Trip Start Aug 17, 2007
13Trip End Oct 27, 2007
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Not only did I have a pretty girl show me where to find a book about how to pick up pretty girls, but a second pretty girl at the check-out took my money for a book about how to pick up pretty girls saying that they've been selling a lot of copies lately (I believe this is what is called small talk and can be an Inicator of Intrest (read the book)) - Why couldn't I talk to these pretty girls after I've finished reading the book on picking up pretty girls?
After this I spent the night in prison, fortunately it is now operating as a hostel
The Hosteling International in Ottawa is inside the old jail. My dorm was 2 cells knocked together to fit 6 people. They do a tour of the building in the evening and take you up to the 8th floor where they still have the cells, and if you are visiting it is worth doing the tour as there are some interesting tales for the prison. The gaol still retains the gallows (bit where the bloke is hung) and they also do ghost tours as prisoners were hung at the prison officially and unofficially or died in their cells from cold/food/disease. Before the tour guide left she mentioned that people who have stayed there have woken in the night to find someone standing over them who then disappears - this is not something to tell someone who has an over-active imagination. But I went to bed tired (due to the creaking air mattresses at the previous hostel keeping me awake) and was not concerned with this tale (I'm still a little rational).
Any fears of being awoken by vengeful ghosts that haunt the prison to this day are completely unfounded and my sleep was not disturbed by there presence, because I GOT NAFF ALL SLEEP! Firstly there was the creaks and clanks from the metal bunk beds that had been installed in the dorms. I don't know maybe they were trying to add to feeling of being in a prison, you know a true experience of life on the inside - which makes me glad the showers were cubicles and empty when I went for a wash
Since the bus for Toronto didn't leave till the afternoon and seeing I was awake early (see previous paragraph) I decided to go see the changing of the guards at 10 am outside the Parliament Building. Regrettably they had finished for the season 2 days before apparently the Gods will not permit me to photograph a Mountie. I chose instead to go down the canal and have a look. The canal is called the Rideau Canal (after the Royal Engineer who organized it's construction) it took 6 years starting in 1826 and runs 202km (125 miles) with 74 dams and 47 locks. I went round the museum (yes, once again stand back in awe that I went into a place of education willingly) and also watched them bring a couple of boats through, it takes one and a half hours to do the 8 locks at the entrance to the canal leading from the Ottawa River. The idea was to provide a link between the Ottawa and Kingston in case the Americans took control of the St Laurence river (a main route at the time).
Apparently Ottawa had a bit of violent past with fights between the French and Irish settlers and the numbers of trappers/loggers that would travel there when not working (which brought about the building of the gaol), but those days are now gone. There are other things to do in Ottawa but I was more keen to get back to Toronto and start traveling across the rest of Canada.