Ottawa Highlights: Spiders, Hogwarts and Snow

The National Gallery of Canada

What a glass marvel of beauty! So I’m going to be annoying and not even discuss the art now (there were some beautiful paintings and some awesome sculptures and some modern things and some old things and blah blah you get the idea…), because, what amazed me the most was THE BUILDING!

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Made out of these huge glass panels, it is a magical sight both inside and out. I visited the area on a snowy day and a sunny one, which demonstrated wonderful contrasts of how the glass interacts with different elements.

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The views out to Parliament Hill were amazing

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Then of course there’s the giant spider guarding the entrance!

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This huge bronze sculpture was created by Louise Bourgeois and is known as Maman.

I called him Fred.

Parliament Hill

This was one of the areas that I had been most excited to see. Now you’re thinking, oo check her out all interested in Canadian politics and everything, how cultural! Nope. It’s because I thought some of the buildings reminded me of Hogwarts. Ha sorry Priminister.

Hopping aboard a bus downtown (not quite the nightbus, but easy travelling), I had a sense of harmony that I was taking the same 96 Bus my grandparents, my mum and probably a load more of my family, had taken before me.

Here’s what I found at Parliament Hill…

Hotel Hogwarts (also known as Fairmont Château Laurier):

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Snowy Hogwarts (Parliament)

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Rustic Hogwarts (East Block)

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Central Parliament Block (okay so this one’s not quite as Hogwartsy, but still good!)

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A cool lamp:

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And a magical fire man!

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Maybe not 😜 This is actually the  Centennial Flame, a tribute commemorating Canada’s 100th anniversary as a Confederation.

Wandering around the hill I happened to come across the fact that there were FREE guided tours to go inside the Parliament buildings. At this point I was starting to lose any feeling in my fingers and toes so thought heck, why not!

This was an excellent choice.

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The tour was interesting, the interior was the grand and the guide delightful! We were told all about how the Canadian parliament worked and alot on the history of the huge fire that once took place there, this year marking the 100th year anniversary of the tragedy.

At the time of our tour we could not go into the House of Commons, but we had a good look round the library, the Senate and the Peace Tower which were all worth seeing:

The Library

The Senate

The Peace Tower

At the top of the peace tower are some of the most incredible panoramic views of Ottawa that can be seen in the city. I spent ages up there just gawping!

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For those of you scared of heights by the way, I’m not the best with them and I was absolutely fine! (Sort of). Now don’t go taking my word for it and having a panic attack when you get up there and cursing the day you read some foolish girls blog!! But if it is reassuring to you, it’s not all glass up there, so to me it felt fairly nice and enclosed! 😊

The Museum of Nature

Worth a quick mention is Ottawa’s Museum of Nature. Although I wasn’t blown away with it (the Natural History Museum in London has clearly made me become a snob to all else), it was still a very enjoyable trip!

I love all things nature, so I could happily geek out and enjoy all the dinosaurs, animals, earth sections and more! There’s some great information on the wildlife of Canada that I found especially interesting!

For those maybe not so into nature, I’d recommend going with kids (they’d love it!), paying for any extra exciting exhibits, or going to one of the more social nightime events they put on 😆

That’s all for now Ottawa! It’s been a pleasure.

Next stop: Montreal

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J x

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10 Reasons You Have To Go To A Hockey Game When In Canada

1. The food

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Some of the best Poutine (Canada’s signature dish) can be found at hockey games, which basically consists of crispy chips, a shed load of gravy and cheese curds! Now as someone who could happily drink gravy (hello northern routes), this is a dish I can sure get on board with.

2. The cute hats and jerseys

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There are dozens of different beanie hats you can get at the stadiums (known as tuques) and along with the jerseys, they are definitely the number 1 piece of attire for any supporter to wear to a game!

3. The atmosphere!!!!

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Pumping music, exciting build ups and passionate fans all makes for a pretty amazing atmosphere once you’re in that arena.

4. The ridiculous puck shots

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The speed in which that puck flies around the ice and some of the shots the players make are just insane… and when the home team scores oh my does the stadium ERRUPT

5. The loving fans

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Canada lives and breathes hockey. If you thought all Canadian’s were quiet, inverted souls… head to a game and be proven wrong.

6. Turbo shandy

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Canadian Beer + Hard Lemonade = excellent hockey game beverage

7. The players

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There’s something about those hockey jerseys and helmets that could work for a girl! Then of course some of them look like this… ❤

8. The Cam Screen fun

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Kiss-cam, Dad-cam, banjo-cam and flex-cam all make for amusing moments with the crowd!

9. The fights

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I’m not condoning violence or anything!!! But it is all part of the game and damn is it entertaining.

10. When you WIN!

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So i’m not blowing my own trumpet… but i’ve now been to 3 hockey games to watch the Senator’s (my families team) and every time the game has gone to extra time, then to a shootout, then to us winning!! So I’m pretty sure that makes me their lucky charm and I should get free tickets right?? 😄

J x