Thursday, 5 June 2008

We Play Tourist

After breakfast this morning, Gordon said he wanted to go to Gatineau Park so we were out of the RV by 9:45 a.m. On our way, we stopped at Bate Island which is a good sized island in the middle of the Ottawa River. The Champlain Bridge which takes you from Ottawa, Ontario to Gatineau, Quebec passes over it and there is an exit to get off. There used to be a really nice restaurant on the island but they couldn't get insurance because of being on an island (no fire hydrants) however there is a whole big river there. Anyway, they have now torn down the restaurant and the whole island is a park. We saw lots of critters on the island - geese and their babies, ducks, groundhogs, squirrels, chipmunks and of course, the rare seagull (LOL).

Lots of baby geese today

This little chipmunk was munching on tree seeds down by the Ottawa River.

This photo is not cropped. This groundhog sat right up and posed for us. I think he looks like a little bear.

Ottawa River from Bate Island

Ottawa Skyline from Bate Island

From there it was on for a lakes tour of the Gatineau Parkway. We stopped first at the Welcome Centre to get a map. Our first stop was the Pink Lake Overlook and then the Pink Lake Trail. The Pink Lake trail was something Gordon and I walked on one of our first dates in 1987 so it has special meaning for us. We didn't walk too far as it's a lot of up and down steps and Gordon isn't really up to it at this point but it was nice to be there and see it again.

Pink Lake is very rare in that it is meromictic. Due to the meromictic properties of Pink Lake there are ancient forms of bacteria which use sulfur instead of oxygen to perform photosynthesis. These bacteria form a layer about 7 metres from the bottom to avoid the oxygenated water and maximize sunlight exposure. due to human activities. Park management forbids swimming in the lake, walking domestic animals near it, straying from the wooden boardwalk for sight-seers, and throwing stones into the lake.

Driving along the Gatineau Parkway. This is really beautiful in the Fall with the coloured leaves.

Pink Lake from the overlook

Trail beside Pink Lake

We also stopped at Mulvilhill Lake, Bourgeois Lake, Fortune Lake and drove along Meach Lake till the road ended. A couple of the lakes were hard to see because of all the trees and undergrowth.

Lake Mulvilhill has a lot of pretty picnic areas.

You can see a small beaver lodge on Bourgeois Lake.

Fortune Lake

Kayakers on Meach Lake

We stopped at the Visitor Centre at Old Chelsea, QC as Gordon had recently sold them a photo for display but they are just getting the display together so we'll have to go back. We had thought about having lunch at Old Chelsea but decided to go home instead. By then it was about 1:30 p.m. and our lunch had consisted of tostitos which I keep in the truck for emergencies.

We returned to Ontario on the MacDonald-Cartier Bridge which goes to downtown Ottawa. I snapped a few photos that we thought might be of interest to the blog readers. These photos were taken from the truck so please forgive the quality.

Ottawa skyline from the MacDonald-Cartier Bridge

Sussex Drive going toward downtown - the Canadian Prime Minister lives on Sussex Drive in the other direction.

National Gallery with 30 ft spider exhibit entitled "Maman"

Parliament Hill
The Peace Tower
Sparks Street Mall

Ottawa City Hall

Our plan to go straight home was foiled when Gordon decided he wanted to walk along the canal so we did that for a while taking more photos. The canal is the longest skateway in the world at 7 miles. It's very popular here in the winter and you'll see lots of skaters around. Thankfully for the past four winters we haven't been here to see them!

The Canal Ritz is a popular spot in the summer.

Especially the patio which is right on the canal.

This is the Rideau Canal where the skaters can be found in the winter.

The Pretoria Bridge (a lift bridge) which crosses the Rideau Canal.

Pathway along the canal

One of the tour boats was out on the canal on our way back to the RV so here's a photo of it.

When I got home, it was time for a nap! This tourist stuff is tiring!


  1. Absolutely grand!!! What a Picturesque place!! Gosh I love the scenery there. Joe and I went to Canada about 5 years ago but we just skirted the Lakes on the way to Niagra Falls. We enjoyed everything except Joe had a moment in Toronto that he will have to tell you about. LOL
    Enjoyed the pictures


  2. I absolutely agree with Sherri. We were with them in Canada. I thought what we saw was breathtaking, but, I might have to come take a second look. Thanks for sharing your photos with us. I hope Gordon is feeling better.


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