Day 3 – March 20, 2016
It’s our last day in Ottawa and Sofia was sad because she wants to stay longer I wish that too, but Monday is ” back to normal” day again for all of us. Before going back to reality, Sam and the kids got up early to enjoy the indoor pool especially the jacuzzi. While they were there, I began packing our things making sure we don’t forget anything.
At 9:30am, they came back and started to prepare so we can check-out by 10:30 and go to Parliament before going back to Toronto. We cannot leave Ottawa without visiting the Parliament.
Off we go and look for a parking space near the Parliament, we were able to find a parking space in an office building wherein it’s free during the weekend. Lucky us, save us on having to pay parking fee…hooray!
Parliament Hill (http://www.parl.gc.ca)
1st stop is to go to 90 Wellington to get our pass, it’s just across the Parliament, it’s easy to find. Just inform the customer service that you want to have a guided tour of the parliament and they will ask if you want it in English or French and will offer you the available time slot for that day. Make sure you’re really because this is a first come, first serve basis. I guess during summer tickets runs out too fast.
We ar scheduled to attend the 11:20 guided tour and we were informed to be infront of the parliament by 11:00 for security check. So off we go and explore the grounds first.
The Centennial Flame is encompassed by a fountain into which many visitors to Parliament Hill throw coins for luck. Those coins are gathered, washed, dried and sorted by maintenance before it is put into a government bank account.From there the money is given to the winner of the Centennial Flame Research Award. The award, which was begun in 2005, is given “to a person with a disability to enable him or her to conduct research and prepare a report on the contributions of one or more Canadians with disabilities to the public life of Canada or the activities of Parliament. Isn’t the cool.
Of course we don’t want to miss the opportunity to have our picture taken in front of the Parliament, specifically the Queens Gate and the famous Peace Tower.
Off we go but first we need to go to a tight security check, Police will search your bags ( as in really search your bags ), then make you unbutton/ unzipped your coats. After that, once inside there will be an airport type security check wherein your bag will be going thru the x-ray machine and all those stuffs. It’s understandable that they are doing this since the Parliament is a working building. During weekdays, MP ( Members of the Parliament ) and Senators hold their meetings in their respective rooms. Oh and not to forget, the Prime Minister too. Some important facts: MP’s are elected by the people so as the Prime Minister. For the Senate this is by appointment by the Queen herself.
We toured the Centre Block, wherein the House of Commons, the Senate , the magnificent Library, the Peace Tower and the Memorial is located. It was one awesome tour and would really go back if given a chance. Note that the tour is FREE!
It’s a must to visit the Parliament when you are in Ottawa, hope that one day I can bring my family and friends there.
So that’s it for our Ottawa adventure. Till our next adventure….