US Road Trip Epilog: 2nd July 2005

Ottawa is only a hundred miles or so west of Montreal, and once free of the nightmare interstates of the city (and the paysans at the Clarion Hotel) it's an easy run along Highway 17 into the city. The scenery around here isn't at all what I was expecting. If anything, it reminds me most of the midwest in the US - flat farmland and fairly straight roads.

Ottawa is something of a surprise as well - for the nation's capital it's actually quite small and there aren't a lot of skyscrapers. The motels with internet access want $130 CAD plus taxes a night, so we settle for the Concorde Motel on the outskirts of the city. It's a bit of a fleapit, but for $80 a night including taxes it'll do. Alex comments that it's the kind of place where you expect to see, on the floor of the room, a chalk outline of a previous guest who checked-out early, feet first.

Downtown Ottawa
Downtown Ottawa.

It's a bit of a walk into town but, unlike the US, Canada has seen fit to give pedestrians a sidewalk to use and road-crossing signals. Downtown is really quite nice, with pavement restaurants and plenty of people promenading. We stop at one for some fish and chips (I think it could be an anti-French thing after our experiences yesterday) and beer. At the next table are a group of lads who stand up and applaud every time a pretty girl walks past. They do a lot of standing up and applauding.

Later in the evening we're back in the motel watching Live 8. I think it's probably redundant to give our Statler and Waldorf-style opinions on the acts, but if you weren't in Canada at the time just be thankful you didn't get extended highlights of the local show (Barenaked Ladies, The Tragically Hip etc.).

US Road Trip Epilog: 3rd July 2005 >