Day 4

Ottawa, ON to Montreal, QC

My route is in blue.
The day started with a whirlwind tour of Ottawa. I then crossed the Ottawa River to take in the Quebec countryside. I ended up in Montreal for dinner and a much needed sleep.
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I woke up fairly early the next morning since I could hear Philip getting ready for work. I had a leisurely time repacking my motorcycle. The others woke up a little later and after breakfast we dropped Paul and Alex off at a soccer game that Paul was refereeing. Then Valerie and I went for a tour of Ottawa.

We began with a tour of Valerie's old neighborhood(s). This is the second house that she, Pierre, and three boys lived in until very recently. Beautiful, isn't it?

Not too far away was this house which Valerie says is one of the most expensive in Ottawa. I wondered what the little turret room would be.
Ottawa's main drag along the river is free of housing for many miles. This allows many people to enjoy the riverbank.
Here is a view of the Ottawa River and of Gatineau on the other side of it.
What a gorgeous view that all can enjoy! I wish more of Winnipeg's riverbanks were visible to all.
As the river bends, you can also see part of downtown Ottawa in the distance.
This cottage like house was situated on one corner of a roundabout. Don't you love the gray stone?
I'm sure Mr. Harper had invited us for tea but for some reason, the gates were locked.
Ottawa's`Royal Mint is certainly different than Winnipeg's. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, click here.
There is an admission fee to enter the mint but the guard allowed me to pop in to take a few pictures.
This mint was founded in 1908. The building is built like a fortress.
One of the nicest features was the Canadian Coat of Arms.
A very cool clock was on the building across the street from the mint. I have no clue how to read it. Perhaps I'll study this picture for a while and figure it out.
There's Valerie! This was not the first time nor was it the last time that she let me out of the car to take pictures. I must say that it was a very efficient way of seeing many things in a short period of time. I never would have seen this much had I been on my own. I would have had to park the motorcycle, grab my gear, take a few pictures, go back to the bike, locate a new place to go, and then drive around to find a new parking spot. Very inefficient!
Here is the National Gallery. I thought I had finally gotten over my fear of spiders!
Next time I'm in Ottawa, I'll have to stop by to see the famous "stripe" painting.
This bridge led us into Gatineau. It felt wrong for the people on the left to have a "roof" but not us.
This building in Gatineau has no corners... it is completely rounded. I forget what the building is... Valerie will have to remind me.
We drove on the Gatineau side of the river just until we got to this impressive building then crossed back over to Ottawa.
Valerie suggested that the next time I come to Ottawa I visit the War Museum. The different sized windows that you see on the top corner of the building are linked somehow to the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.
Here resides the Supreme Court of Canada.
Valerie dropped me off at the Parliament Buildings so that I could explore a bit and take pictures.
Having never been to Ottawa before, I had no idea how large the grounds were. I took this photo from outside the fence surrounds all the buildings.
The buildings truly are beautiful.
This fountain/flame is on the main sidewalk leading to the entrance of Parliament. Each province is represented with its shield, provincial flower, and year of entry into Confederation. Of course, I chose to take a picture on the Manitoba side.
Someone offered to take my picture so I let them.
The clock tower is probably the most recognizable feature of our nation's capital.
What you wouldn't realize until you visit, is that the main doorway has beautiful stone carvings of all the provincial shields around it.
Parts of the Canadian Shield are also "brought to life" in a 3-D rendering.
This Mountie from Montréal gladly posed for a picture in the archway.
As I completed a loop around the grounds ...
... I paused to take some pictures of the detailing...
... in the buildings.
Modern buildings are so boxy. I must admit I prefer the traditional look.
Speaking of traditional buildings, the Château Laurier was just down the street.
I hopped in the car again and Valerie took me for a ride along the Rideau Canal.
It is a lovely area and you can understand why so many people like to walk, jog, kayak, and in winter skate along or down the canal.
Lansdowne Park is now deserted. Some of the stands have been torn down because they were deemed unsafe.
It was about one o'clock and it was time for me to get going to Montréal. Valerie, Paul, and Alex also had to leave for Kingston for a family reunion. I think Alex's preferred mode of transportation might have been my bike.
I think Alex looks good on the bike, don't you? I told him if he ever got a bike to always be a responsible rider.
Time for a picture of me and Val...I hope she doesn't mind that I chose the "cheesy" one for this webpage.
Before I left, Valerie had to try out my bike. It looks like she's done this some time before!
A final picture of Valerie and Paul... Thank you so very much to the "Hotel Tessier"!
Even with good directions and a GPS I briefly got lost trying to cross the Ottawa River. I managed to figure out what I'd done wrong and soon was in Québec.
Instead of taking Highway 50, I meandered along local roads nearer the river.
Along the way, I met Daniel. He was training for a ride from Montréal to Québec benefiting cancer research which would occur on the weekend.
Daniel cycled off for I took this and a couple of other pictures. He had told me that in the fall thousands and thousands of birds populate the area. That must be quite a sight. By the time I was on my motorcycle and driving down the road, Daniel was quite far down the way. Obviously his training is paying off. I hope you had a great ride, Daniel!
I arrived in Plaissance.
This small river which must be a tributary of the Ottawa is more like Winnipeg's rivers... muddy! And like Winnipeg's rivers, pretty!
Foliage near the river bank.
The patrons of the Baie Noir gave me directions to my next destination... Plaissance Falls.
This beautiful farm was along the road to the falls.
Here is Lucky Luc, his wife Danielle, and his new bike, the Jolly Jumper...
... they and their friend's Alain and Danielle were also on holiday, touring Québec.
Another group of touring bikers were unique because they all had an extra passenger on their bikes... for example, can you see Tweety Bird on the back of the bike on the left?
This place must be a favorite recreational spot for locals because there was a camp fire and several people were having a dip in the water yet it is not designated as a camping area.
It is also where the river gains speed so I doubt tourists would dare getting their toes wet.
Downriver about 200 m are the falls. Take a good look in the background of this picture. There are actually two sets of falls.
This is the set of falls closest to the walkway and to where the old mill used to be.
And here is a certain somebody in front of those falls.
This is a close up of the far set of falls.
Here is where the two falls become one. By rocks in the middle, one might assume the falls were completely separated at one time. Erosion has changed that.
Hanging out over the stream were our country's emblematic maple leafs.
I had a wonderful chat with these three people who are there to enhance the site. From them, I got a refresher course on a few important French words. Thank you everyone!
Churches, churches everywhere!
One of Montebello's churches was a focal point of a very beautiful area.
There, the landscaping was gorgeous...
...and this clock was beautiful as well as accurate. Can you tell at what time I took this picture?
Farther up the road at another church...
... car show was just finishing. This hearse was in service during the 1800s.
Red is always a good color for a classic car.
There were even pint sized vehicles.
As I continued my drive, the scenery only got better.
It was very peaceful to drive along this road.
I was looking for a store to buy a drink at when I saw this fruit stand.
Fresh raspberries and blackberries are so much tastier!
I got into Montréal very late. It was too late in the day to take pictures but it is never too late in the day to go to the Bar B Barn. Great ribs!

Next Day

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