Saturday, 12 March 2011

Ramblin' Rideau

A few weeks ago some friends and I set off to Ottawa to skate the entire length of the Rideau Canal. For those of you who don’t know Ottawa is Canada’s National Capital. The Rideau Canal connects the Ottawa River to Lake Ontario and starts beside the Parliament Building.

It was originally built for commercial shipping but is now used mainly for pleasure boating during the summer and, during the winter, skating! A few of us had to rent skates on the canal which required a half hour wait in the lineup and $20 for only a few hours. It would’ve been much easier to rent skates before we left home but unfortunately the store was closed. We reached the end of the canal to find a danger sign! About two thirds of the canal was closed due to thin ice. We’ll have to come back next year to skate the whole thing!

I may look like a marshmallow but at least I’m warm!! I’m not sure how Frank survived in just a sweater!

Photography tip: if you’re planning on taking any self-portraits don’t use a 50mm prime lens. This is the photo we attempted before the rest of our group caught up with us:

After a few hours of skating we went back to the Byward Market to have dinner. The nice thing about Ottawa is it’s cute without being too touristy or overpriced. Parts of downtown Ottawa are pedestrian-only and the area is kept very cute and clean. The Market is only a short walk from the canal and Parliament. We went to the first pub we saw: the Pour House.

It was an Irish-themed pub with some nice decor. I particularly liked this sign:

Frank, who only likes sweet drinks, got a fancy coffee with Baileys and Creme de Menthe. The rest of us got some pints.

I ordered a grainy mustard club - I was excited about the grainy mustard. Turns out the sandwich was just okay.

Frank ordered the most manly thing on the menu - ribs. He added the knife to make it even more manly. Those fresh-cut fries look great (I’m a fry snob if you didn’t know)!

P got an interested lamb burger (or was it venison? I forget). Yum, caramelized onions and real cheddar!

S got a interested swedish sandwich. I forget what this is called but it had salmon and eggs. I like the look of the freshly grated parm in the Caesar!

Interesting stuff! All in all it didn’t blow us away but it certainly wasn’t bad either.

After dinner we went to the ice garden where they have ice sculptures and art installations. A lot of the sculptures had melted so it was hard to tell what they were at times. I think this was a spider:

At the end of the ice sculptures there’s an incredibly touristy photo-op-ice-cave where you can take photos in front of ice or within ice frames. We thought we’d have some fun with this. Frank is an ice-climber!

Photography tip: don’t block the sensor with you finger! (which is what happened with the above picture).

Some mad / happy juxtaposition:


Winterlude can be on the cheesy side sometimes but you can’t beat skating 10k in the fresh air in a lovely city!

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