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Woman On Top

… On top of the city, of course. What else were you thinking, seriously? I know I’m French, but still!

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. I usually go visit the Parliament once or twice a year, more if I bring my students there. I like the place: the brain of the country and also a beautiful heritage building. Despite the post 9/11 extensive security, visits are still free, including regular guided tours in both French and English. As long as they go through security scanning, visitors can also choose to visit the Parliament by themselves. I find that great. I love the fact that everyone can have free and clear access to a symbol of democracy. I appreciate that Ottawa refused to live in a state of fear.

The Business District
The Business District
The Entrance of the Parliament
The Entrance of the Parliament

The Hill is home to concerts, show, ceremonies and a daily flurry of MP’s. This Saturday was pretty quiet though, mostly because it was way below 0C. After a 5 minutes security check, I climbed a few stairs and arrived in front of the elevator’s door to go up.

The Peace Tower
The Peace Tower
The Clock on Top of the Tower
The Clock on Top of the Tower

The Peace Tower is quite majestic. Once up there, if you look up you can see the big clock (built in the US!) on top of the tower.

View of Quebec
View of Quebec
National Art Gallery
National Art Gallery

Here are a few views of Ottawa: the National Art Galleries and the numerous bridges to Quebec, and the Museum Of Civilization on Quebec’s side.

The US Embassy
The US Embassy
National Art Gallery
National Art Gallery

The US Embassy and the National Art Galleries area.

Some Parliament buildings and a view of Ottawa’s business district.

Gargoyle In Front of the Parliament
Gargoyle In Front of the Parliament
The East Block
The East Block

I spent about an hour up there, admiring the clear view. Isn’t it nice? Just curious… can you visit your own Parliament, wherever you live? In France, the Élysée Palace isn’t open to public…

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