Round two of my pictures from Canada posts! This is going to focus on Ottawa, in the area around Parliament. Other sights of Ottawa will appear in the next post.
My first impression of Canada’s capitol city is that it is very beautiful. It has an open feel to it which I like. I was constantly distracted by interesting architecture, only some of which I am able to share here.
The above photograph is my best shot of the locks of the Rideau Canal, next to the Bytown Museum. None of my pictures of that old building pleased me, therefore I give you a link to their website. I enjoyed the museum, but the best part was the interaction between my party and a staff member taking surveys. I won’t bore you with the story (it was funnier in person) but my friend and I met up with an Australian couple we know (and later with another friend from the U.K. who lives in Canada), which caused some surprise and confusion throughout the rest of our trip.
As one might expect, there are some royals around Parliament. Here is Queen Victoria in the most ornate statue arrangement I saw. There is a lion and a lady with garlands at her feet.
The current monarch, Elizabeth II, has a more subtle (and awesome) representation. Does Queen E. II ride? I am fairly ignorant of the doings of current royalty.
There are many statues of Canadian leaders as well. Here, we have Thomas D’Arcy McGee, one of the Fathers of Canadian Confederation, and a victim of assassination. Gulls do not care about such things.
The young lady below, however, is on the case. She is primly trying to inform McGee that he has something on his head.
Sadly, I have no idea what this delightfully round building behind Parliament (and facing McGee) is, but I love the colorful stonework, and am a sucker for anything that smacks of Gothic Architecture. Pardon me while I drool over the arched windows and small flying buttresses.
Being Canada, there were members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police around, though few in formal attire. I felt a little bad for these gentlemen, as they were constantly stopped by tourists asking to have a picture taken with them. …and yes, I was one of those people. I am duly ashamed.
Parliament! The sky makes a gorgeous background, no? Again, Gothic arches and decorative stonework (though no flying buttresses).
I honestly did not notice the street performer until after I took this shot, but what a perfect touch! Luck of the camera, I guess. I was trying to capture the metalwork on the roof of this bit of the Parliament buildings. It is light and lacy, a strange contrast to the heavy stone structures.
And here is a poor shot of a gorgeous door. I need to sit down with my camera’s manual and figure out the settings. I know I am not using it to its full potential.
Now I will delve into the stonework on the Parliament buildings. Here, over the main entrance, we have the national animal of Canada, the beaver. Below him, on the posts of the door, are the lion and the unicorn. If it hadn’t been for another carving I will show, this would have been my favorite.
This guy speaks for himself.
Almost every niche and nook had some interesting carvings. Being the plant-lover that I am, I was thrilled by the variety of flora depicted.
Weird, but great.
And this. This is the piece that transfixed me! I literally obsessed about getting the perfect shot of it. Just ask my bemused friend. This snail, so beautifully textured, was near the main entrance. I am so glad my friend was with me, because she allowed me to drop briefly out of the line for our tour in order to take this picture. Thank you, my friend, for putting up with me!
I took few good pictures inside. Again, I need to figure out the settings on my camera. I cut off the bottom of this picture because there are people in it. I like to avoid posting pictures of random strangers without their permission. This will give you an idea, though, of the beautiful architecture inside. There is also much stained glass.
Halberd window. Need I say more?
Last and smallest but not least to me. Some stonecrop amid the stones. I took this at the tail end of the changing of the guard ceremony. It takes a ridiculously long time and a lot of formalities to change the guard before the Canadian Parliament; too long to hold my deficient attention, I fear. The tartans were great, though.