When I’ll take the oath of citizenship, I’ll have to swear that “I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second”. Yes… even though Canada is a sovereign country, it is a constitutional monarchy with Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada, as head of state, and a parliamentary democracy with a federal system. Sounds complicated, doesn’t it?
Browsing: Snapshots of Ottawa
Canada has now adopted some of the Inuit culture as a national identity: symbols are used (such as the inukshuk for the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games), Inuit and First Nations’ art is displayed in the best galleries throughout the country and organizations promote and defend Aboriginals’ rights. The culture is still alive… and vib
Granted, when it comes to dangerous and weird animals, Australia is probably number one (I will never forget driving at dusk in Alice Spring… bloody kangaroos!). But Canada, with its huge land mass and small population density, also has a great wildlife.
In Ontario, we have relatively small ice sculptures, but in Quebec, they were made of snow… and huge! Granted we had quite a lot of snow this year so building material was cheap.
After another winter storm (where I, among others, sat on a bus that got stuck in the snow for an hour and shoveled about 50 cm of white snow to be able to open my door), we decided to make the most of the season and we headed to Winterlude, the annual winter festival which opened last week-end.
On Saturday, I took a walk on Parliament Hill, downtown Ottawa, and decided to go up in the Peace Tower. At 300 feet (almost 100 m) tall, the tower was built to commemorate the end of WW1.
Canadians love their game, but the whole atmosphere is surprisingly friendly. Toronto is hated by everyone — hence the “Toronto sucks” jerseys wore by die-hard fans — but no hard feeling here : it’s a game. I remember the soccer games back in France where the anti-riot cops have to be there during the whole game to prevent fans to go crazy… Canadians’ passion is much more peaceful .
The change of season is always dramatic in Canada. Spring goes like that : one day you’re going to work with the usual three sweaters and snowboots on, the next day you’re looking for your sandals and the backyard is flooded by all the snow melting.
Fall is similar. Right now, we’re enjoying really warm temperature, but I know that it’s only a matter of day before we enter Winter, with a cap “W”.
The whole world can worry about global warming, here in Canada we enjoy it (as long as it doesn’t melt our piece of ice up there). We should be seeing red leaves and have chilly weather on the way, but flowers are blooming everywhere. Go figure !
The big heat seems to be over and winter will be here soon enough… So on Saturday, I took my camera and went downtown for long walk. Despite its “boring” reputation, Ottawa is actually a really nice city.
I first went on Parliament Hill. Fun place to hang out, there’s always something happening: deposed politicians trying to network, busy Members of Parliament, demonstrators, tourists trying to take a perfect picture…
The stairs were steep and covered by a thick layer of snow, totally buried underneath. I tried to follow in the footsteps left by the guys already on the ice. I took small and careful steps. My goal was to take a picture of the locks viewed from below…