A Travellerspoint blog

Exploring Ottawa

After a semi sleep in till 0830 hrs this morning, it was time to get up and explore. I went down to the ground floor to settle the apartment bill and hand in a few forms, and then it was time to explore the rest of the Apartment!

The gym is small but has a few good machines, and is attached to the laundry. The pool room is heated very warm, and has a few exercycles in here for the “Bikram Yoga” type effect. The pool is salt water and there is also a sauna room attached.

Gem and I were hungry this morning, so we got all rugged up and popped out for a Quickie. Don’t worry – not as it seems! A small corner store in the next block open 24 hours.

Love this emoji pillow.

Hardly needed a puffer jacket this morning.

Apartment block from down the street.

Various views from my apartment.

We headed down to the Rideau Centre (local mall) https://www.cfshops.com/rideau-centre.html – about a 15 minute walk – to have a look around and grab our monthly bus passes. As one of the Defence buildings is nearby, we spotted so many high ranking officers here, from all services. Note to self: never ever come again on a Monday or the 1st of the month. Check out the queue.
The queue was over 100 people long and curved round the escalators. After almost an hour wait, we were set. Starbucks in hand, off for our next stop.

Chocolate fountain in the Rideau Centre and refrained the urge to sample these Almonds.

Token Starbucks shot with a mispelt name "Amma"

We caught the bus up to work so we were all set for tomorrow. An excellent opportunity for the selfie stick’s Canadian debut (thanks Poz!)

We came back into town on the bus, and walked through Confederation Park in downtown Ottawa where the Winterlude Festival https://www.ottawatourism.ca/ottawa-insider/winterlude/ is currently happening. Some cool ice sculptures!
Here you can see the Rideau Canal frozen over. At the moment ice skating is shut, but if it gets a bit colder it might soon reopen!

Possibly the best part of the whole day was when we saw a squirrel rascalling around in the snow and trees.
The boys pointed it out and then laughed uncontrollably as we all had our phones out snapping away.

Next stop was off to check in with the New Zealand High Commission, located in Ottawa. Awesome offices channeling innovative kiwi designs!

We walked back to the Apartment, and stopped into Loblaws to get some groceries on the way. Loblaws was described to us from previous course mates back home as a small Four Square type shop. It is HUGE! http://www.loblaws.ca/en_CA.html Heaps of goodies purchased with similar prices to NZ. I dont even like Olives but this was impressive (Lynne, this pic is for you!)

Cooked up a traditional NZ Emma dinner and felt better about life. Day 2 over, 19,000 steps done and dusted!

Culture Shock!!!
Water fountains that are frozen over.

Looking like cars are driving themselves (and then noticing the driver on the other side)!

Not knowing which way to look when you're crossing the street (knowing my track record, this could be dangerous)

Bendy buses

Automatic everything – doors, flushing loos, soap dispensers and taps

Petrol is crazy cheap here! 78.9c per litre.

Bilingual – everything in French and English. My favourite so far, Exit = Sortie

Dad, I found a shop you might like!

Posted by emdaisy 18:30 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

Leaving NZ

Auckland - Vancouver - Ottawa

We’re off! After a 2 hour wait on the tarmac we finally departed at Auckland at NZ 2200 hrs. Lucky for a good tail wind we caught up an hour during the flight. We sat next to a nice girl on the flight who was from Calgary who gave us a few Canadian hints and tricks throughout the trip.

Excellent service from Air NZ, especially from a flight attendant called Duncan. A friend who is a flight attendant told me he would be on our flight, so I dropped her name and put on the military charm and it was all uphill from there! Our Air Force suit bags (containing mostly uniform, but also a dressing gown!) were stored in the business class cabin hangers, and when he found out we had a 5 hour flight on Air Canada in the arvo, prepared us a huge bag of supplies including Cookie Times, rice snacks, ear plugs, toothbrush and toothpaste, and eye masks. We were thoroughly looked after throughout the flight, thank you Duncan!!!

You can’t go anywhere without knowing someone, and funnily enough 3 army guys were on our flight. We only saw them when we exiting the plane and they saw the nametags on our backpacks and NZ patches and so we had a bit of a yarn while waiting to go through customs. Turns out, they are friends of friends from Dunedin, and knew about some “Airforce girls” off to Canada. Bit jealous when they heard we were staying for 4.5 months in an apartment, while they were doing 3 weeks of Arctic training!!

Vancouver airport is huge, but customs was so easy to get through, we actually thought somehow we had missed it. We had a bit of a wait for our next flight, no excuse needed to shop and have a photo with a moose. Heaps of souvenir shops, candy stores and some funny named takeaway bars. The chocolate bars are ginormous!

Gem and I hanging out with a Moose!

Then it was enroute to Ottawa, flying Air Canada. If you can avoid flying Air Canada, please do! Their service is less than desirable, and the flight attendants are particularly scary. Contrasting Air NZ, we had a 2XL male hardly fitting up and down the aisle, and a lady reminding me of Mrs Trunchbull, telling people to sit up straighter in their chairs mid- flight!

Crossing another timezone, we arrived into Ottawa at about 0030 hrs, absolutely shattered. One of our tutors came to meet us at the Airport, and then we waited about 45 minutes for our bags to come out after the carousel jam was fixed.

Ottawa Airport

A nice shuttle driver gave us a super touristy tour on our way to the Apartment which was cool. It was raining, but not even that cold! After checking in and being assigned our rooms, the security guard had to come back and do the pre inspections with us present. Mine was the last one, so finally got into bed at 0400 hrs. Yawn! You can see where im staying at http://www.160chapel.com/

First impression Apartment and room pics

Posted by emdaisy 18:08 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

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