Day 2: August 5, 2009
Another sight-seeing day, and Debbie and I were eager. Our first stop was for breakfast at “The Scone Witch” right across the street from our hotel. Their scones are the best I’ve ever had in my entire life. Breakfast consisted of bacon and gruyere on both sides of a halved scone – I was hooked. I did return one other morning to have this same breakfast once again, feeling certain I’d never again find a scone this delicious. Ok, three photos on “The Scone Witch” . . . that’s how good it was!
First on our list was a boat ride on the Rideau Canal, and we wanted to make sure we had time afterwards to see “The Museum of Civilization” just across the Pont Alexandra Bridge (image from wikimedia) from Ottawa into Gatineau Quebec (formerly Hull, Quebec). All this within walking distance of our hotel . . . amazing! There were lots of pictures along the way, so I’ll just post some in succession.
Taken at the Canadian War Memorial, where we happened upon the Changing of the Guard (hold your cursor over each photo for a brief pop-up description):
This was an amazingly fortunate happenstance, and we really enjoyed the ceremony.
Then we proceeded to the canal tour site, bought our tickets just in time for the next departing boat, and embarked on a 1-1/4 hour boat tour of the Rideau Canal, interior route to Dow’s Lake and back.
This was an amazing adventure. If you hold your cursor over each photograph a brief pop-up description will tell you a bit more about it.
Left to Right: The boat turned around at Dow’s Lake; Colorful flowers; Boat dock arrival, the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill
The western edge of the University of Ottawa campus borders the Rideau Canal so we were able to see many of the university buildings. We also saw many distinctive homes and modern high-end apartment buildings, several scenic churches including the “Holy Ghost Chapel” with its traditional latin masses , a stadium, the inviting canal-side restaurant Canal Ritz, the National Arts Center, and several embassies including the Embassy of Armenia.
After returning from the canal cruise we walked toward the Ottawa River, taking the same underpass as yesterday when we bought the street artist’s prints. This time there were several vendors, most selling hand-made jewelry. I bought a macrame necklace with a beautiful turquoise stone in the center and Debbie bought an equally gorgeous necklace from this lovely lady named Rose.
Continuing our walk we once again passed by the Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica and the National Gallery of Canada. In fact, I couldn’t resist taking a rather surreal photo that made it appear the bronze giant spider sculpture I mentioned in my entry about Aug 4, 2009 activities was invading the front of the cathedral. Bear with me, I mean no disrespect, it just seemed so surreal.
Outside the National Gallery of Canada a crew was cleaning and sprucing up one of the many statues that adorn Ottawa.
We began our trek across the Ottawa River on the Pont Alexandra Bridge, leaving Ottawa, Ontario and entering Gatineau, Quebec. I was struck by the bridge harmonics, created by traffic crossing it almost nonstop. During lull traffic periods the harmonic sounds wafted away, to begin their slow return as cars approached again, building up to such beautiful tones.
This is an image of the Fairmont Chateau Laurier in Ottawa, taken from the Pont Alexandra Bridge as I was crossing into Quebec. And this is the Parliament building also taken from the bridge. After all the photos we’d taken from the Wellington Street side, this seemed like an entirely new and awesome building. What a breath-taking view!
Right: the Ottawa River with the Parliament building to the right and the locks to the left.
as rivers, poets converge . . .
I took this photograph from the Gautineau, Quebec side of the Ottawa River as we were about to enter the Museum of Civilization. When I saw this fountain to the backdrop of the Parliament building I couldn’t help but take yet again another picture. There are so many great angles to photograph the wonderful architecture of Ottawa that it’s hard to stop. Debbie and I kept saying, “Ok, this is the last picture” but it seldom was.
Knowing we had limited time before the first of the HNA 2009 activities began we bought the ticket to walk through the “Early Civilization” section of the museum. I think both Debbie and I agree we’d like to see the entire museum next time we visit the Ottawa area!
Below is Debbie in front of an oil on canvas painting titled “The Indian In Transition.”
Left, Naia in front of some Totems (photo taken by Deborah P. Kolodji).
We scurried back to our hotel with just enough time to change clothes and freshen up a bit, then walk a quick couple of blocks from our hotel to The Library and Archives Canada building, where HNA 2009 was held. We checked in, got our packets and nametags, and began mingling with fellow haiku poets. It wasn’t long before I spotted my long-time friend and first mentor, David Lanoue, from New Orleans. It had been a number of years since we’d spent time together so we had a lot of catching up to do.
Unfortunately I didn’t take many pictures this first night. At 6:00 p.m. Michael Dylan Welch and Garry Gay welcomed everyone in the auditorium. Michael and Grant Savage co-edited the HNA 2009 Anthology titled Into Our Words, from a haiku in the anthology written by Gary Hotham. Both Michael and Grant performed a reading of haiku in the anthology. In the photo to the right: David Lanoue, Naia, Patricia Donegan, Dennis Maloney (photo taken by Deborah P. Kolodji).
After the reading we all gathered for a wine and cheese reception sponsored by “Modern Haiku” and its editor, Charles Trumbull. It was delightful to have some time to mingle, meet folks, and chat. Angela Leuck and a group of Montreal poets entertained us, and everyone enjoyed this delightful evening.
Later, several of us who hadn’t yet had dinner departed for a little pub where we could enjoy cold beer and some excellent food to carry us over till the next morning. Pictured left to right: David Lanoue, Zoanne Schnell, and Rich Schnell.
Later that evening I returned to the hotel room. Debbie and I arrived near the same time. Debbie was one of the presenters at HNA 2009 and some of our late night chats occurred as she was going over her presentation.
It was a fabulous sight-seeing day and an enriching opening evening of Haiku North America 2009.
End of Day 2 in Ottawa, August 5, 2009