We drove to Ottawa Friday morning, and back last night.
This photo isn't about Parliament, or the stance of the photographer up front... it's about the sartorial choices of the man in the turquoise hoodie, wearing plaid shorts *over* his pants.
I really don't know what to think about the unicorn at Parliament, but I like it.
I hadn't been inside Parliament since I was 12, and we decided to do the touristy thing and poke around. An enthusiastic guide (who, in a very Canadian fashion, had a distinct Mexican accent) invited us to take the 45 minutes tour. We declined, but he came back and said that actually, people didn't general know this, but it was possible to avoid the tour but simply go up the Peace Tower and see the Memorial Chamber. So, we decided to do this. Despite, some hassle with security (who were fascinated with my travel chop sticks), we got in and up the Tower after only a short wait. It was really worth it. The view is wonderful and the Memorial Chamber was actually quite moving.
The downtown core really does seem to empty out by 6 pm. We headed toward Byward Market to try and find dinner. We chose a place because I was amused that it was in the building which originally housed the Geological Survey of Canada.
Saturday, RJH played several hockey games (for the Heart & Stroke foundation) and I went to the Museum of Civilization, since I had yet to do so. It's across the river in Gatineau, with a great view of Parliament. Though this child appears to be fleeing, the museum is great. I enjoyed their Japanese exhibit, which rooted contemporary Japanese design in its traditions - for instance tracing robots to eighteenth century automatons, or manga to ukiyo-e woodblock prints. Since I've spent time in Japan, and visited the Tokyo Edo Museum and the National Museum, I wasn't sure I would be impressed, but it was really well curated. Also, I got to pet Paro the Japanese robot baby seal. It was creepy. I also enjoyed the amazing array of masks in their permanent collection, and even the straightforward Canadian history.