Thursday, May 15, 2014

Wednesday and Thursday in Ottawa

Yesterday our main goal was to go to the Supreme Court of Canada and to sit in on one of the hearings.  We arrived around 10:30 am and had just missed a major ruling on the Harkat National Security Certificate.  One of the security guards told us that was alright as there were lots of media there because they new the ruling was coming down and there was also a demonstration going on at the time.  We sat in on a hearing about what the National Art Gallery had to pay an artist when they showed their works in the gallery.  The Judges questioned the lawyer who was presenting the case and he talked forever about this.

We couldn't take pictures in the hearing but this is a picture of the Supreme Court Judges.

From here we took the Tulip Shuttle back to Dow's lake to roam around again and look at the tulips.  The other day when we were there it had started to rain so we only saw half of them.  

There were fireworks at night so we went back for a third time.  For 15 minutes we were thoroughly entertained by a fantastic display of fireworks.

This was the grand finale.

Today we went back to the Parliament Buildings and walked around the outside of the grounds where there are statues of some of the former Prime Ministers of Canada.  There is also collection of statues of women who fought to be called "persons" and be appointed to the Senate.

After lunch we went into the Parliament buildings again and went to Question Period to see Parliament at work.  It is something that I had seen in the news but had never experienced it live.  Everyone should do that at least once in their life time.


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Ottawa Trip

Lynda and I planned this trip since we were in Washington D.C. a few years back and we thought that we should visit our nations capital.  It is about 30 years since I was last here.  We are staying at the Business Inn a great hotel located very central to everything.  
Yesterday we took a tour of the Royal Canadian Mint.  They do not make coins for circulation here but only investment coins.  It was a very interesting tour.  We had a small group of about 7 people so it was easy to ask questions and to follow along with the guide.  From there we took the bus to the Governor Generals home at Rideau Hall.  We were lucky to get a tour there of the inside of this wonderful place.  We toured the Great Hall and the Hall where all the service medals were given out.  We were not allowed to take pictures inside either of these buildings.  We did take pictures of the grounds.

Rideau Hall

Then of course we had to go to a quilt shop in Orleans which is a suburb of Ottawa, called Quilty Pleasures.  We bought fabric for a quilt for Lynda's newest granddaughter.

Today we were heading for the Supreme Court of Canada and as we were walking past the Parliament buildings we decided to try our luck for a tour.  There were loads of school children but we managed to get a tour with about 10 other people.  We could take all the pictures we wanted so I have lots.  After the tour we went to the Peace Tower and had a view of the entire city.

The Senate Chamber

When we were finished we went to the gallery in the House of Commons and heard a debate on the new Election Act.  Questions Period wasn't until 2:30 pm so we couldn't wait around because we had had no lunch.  After lunch we went to the Bayward Market and then took the Tulip Shuttle to Dow Lake to see the tulips.  There are over 300,000 tulips with over 60 varieties.  That is not a typo.  They are given to Canada from the Netherlands to show their appreciation for the Canadian soldiers who liberated the Netherlands during the Second World War.

There were tulips as far as the eye could see.

There are 2 varieties here, one a pale pink and one a darker colour.  The pale ones were taller than the darker ones.

On to the Supreme Court tomorrow.


Sunday, May 11, 2014

Leaving for Ottawa

I'm off to Ottawa today, Canada's capital city. It is tulip festival time. I will try to post lots of pictures.