Not a lotta Ottawa
Ottawa Travel Blog› entry 5 of 93 › view all entries
Having so far been impressed with the cities we've visited, we were expecting great things from Canada's capital. In fact, Ottawa was a bit of a diappointment. We arrived at about 2pm to some lovely weather and quickly found our hostel. Despite being quite friendly and having had some good reports it wasn't especially inviting and I could tell Em was far from impressed. However, it was cheap, fairly central and seemed clean enough despite a drab interior and cobbled together bed-linen (none of which, I hasten to add, would have particularly botherd me).
We picked up some tourist leaflets and set about finding town. Despite a number on conversations up to this point about the budget, what we can/can't afford and the need to have a few 'quieter days' (ie.
We had dinner in a nice little sun-trap before having a look around Byward Market, and (spurred on by Em being keen to avoid the hostel for as long as possible) we found a decent bar and had a few drinks whilst planning our next move.
The coach options were 10am or 5pm, so we opted for the 5pm, thinking we could give Ottawa at least the majority of the day to appeal to us. The Canadian gods were clearly unhappy with our less-than-positive view on the Capital and no sooner had we left the hostel the next morning than the heavens opened and the rain didn't let up for the rest of the day. We sought refuge in a cracking little diner and had a 'Big Zack' breakfast before opting to go shopping in the Rideau centre (not that we're fair-weather sight-seeers of course!) and bought Em a much-needed jacket.
To be fair to Ottawa, we arrived on a Sunday (much of Ottawa seems geared toward friday and saturday nights), didn't properly visit the main attractions/museums, the weather on monday was ver poor (after a blissfully sunny 10 days) and Ottawans in general seem very pleasant and helpful, in-line with the rest of Canada. In hindsight, we'd been a bit spoiled in Montreal too. However, apart from the sights I'd mentioned the rest is very unappealing. On the way out of Ottawa we went through the 'Downtown' area of Ottawa, which was so uninspiringly beauracratic we were in no doubt that skipping town early was the best choice, and after four big cities in a row we were definitely looking forward to Lake Ontario.