Friday, July 25, 2008

Ottawa: Day 2

Today was an eventful day. Woke up, got our "continental breakfast" and proceeded back to Parliament. We were told that the changing of the guard occurs around 10 a.m so we got there at around 9:30. We got a good spot and it was a good thing we got there early because that place filled up fast.

The changing of the guard was pretty impressive. They had a full military band with bagpipes, two squads of soldiers, and some pretty crazy hats. I could hear them well before I could see them - as they came from behind and were marching from the street to Parliament. The ceremony lasted around 30 minutes and one of the soldiers dropped his bayonet and it stuck perfectly straight in the ground.

After that, we toured the Center Block - or the main building. We got to see the House and Senate chambers and the library - which is the only surviving part of the original building. Then original Center Block burned down during WW 1. The tour was good - lasted about an hour and a half and we went through some serious security - then we hit the gift shop. I got two Canadian Flag pins.

After that, we walked around town and got some food. Found a special at a restraunt that had a 10 ounce streak and fries for $10. After that, we walked to the "Royal Mint".

This mint is not the one that produces the circulation currency. Instead, it makes proof sets, collectible coins, and investment coins. The circulation currency mint is in Saskatchewan I believe. Our tour lasted around 45 minutes and we were not able to take photos, but we saw some cool machines, coins being made, and I got to hold a real gold bar. Pretty cool I would say.

When we left the mint, we just walked around the city some more. Got some ideas for things we are going to do tomorrow, but called it a day for now.

Other news, the battery on the car is dead. Don't know how, but I will worry about that on Sunday when we are going to be leaving. Hopefully I can get a jump from somebody.

One more day in Canada.

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