I have spent the past few days travelling through rural Ontario, that is, after I managed to escape Toronto. I had been warned by a large number of people to stay away from Toronto because it’s a shitfight in terms of traffic. So, I resolved to do just that. It wasn’t as easy as it sounds. In that area, all roads lead to Toronto. Even if you go the opposite way you will soon come to signs urging you to go “this way” to Toronto. It took me quite some time to escape the magnetic pull!
Loved the country towns. They were generally quite small, with only a handful of streets, very rural, and very quiet. Here’s a couple of pics of a typical town in rural Ontario, and the nearby river where I stopped for a break:
I eventually found my way to a campground not far west of Ottawa, where I stayed a couple of days and relaxed. Again, this was a provincial campground so the facilities were very good. Generally you go through quite a long road which is all forest:
This one had a river nearby. Nice eh!
I’ve never really camped in Australia, but most of these provincial campgrounds have walking trails, good ones too. Here’s a typical trail:
The trail led out onto this creek, which would probably be called a river in Australia. Here, it’s a creek.
I enjoyed the campground, but it was time to keep going east. Ottawa was only an hour or so away, and I wanted to get some photos of the capital city of Canada. Found my way to downtown and, after much map-consulting, located a hotel where I unpacked and set off with the camera. Walked through a mall and was confronted with this:
Oh dear…where to go? The shops, the boutiques, or the pub? I weighed up each option and made a careful, measured decision which must have taken a full nanosecond:
It went down very well, but it was time to get some photos of some of the many beautiful sights around the capital. First was Parliament House. I came across these people right outside:
These people are Canadians who were born in Bangladesh, and were raising awareness regarding genocide which occurred there in 1971. I had a good long chat with them, and they answered my many questions. I was not aware of this tragedy. I do remember that back then the news on the radio and in the papers spoke of nothing else but the Vietnam War. They were interesting people to speak to. They told me they had a petition which they were intending to present to the Prime Minister that afternoon. I wished them well.
Parliament House was massive. They had guided tours through the place, but there were long queues, so I was content to take photos of the outside only:
The War Memorial. I felt sorry for these blokes – it was a hot day!
I saw a real fair dinkum Mountie!
And this bloke – remember Terry Fox? I wrote about him a few posts ago. There’s another monument to him in Ottawa:
Canadian flag, and the flag of every province and territory:
Beautiful buildings everywhere:
They even have a Chapters in Ottawa! This is like Borders in Brissie, only heaps better:
Note to self: do not go down this road on the bike when it’s time to leave the city…
I heard bagpipes, which sounded wonderful, and followed to the source:
This is Notre Dame cathedral. It is absolutely spectacular!
I liked Ottawa. There was so much to see and I only got photos of a few things, but I hope that gives you the idea.
Today I am going to Quebec, where French is the main language. On that topic, I have noticed that the further east I’ve travelled, the more signs I see in both French and English. In British Columbia, the Yukon, and Alberta the signs were English only. In Manitoba there were some in both languages, mainly government or official signs. In Ontario most signs are in both languages. When I say signs, I mean anything from road signs and signs on buildings to brochures etc.
I am a little apprehensive about travelling to Quebec, but excited too. It almost seems like another country. I would feel better if I had one of those French/English translation book things, because then I could at least have a go at conversing with people in French. As it is, I know how to say “hello”, “goodbye”, “thank you”, “please” and my name. That’s it. We’ll see how I go. Guess I’ll just have to do my best and hopefully won’t offend anyone. More likely, they’ll be rolling around on the floor laughing at my attempts! Glad to provide amusement. I’m sure I’ll be fine. ‘Bye for now.