the National Museum of Natural Sciences since 1912 (Now it seems to have changed name to Canadian Museum of Nature). It's a beautiful building and a national monument"

"CHATEAU LAURIER HOTEL is a magnificent limestone edifice with turrets and masonry that look like a French château, namely some of the Loire Valley. The garden is also a beautiful spot, and a nice place to display the fantastic Adidas sneakers - my Flying Shoes! They run many parts of this planet to finish their lives in an over water Fare in Tahiti, after having been used in water to prevent cuts from coral rests and spines from sea-urchins..."

"THE RIDEAU CANAL is the oldest canal operating continuously in North America. It is 7.8-kilometre long and links the rivers between Ottawa and Kingston. In winter, frozen, it becomes the world's longest skating rink..."

"TOTEM - Of course that we could not leave Canada's capital without a photo from a Totem..."

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