|Maize and Blue fan?|
|Commuters gone to work?|
By noon, the Ottawa skyline appeared, and it was very apparent that this is not only the capital of Canada, but a major metropolitan city. Right in the heart of downtown, the Rideau River comes from the south, tumbling down over falls and into the Ottawa River. To gain access to the Rideau River by boat, we had to enter the Rideau Canal and, aided by an unusual flight of 8 stair-step locks, were raised up 79 feet to the height of the river (213 feet above sea level).
|The Rideau River Falls|
|The Rideau Canal flight of 8 locks from the Ottawa River|
Since each of the locks in the flight is filled by emptying the one above it (which then needed to be refilled by the one above it and so forth), the entire sequence took over 2 hours, plus we waited 1 1/2 hours to begin. It was a bit tiring as the sun was out, the temperature was 85, and it was very humid. These locks, finished in 1831, are entirely manually operated using the original equipment to this day. Canal personnel hand crank both the doors and the gates open and closed.
|Anne holding the line|
|View from the 8th lock at the top|
Once on top of the flight, we motored under a bridge, passed the Fairmont Hotel, and tied up across from Le Cafe which has free internet which we could use. Anne loves big cities, and she said the idea that you can cruise your boat into the middle of Ottawa, get out and start touring is just fantastic! Plus, our docking fee is probably 1/5 of the cost of a room at the Fairmont.
|Rideau Canal flight of 8 from the top|
|Great Laker docked in the Rideau Canal|
After a quick walk around the area to get our bearings, we did our obligatory stop at the visitor center gathering a dozen or so pamphlets covering the city and canal, and then walked to the ByWard Market area and found a place for a sushi dinner.