It feels like the hangover has not yet left me...and ohh,what a hangover it was!We had planned for a big trip this Easter weekend;a visit to a hitherto unexplored echelon of Ontario - the National Capital Region of Ottawa (pronounced somewhat like 'Auto-wa')
When the car first cruised into the outskirts of Ottawa, the first strains of the heaviness of a capital city struck my mind.Headquarters of a couple of corporate biggies whizzed by and somehow,the charm of Toronto still seemed overwhelming to me.A tour agency had managed to book quite suave rooms in an upstate hotel in downtown Ottawa, breathing past the heavy long weekend rush,and, a breathtaking view of the Ottawa river from my Hotel room left me spellbound.I was slowly coming out of my stupor and it took time to realise that I was in the capital city after all!
We stayed on for three days.Our itinerary dictated a visit to splendid Parliament Hill,housing the Parliament of Canada,bordered by the Ottawa river on the north-west and the Rideau Canal on the east.
Wandering through downtown Ottawa,we were left speechless by the European ambience that hung unto each nook and cranny of this part of the dominion.Road signs bearing the word 'Rue' (French for 'Road') caught our eyes as we clambered on over cobbled streets.A sign saying 'Mamma Grazzi's Kitchen' hung from a wrought iron bar atop a wooden door in a cobbled courtyard along George Street.
People everywhere seemed to drink in the mirth of the mood,lazing about on roadside pubs,under the warm,tepid sun.
A perky young man with intent blue eyes sat kneeling,gauging the cobbled sidewalk with his trained sight - by night time, the angelic face of a young lady in serene pastel shades adorned the stretch on the sidewalk,covered by a sheer plastic sheet taped at the corners.The rustle of the sheet in the gnawing breeze warned people walking by not to step over mistakenly;the skilled strokes had almost meted the colors onto the cobbled canvas!
A visit to the early 19th century ByWard Market area brought us full circle - the mystical blend of the old and the new.Goverment offices housed in quaint castles contrasted the chic corporate buildings across the sidewalk.The feeling of witnessing the glorious old,still so resplendent in all fervor and standing tall,restored my faith in providence.
Coming back from our short but memorable tour,a surge of adrenaline accompanies my every effort to relate to all and sundry,the charm of it all!A visit to a capital city,a finely blended concoction of generations and culture etched in memory forever!
I had a recipe in mind today,but I decided to keep it off today's post just to let my readers revel in the goodness of all that I have just experienced.Sorry for coaxing a travelogue in between!Just a whimsical thought to share vignettes that I gathered along the way...so long,happy reading!:)