5 Days of Solo Travel in Ottawa – Highlights of my Trip

My first solo trip to Ottawa – the capital of Canada – the Motherland – was in August. I took a train from Montreal and stayed in beautiful Wellington West – just south of the Ottawa River.

Walking to catch the bus to my AirBnB accommodations I stopped on the overpass from the Via Rail station and pondered if my bus would indeed be on the north side of the road. A woman stopped and asked if I needed assistance. After explaining my query she informed me I was correct and when I asked about the whereabouts of a ticket machine she reached in her wallet and handed me $5. Oh no I couldn’t take your money – I will just go back to the train station and get change for my $20. “No, my daughter is traveling alone now and someone did her a favor so I want to do you a favor” she insisted and turned to leave. I told her I would pay it forward to someone else and she smiled and nodded in agreement as she strode away.

At the bus stop another woman searched for change and asked other people if they had change for me when she saw me clutching the $5 bill. Is everyone this nice in Ottawa?! Basically yes. Ottawa has got to be one of the friendliest cities on the planet!

Enjoy some photos of the highlights of my 5 days in Ottawa and I’ll write in more detail about each one in the coming weeks.

My first walk along the Ottawa River I came across the annual rock art exhibit

Ottawa River rock art at Remic Rapids - an annual art exhibit outdoors on the western pathway

Ottawa River rock art at Remic Rapids

Arches and whimsical sculptures of balanced rocks at Ottawa River Remic Rapids

Rock art arch at Remic Rapids – annual Rock Art exhibit

My first evening I became acquainted with the seafood offerings in Wellington West

Seafood Charcuterie - cod & lobster mousseline, salmon at Petit Bill's Bistro in Wellington West - Ottawa Ontario Canada

Seafood Charcuterie – cod & lobster mousseline, salmon at Petit Bill’s Bistro

Petit Bill's Bistro - seafood chowder is the best! Wellington West in Ottawa Ontario Canada

Delicious seafood chowder  – my first meal in Ottawa’s Wellington West neighborhood

The changing of the Guard at Parliament Hill attracts visitors all summer long

Colorful uniforms of Ceremonial Guard at Ottawa's Parliament Hill Changing of the Guard

Ceremonial Guards at the daily Changing of Guard ceremony on Parliament Hill

Parliament Hill in Ottawa daily at 10 am Changing of the Guard

Ceremonial Guards at Parliament Hill – Changing of the Guard

Ottawa Locks allow boats to travel from the Ottawa River to Kingston via the Rideau Canal – it takes 1.5 hours to pass through all 8 locks – with a lift of 79 feet

The eight locks at the Rideau Canal have a lift of 79 ft and take 1.5 hours

Ottawa locks – Ottawa River to the Rideau Canal – 79 feet and 8 locks in 1.5 hours

World Heritage Site Rideau Canal - 8 locks from Ottawa River and lift of 79 feet

Ottawa locks are operated manually just as they have been since operations began in 1832

ByWard Market is located a few blocks from Parliament Hill – shopping, restaurants, and a farmer’s market

ByWard Market in Ottawa Ontario for shopping, restaurants, and farmer's market

Maple syrup on display at ByWard Market – near Parliament Hill

Get your Beaver Tails in Ottawa Ontario ByWard Market - near Parliament Hill

Beaver Tails available at ByWard Market near Parliament Hill

Stop by the Royal Canadian Mint for a tour and a chance to hold a 28 lb gold bar in your hands!

Pick up a 24K gold bar at Royal Canadian Mint boutique

24K gold bar weighing 28 lbs (12.7 kg) at Royal Canadian Mint boutique

A short walk from the Mint catch up on the Canadian art scene at the National Gallery of Canada

Visit local Canadian art at the National Gallery of Canada

National Gallery of Canada – explore the collection of art

Detail of artwork titled Artist and Shaman between Two Worlds by Norval Morrisseau - Copper Thunderbird

Detail of the painting Artist and Shaman between Two Worlds by Norval Morrisseau

I enjoyed beautiful scenery as I spent hours walking along the Rideau Canal

Beautiful Rideau Canal walkway in Ottawa Ontario - Canada''s capital

Enjoy biking, walking, running, inline skating along the Rideau Canal

Yachts to canoes travel along the Rideau Canal in Ottawa Ontario

Boats along the Rideau Canal – from pretty to plain

I walked from Wellington West to Dows Lake and all along the Rideau Canal one day

Dows Lake in Ottawa Ontario - boating, walking, nature enjoyment

Ducks resting along the shoreline of Dows Lake

Dows Lake in Ottawa Ontario - popular for canoeing kayaking and boating

Crosby the Wonder Dog leaps into Dows Lake

Public art is plentiful in Ottawa – from spiders to asparagus (really!) – you’ll find it in Ottawa!

Spider sculpture known as Maman by Louise Bourgeois sits outside of the National Gallery of Canada

Spider sculpture known as Maman by Louise Bourgeois

Public art - eyes painted on a building along the Rideau Canal - Ottawa Canada

Eyes are watching from a building along the Rideau Canal

At Parliament Hill I took in a tour of Center Block and the Peace Tower

Ottawa's Parliament Building tour - Senate

Parliament Building tour – Senate

Parliament Hill - View from Peace Tower - East Block and Chateau Laurier Hotel - Ottawa Canada

View from Peace Tower – East Block and Chateau Laurier Hotel

I enjoyed a Fairy Dance performance by Natasha Royka Movement along the Ottawa River – a gorgeous sunset and the rock art of John Ceprano provided the background

Fairy dance performance at Ottawa River by Natasha Royka Movement - dancing along the rock art of John Ceprano

Fairy dance performance at the Ottawa River by Natasha Royka Movement

I thoroughly enjoyed my 5 days of solo travel in Ottawa – a beautiful city with friendly people and plenty to do outdoors in the summer time.

Have you traveled to Ottawa? What were some of your favorite things to do and see?

Planning a trip to Ottawa – what would you most like to see?

 

 

About the Author

Susan Moore's first solo travel experience was traveling around SE Asia for 7 months in 1993. It was life changing and extraordinary. Currently Susan is living a nomadic life, working and roadtripping around the USA and Canada. You can reach Susan Moore at Facebook or Twitter

4 Comments

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  1. Charlys Trevino says:

    Beautiful! Love..love your shots. They totally depict the moment. Looks like a wonderful trip.

    • Susan Moore says:

      Thank you, glad you enjoyed the photos! I did have a wonderful trip to Ottawa – I spent most of my time outdoors which was refreshing coming from the intense heat of Austin, TX in August!

  2. Patti says:

    Love the rock art. Very unique, I’ve never seen anything like that before, inukshuks yes, but not so many and so creative

    • Susan Moore says:

      Yes it was a great surprise when I was walking along the river – I had no idea this existed – evidently it is an annual event. I only saw a few at first and I thought oh that’s cool someone made some inukshuks – then I saw the whole collection and I spent a couple hours wandering around enjoying the place! The fairy dance performance later in the week was wonderful – the children attending were so mesmerized.

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