On our drive from Bracebridge to Ottawa ( about 4 1/2 hours) , we decided to go through Algonquin Provincial Park.
We heard it was beautiful and that our chances of seeing a moose or two meandering along the side of the road was excellent.
I felt as if we were driving through one enormous never-ending Christmas tree lot.
Evergreens lined the road the entire drive through the park.
The GPS showed nothing but green on either side
with the exception of lots and lots of water.
Rivers, streams, ponds, bogs, lakes.
(I saw several beaver lodges which made me very happy :)
These signs were posted every few hundred feet.
And no, much to my dismay, we never saw one.
Dave Goldthorp told us about a few places we might want to get out and explore.
The hike to these falls was one suggestion we were glad we took.
It's green here and not red, but I had to take a photo of the famous Canadian Maple leaf.
Those infamous roots I'm always going on about.
This is the walking path, mind you. So you can never really take your eyes off the trail or you'd trip and be on the ground.
We made it to Ottawa around 2 pm and had time to squeeze in a lot... a city tour, and lots of walking and exploring on our own. It is a beautiful city. We really loved it. I'm so grateful we stopped here. At first we were only going to Toronto, Montreal, and Quebec City, and just do a drive by of Ottawa. What a mistake that would have been.
I do love when the old is reflected in the new.
You know me and my love of doors and windows. This was heaven!
Lots of fun 'interactive' statues around the city.
Can you believe this architecture?
Trust me, I was swooning.
This castle is actually a hotel. The Fairmont Chateau Laurier. (no, we didn't stay there .)
Their Tomb of the Unknown Soldier has the Canadian maple leaf draped over it.
Very thoughtful and meaningful addition.
We took this Amphibus tour which went on land and into the water.
The view of the city from the water.
Somehow, the view from the water is always special and usually magnificent.
The lock system at the beginning of the Rideau Canal.
(This is for you, Nate!)
Another view of the canal from above.
In wintertime, everyone skates on the canal. Shoppers, businessmen and women going to work, college students, kids going to school. Everyone!
Vendors line the canal with hot drinks and food.
It goes quite a long way. Everyone we asked said they use it nearly every day in winter.
When it's sub-zero degrees outside you make the best of it and make it fun!
After our tour we walk over to the Byword Market. I adore areas like this and wish every city had one. So much to see and so many good things to eat.
I just about fainted when we walked past a tall building and then saw this!!
NO filters! This is how it looked. Incredible.
After dark we walked along the canal and listened to all the Jazz bands playing in different venues as we strolled along. We followed the jazz festivals from Toronto all the way to Quebec City.
Never bought any tickets but sure got to listen to some fine music.
Canada loves her festivals!
Not only was the Jazz festival going on, but also this Latin Festival that blocked off several streets. (and made it difficult to get back to our hotel :)
A full and fantastic day!
We were blessed to arrive just in time...the changing of the guard started up again for the season the day after we got there.
We were able to see this grand spectacle before we went to church.
What a phenomenal, beautiful city!
So very happy we visited you, Ottawa.
Before we headed to Montreal, we attended the Ottawa Singles Conference sacrament meeting where our beloved Dave Goldthorp was speaking. What a thrill it was to hear him. He is a gifted speaker.
His message was timely, important and delivered with conviction. He held your interest. We are proud of "our little elder" from our HB1 days. So glad we could see him "in action" before we left.
I didn't get any pictures but I can share some of his message with you.
He began by quoting Doctrine and Covenants 88 : 73.
"Behold, I will hasten my work in its time."
Much has been said recently of 'the hastening of the work'.
It's important to recognize that HE will hasten HIS work.
We can be a part of it but make no mistake- He is doing the hastening.
Just look at the changes made recently within the church in:
the increase in temples
the Sunday School curriculum for the youth
in missionary requirements
in seminary requirements
in institute requirements
We can be a part by making a difference in our part of the vineyard.
He defined the word "magnify" as focused, doing something precisely, not bigger and not for show so everyone can see it.
He said that President Monson has often spoken on learning our duties.
We need to listen to the Lord's plan for us... find out what He wants us to do as an individual and then do it.
We need to learn our duty and labor diligently.
What wonderful counsel to rejoice in!
Thank you Dave Goldthorp for educating, inspiring and motivating us.