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Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Ottawa, Canada


Short trip to Ottawa, Canada
I strongly feel that people should be working less; especially because nowadays, the number one cause of death is stress. Three times a week of work should be enough while the rest of the four days should be focused on personal enjoyment like bonding with family, exercising, hanging out with friends, doing outdoor activities and hobbies. Less stress, happier and healthier people. In this way, the world will be a better place. 

Unfortunately, reality bites and we all need to adjust to the needs of life.

Anyway, there's a long weekend in the month of May in Ontario. My friend and I took the opportunity to explore the capital city of Canada. Ottawa is a five-hour drive from the city of Toronto. It's a short weekend trip, good enough for three girls who crave some bonding time together. 



May 19
12:05 am-5:55 am
Toronto to Ottawa
via Greyhound bus 

Accommodation:
Ottawa Backpackers Inn
Dormitory/Bunk Beds
Cost: 32 - 40 CAD each
http://ottawahostel.com/getting-here/

For our bus fare, we bought a family weekend pass with unlimited rides to any destination around the city. 

1:00 pm
Biplane Tour 
Cost: 65 - 80 CAD
Address: 11 Aviation Pkwy Ottawa, ON K1K 2X5, Canada
https://ottawabiplane.wixsite.com/biplaneadventures/tours-available

Canadian Tulip Festival
Cost: Free
Shuttle bus pick-up locations: the ByWard Market, Lord Elgin Hotel, Lansdowne and Commissioners Park. 



It was a short out-of-town getaway with my friends for the long weekend. Great timing, we were actually just in time for the Tulips Festival. We took the midnight bus and got there early in the morning to start our day. 

The highlight of our trip was the Biplane tour - a World War II plane from the past. I have this thirst for flying. Something about being up in the sky makes me feel alive: the adrenaline, the view, the peace - it all just bursts when I'm up there. It's an incredible feeling, seeing the world through a bird's eye view. In the afternoon, we checked out the oh-so-famous Tulips Festival. I expected a field of tulips, yet they were just planted in clusters in the park. It was beautiful though. I can't deny how gorgeous the tulips were. Simplicity is Beauty. It reminds of our motto in highschool back in the Philippines. 

May 20 
10:00am - 12:00 noon 
Walking Tour 
Cost: Free
https://www.ottawawalkingtours.com/tour-schedule/

Check out Rideau Canal 
Located on the Rideau Canal beneath Rideau St. beside the Government Conference Centre and across from Westin and Chateau Laurier Hotels.

Canoeing at Dows Lake
10:00am - 6:00pm
Address: 1001 Queen Elizabeth Drive, K1S-5K7
Cost: $20 for 1 hour, $12 for each additional hour

Souvenir shopping and Dinner at ByWard Market 

12:45pm - 6:00pm
Ottawa to Toronto

 I found this funny sign while walking around Byward Market.

I love that our backpacker hostel is nearby everything - 30 mins to the biplane, 10 mins walk to Byward market, 30 mins to Dows Lake - and it's just in the center of civilization. It saved us time and energy to our destinations. The next day was our city walking tour. It was an educational tour and the guide was very knowledgeable. We listened a little bit but my friends are just crazy people - they have limited ability to stay put and listen. Same goes for me, I guess. We had more fun playing around. I felt bad for the guide because we were just all over the place. Adults acting like kids, laughing and giggling like toddlers. I was able to retain some information about the tour like there is a population of Irish people in Ottawa, which explains the mushrooms of Irish pubs all over the city.


The special activity we did that day was Canoeing in Dow's Lake. It was pretty exciting for my two friends who were seated on both ends of the canoe while I, on the other hand, stressed out in the middle. The staff told us that there's a big chance of us flipping over due to strong winds that day. My friend kept saying we're going to capsize. I didn't believe her at all, but when we got in the canoe and because I was seated in the middle, I had no control, so my panic mode heightened to maximum level. The strong wind hitting my face made things worse as I was just freezing there in the middle. I was laughing but my teeth were clattering. When we made it back to the dock, I grabbed hold of the staff who helped us park the canoe with my spider metal hands. He was like "woooh," and we all laughed again. 


Lastly, we ended the night with pizza and beer at the Byward Market. I even bought myself an African drum in a flea market we passed by. A short, memorable getaway with my two loved friends. It's hard to find genuine friends, so keep them close and make lots of memories together.


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