We nearly scrapped Ottawa off our travel list due to tight schedule in Canada. Glad we didn’t.

Ottawa was our next stop after Toronto. Toronto is modern, friendly, clean and pleasantly boring to me. Sorry to use the word boring, but after visiting Toronto twice, I just didn’t find the city exciting.

Tired and worried that Ottawa is going to disappoint us, we weren’t sure if we wanted to drive up there. But Ottawa is the capital city of Canada that we’ve never been. After flying all the way from Australia to America, not to check it out sounded a little  silly.

“Let’s go”. I finally made up my mind.

And yes. Ottawa is fantastic. Grand old looking buildings, fabulous museums, magical autumn colors and fascinating Rideau Canal over Ottawa river.  Canada’s Capital is blessed with historical highlights and the region’s natural beauty.

Ottawa view from bell tower

View from Ottawa Parliament House Bell Tower

Visiting Ottawa, nobody can miss the centerpiece of Ottawa’s downtown landscape, Parliament Hill. There were so many visitors from all over the world on the day we were there. Chinese visitors topped the list. They were getting their pictures taken, one by one in front of the Parliament building, each stood tall and straight with hands firmly placed downwards alongside their bodies. I’m too familiar with this pose (I’m a Chinese immigrant living in Australia). When people are not comfortable in front of the camera, they appear to be stiff and extremely awkward. My mum is an expert on this pose. Every time I’m trying to take a photo of her, she strikes out the standing still, serious looking pose automatically. J named it the “Chinese Soldier Pose”.

It was late in the afternoon, we marched towards the parliament house in a hurry. Luckily, we made it to the last group to the Bell Tower of Parliament building that day. The best view of Ottawa has to be on top. We went up  to the Bell tower with another group of tourists.

Ottawa parliament house bell tower

View from Ottawa Parliament House Bell Tower

Ottawa is a French speaking city so everyone – from the security guard to the tour guide in the parliament house speaks French. But you’ll soon find out everyone speaks perfect English too. So don’t get frustrated if you don’t understand a word of French.

The Gothic architecture inside Parliament building is equality impressive.

inside ottawa parliament house

Snapped on the stairs inside Ottawa Parliament House

When we walked out of  its door, Parliament house still stood tall and stately. Gone were the busy large groups of tourists. Parliament Hill went all quiet and peaceful.

Just like that, J passed me the camera and I heard a rare request of him: “take of picture of me.”

ottawa chinese soldier

J – The Chinese Solider Pose