180.July 5

posted Jul 19, 2010, 6:42 AM by David Storlie   [ updated Jul 19, 2010, 6:49 AM ]
Montreal, Quebec
We are now on our way to Montreal (with 180 km to go from Ottawa). We are on an inter-something highway, which is a divided 4-lane that sports a 100 km speed limit, so it will be less than two hours. Today is beautiful and sunny, partly cloudy but they to are beautiful puffy white structures that the gods of Mt. Olympus would be happy to perch upon.
Yesterday, we arrived in Ottawa and found our way to jail, an old jail house converted into a Youth Hostel in 1976. It was abandoned as a jail house because it was unbearable to live in. I stayed there. it was a fun feeling. We were in Cell 3, Floor 6, I was in bunk 3. We paid and unpacked a little. I attempted to dry my sleeping bag. Luckily, it does dry very quickly. We went down t the kitchen, cooked a whole bunch of spaghetti (we had not eaten lunch and it was near 5 PM) and some very cheap tomato spaghetti sauce imitation. It was bad. We also had water melon. We cleaned our dishes and saved some of the watermelon in the fridge for later. We washed our clothing in the two washers there. then we went in search of a Post Office to mail letters buy stamps. We looked around the mall, were the P. O. was, then went back to the Youth Hostel/Gaol to get our laundry and put it in the dryer. We did this, and then I used the phones to call home, to no avail. When the dryer was done, we took the damp clothes out and, because Lars did not want to dry them again, he hung all his up in a spare room. I hung a few things up. I tried ironing something for a while to dry it, but it did not work. We were then ready to go downtown. 
We were told about a popular music bar in town called Grand Central. We walked toward there. We saw a used book shop on the way, the largest in Canada, and we stopped in. they had a whole lot of books, that were in sections of kind and with some alphabetical order, but very little. Plus they had no records of what they had. Still, it was cheap and had a large selection. It was a fun place to look. I bought a complete Works of Shakespeare for reference next year and also because it was cheap and in great condition.
We went to Grand Central then. The music that evening started out at 10 PM., and looked good, so we walked around town, because it was only 8:30 PM. We walked to Parlement (French spelling) Hill. It was beautiful. On the way there, we walked through a hotel that could have been and I think once was a castle. It was built by the Railway, but served as home to the Prime Minister for 5 years. It was monstrous. We got a little lost. It was the most expensive hotel in town. We walked around Parlement Hill. The buildings were all the same style. I have a few pictures I took today. We heard an open air concert from across the river from Hull, the Quebec city that is part of the same city as Ottawa. 
Then we walked more into the shopping district a street down and looked at a mall. Then we walked back to Jail to use the phone again. 
We walked back to Grand Central. It was a nice restaurant/bar that played good music. The entertainer that we were waiting for was Willy Ray, a James Brown impersonator. We had to wait a while, but they had MTV on the big screen and music of a different source playing over it, so we had fun trying to match them up. 
Willy Ray was very good. He had once out-danced James Brown when he was 17 years old in Washington, when he was invited onto the stage with James Brown. His singing wasn't much worse than James Brown, and the band was great, very tight and strong. We had a great time listening. But he finished his first set, and we decided to go back to the Hostel and sleep so we could wake up early.
This morning, we showered and packed the car and checked out. Then we walked to Parlement Hill and watched the changing of the guard at 10 AM. This was cool. It was a lot less strict than in Washington, but they were formal. The military band was very good.
For breakfast, actually brunch, we went back to Grand Central for an all-you-can-eat buffet. We ate like creatures crawling out of a rock crag where no food was to be found for days. This is our food for the day, we will not eat again. It was great. 
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