Ottawa

Today started off earlier than I had expected.  A bunch of girls hockey teams were in town for a tournament and apparently most of them were staying on the same floor as I was.  They rose a great deal earlier than I had wished to rise myself but it was inevitable with so many teenagers congregating in the corridor and slamming doors.  This is particularly irksome as we had arrived from the last inbound flight the night before and were sure to be quiet as we walked to our rooms.  I do have to say it would have been nice to have had the same courtesy extended.  I made the best of it though and headed down to the hotel gym to start my day off right.

Afterwards I rang up a friend of mine who is also a flight attendant and made plans to meet for lunch.   We ventured out to Spark Street and she showed me one of her favourite stores in the city, Astrolabe Gallery http://astrolabegallery.com/astrolabe_gallery/, an antique print and document shop.  We browsed the store for a long while checking out the Downton era rail posters and late 19th century Canadian maps.  We had a great time chatting to the proprietor about his newest acquisitions.

Then it was off to shopping.  Rideau Centre is a huge downtown style mall, inside various buildings on multiple levels, home to all the major brand stores.  We chatted over lunch at the Richtree Market Restaurant.  It is one of those market-style places that evokes the European market place.  It was a lot better than the last market style restaurant I dined at, but I don’t think I am too fond of this kind of eaterie.  I don’t like standing around waiting for my food to be made, nor do I like the buffet style of serving  and I don’t really like the pressure having the keycard puts on me.  If I had lost it there would have been a minimum charge for the meal that is usually quite steep.  I find tipping redundant at places like this since I had to get my own food drink and you generally don’t tip chefs.  I did leave a gratuity but it did baffle me a bit.

My friend and I parted ways as she had to leave for the airport a few hours before I did.  I stayed down in the Byward Market area to browse at my favourite French language bookstore.  There is one small flaw in my browsing this store as it always leads to buying.  I think I have an addiction to books like most women do to shoes or celebrity gossip.  I picked up an Icelandic crime novel, kind of odd, buying a book that has been translated to French that I could read in English, even though it was originally published in Icelandic.

A brisk walk past the Parliament Buildings and Rideau Canal and Lockes, my favourite sites in Ottawa before I headed back to the hotel for a much needed nap.  I feel that I can’t be here without setting my eyes on these attractions.