The first thing I did after dropping Wendy at the Chateau Laurier was to walk over to Parliament Hill. The weather wasn't nice, so thought the fence around it was interesting.
My next jaunt was over to the Canadian Aviation and Space Museum. It had been a few years since I was last there, and they have added a number of new displays. Below is a view from a small balcony.
I thought this first world war biplane was interesting. Looks a little worse for wear.
They had some more modern equipment, including this passenger jet engine. Might make a great wallpaper for my computer. It is a great museum for those interested in aircraft and aviation.
As always, my favourite piece is the front section of the Avro Arrow (CF-105) with "cut here" still visible, scribbled hastily on the aircraft by someone in 1959 in a rush to destroy the evidence...
|Government workers and torches should never mix|
After a few hours looking at airplanes, I went back downtown and hit the Canadian War Museum. Not much had changed since a few years ago, but it was a nice quiet (and gladly warm) respite from the Ottawa winter weather. Below is Adolf Hitler's armoured staff car. I didn't show the "bullet proof" windows, but they are quite damaged by numerous bullet holes. This apparently happened (due to an unknown gunfight) before the vehicle was captured by the Americans in 1945.
There was a special display on Flanders fields and WW1 at the museum, but I didn't take any photos there. Below is a track on a tank in the heavy equipment area. There were way too many to see in a short few hours.
On the way back towards the hotel, I walked across a bridge and found a vantage point showing the partially frozen river with Parliament in the background.
Again, walking by Parliament, the wrought iron fence was more interesting than the Peace Tower. This also will go into my wallpaper folder.
Across the street is the War Memorial, and in light of recent events here, I thought this more solemn image fit the mood.
Towards Rideau Centre were a number of busts that I have often seen but had never really examined.
The most symbolic thing I could find about winter in Ottawa was this lonely abandoned bicycle, embedded in the snowbank and likely not to be disturbed until spring.
The ice sculptures on the canal were great the next morning, with no crowds to get in the way. Not many people out at 7:30am.
Some of them were quite detailed and many followed the stated theme of "play".
The most frequent ice-related item I saw all across the city were various versions of this sign. Apparently, everywhere you walked there was a threat of falling ice.
Wendy and I took in the National Gallery to look at some art on our last day in the city. This is the ceiling in the main entrance area.
This one is the ceiling in one of the wings of the museum. Being so grey and cold outside, the tiny splash of colour was most welcomed (this was before we entered any of the galleries!).
Between some of the galleries there were these strange port holes looking in/out from some oddly well-lit areas clad in lots of shiny yet partly tarnished pieces of metal. Wendy went to the other side for me to take this image.
This is more what it looked like with your own eyes. Might this be art....? Not sure.
Yes, we actually did look at the art and not just the building itself. Wendy thought this piece was striking. You wouldn't want to get too close though, as the circles tended to draw you in... a bit disorienting for me.
Both of us very much enjoyed the special exhibit of M.C. Escher prints. Fantastic work, and it was most interesting to see the variety of styles he had produced. The National Gallery has the second largest archive of his work in the world.
I realized that I very much like many of the works of Lawren Harris (Group of Seven) that were on display. I'm now getting some ideas for some potential similarly-styled stained glass pieces...
That evening we went with Wendy's friend Laurel (who organized her conference) to dinner and then took a cold and brief shuffle along the canal. We also went through the ice sculpture area but the crowds were horrendous. There was no debate at all about skipping the hour long line just to see the ice sculptures - especially since I had taken pictures of all of them in the morning. Below is one near the main stage of the Winterlude festival.
Most of the sculptures, however, were brightly lit at night, adding a new dimension to the enjoyment of the pieces.
What struck me as most intriguing, however, was that even the crowd control measures were ice sculptures themselves!
All in all, it was a nice break for me to wander around Ottawa for a few days. Often Wendy does this while I go to a conference, but the switch in roles was really kind of fun for me.