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Trip Report ottawa trip report

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thanks to all who helped me plan my trip. i was in ottawa for a week (may26-june2) the last 4 days i was representing the board i co chair @ the Canadian Aids Society (CAS) forum and agm, but i had flown in to be a tourist 3 days and 4 nights early.

flights on aircanada surprisingly on time; comfortable and w/ good service as always. i took the # 97 bus from the airport ($3.25) which runs mainly on a dedicated bus only highway to within 2 blocks of my hotel, the delta.

the delta hotel was very comfortable. nice size studio room w/ balcony ($138, conference rate). met up w/ an on line pal who drove me around town for an overview and ended at a nice dinner in the market

did my tour of parliament the next day and saw over the weekend the museum of canadian civilization, the national gallery and the war museum. all contributed to my education as a recent permanent resident/landed immigrant about our country's history and formation.

took advantage of the new bixi bike system for short hauls around the centre and across to gatineau hull.

almost had a chance through a friend to watch some gay sogftball (rained out) but repaired to a pub on bank street afterwards. said friend drove me out to gatineau park and meech lake the next day and we ended at the spa nordique in (old) chelsea for 4 hours of soaking and eating. day pass was about 45$

the weather cooperated and i enjoyed temps that reached 30 w/o much humidity.

the conference was well organized w/ one of the highlights being an award presentation @ the gov't conference centre across from the chateau laurier including an array of across the political spectrum, about to be sworn in mp's. i got a chance to speak w/ elizabeth may whose riding abuts the one i live in and heard the awardee, David Hoe (sp?), t he inspirational aids activist and community volunteer address the crowd.

although i had always wanted to be in ottawa to skate on the canal, this underwritten trip gave me a great first visit and i'll keep my blades sharpened for a winters' return.

i appreciate it's a long expensive haul for many of us, but it's quite the rush to be there and to see the physical expression of our gov't and an overview of canadian culture and history.

to a westerner (albeit one who speaks a bit of french) it also felt a bit like a trip to a foreign country as well given the amount of french one encounters to say nothing of the amount of poutine!


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