Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Ottawa Trip Photos, Day 1 (pre-game)

One of the foolhardy goals I've set forth for myself is to see the San Jose Sharks play in each of the 29 other NHL arenas throughout North America. This obsessiveness has at times led me to the US East Coast to see 5 games in 8 days, and prompted me to do such ridiculous things as to drive to Dallas from San Jose to see the Sharks crush the Stars. In between I've flown to places as diverse as Montreal, Chicago, and Florida to see my beloved team play (and occasionally lose). In the process I have explored 19 enemy territories. One of the 10 remaining arenas was Ottawa, capital of Canada, which the Sharks visit just once every 2 years. Adding to the subplot was the return of former Ottawa Senators sniper Dany Heatley, who left town on less-than-ideal terms. The game itself shall be the subject of a subsequent post; half the fun of these trips is getting to explore the continent, so without further ado, here's my photo travelogue.
To get to Ottawa, I would fly to Syracuse, NY, and drive north = while time consuming, it was $300 cheaper to do it that way. My United flight to Syracuse connected in Chicago, and I was reminded that I hate Chicago sports teams.

After a red-eye flight with little sleep, this is NOT what you want to see on your drive to Canada.

Conditions of the Road, Part 1

Conditions of the Road, Part 2

Conditions of the Road, Part 3 (all of these were still in New York)

Idyllic New York farm-scape

Bridge over the St. Lawrence River, heading to the border (which was between a couple of the 1,000 Islands... you know, of salad dressing fame).

Small line at the border

My car was more or less right on the border

One of the 1,000 Islands

My lodgings for 2 nights in Ottawa were at the semi-famous Ottawa Jail Hostel. You can read more about it in a photo below, but suffice it to say that it was indeed a hostel housed in a former jail. Excellent location, by the way.

My room!

I had the top bunk for the first night... I hate top bunks.

My rental car (the black one) parked next to the jail / hostel.

All the info you need = the short of it is, after the jail closed in 1972, it took just a year before it reopened as a hostel. I'd love to have been in on THAT sale.

The Houses of Parliament, behind the (not yet frozen) Rideau Canal

The Chateau Laurier, decidedly classier than my digs

The National War Memorial, with Parliament at left and the Chateau at right

Centre Block, the most important building of Parliament

Eternal flame

East Block, illuminated by the setting sun

The visitors entrance to Centre Block, which is pretty humbling. I wouldn't tour today, since they were done for the night.
"Women... are... PERSONS!"

"Right-o you are, miss!" "Jolly good axiom, I say!"

The Museum of Civilization, across the Ottawa River in Gatineau (Hull), Quebec

Pretty cool sunset (note - it was COLD out, yet balmy by Canadian standards)

The Ottawa Locks... you should see the structure I was standing on to get this shot, which was little more than a plank of wood with a rail.

Before heading out to Kanata, where the Senators' arena was, I went to the Byward Market to dine on a beavertail, which is a Canadian cross between a churro and a donut, shaped like a (surprise!) beaver's tail. Sleepy but fortified with calories, I was off to the game! To be continued...

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