On Wednesday morning we got up and around, then went downtown to 240 Sparks and the Passport office to pick up Jeanne’s passport. After that we wandered the streets looking for souvenirs to take back home. We were a block below Parliament Hill, so while Jeanne ducked in and out of shops I walked up just in time to see the motorcade bearing the body of the much-loved Jack Layton (New Democrat Party leader) arrive. He would lie in state in the rotunda for a few days before being taken to Toronto. I was pretty impressed with the honor given to this man who was never a prime minister. The common people really took a liking to him and most people, regardless of political affiliation, held high regard for his integrity, calm demeanor and fair play. American politicians could take a lesson from the political decorum exhibited by the late Jack Layton and present Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
As Jeanne and I stood around looking at the display of various tributes to Mr. Layton in front of the Parliament, our friend Pastor Ken Roth came up beside us, telling us that Linda was busy driving around the block trying to find a place to park. After a couple of phone calls, we were stuffed into their van – a very Canadian van, as it still had a canoe tied to the top. Though a canoe tied to the top of one’s car is clear evidence you are a Canadian, it is perhaps not the most sophisticated look when darting between Mercedes and BMWs.
We hustled on down to the Byward Market where we thought to find a place for lunch. Unlike Charlotte, where we live now, there are hundreds of cute restaurants with every imaginable cuisine available. There are ethnic restaurants galore and then restaurants that specialize in certain parts of various animals. I’m sort of kidding here but if you want fish, well you got’er. If you want something gluten free, here you go – or vegetarian or British pub fare or want a quick trip to Marakeesh, Ottawa has it.
We decided on stopping at just about the first restaurant we came to, The Fish Market, where we slid into a booth and ordered up a pile of fish. It was a great lunch and after a long visit we walked around the market area taking in the shops and watching people. The market is crammed with kiosks and small shops full of fresh vegetables, berries, specialty breads, fish, meats and cheeses of every kind. Artisans also bring in their crafts along with local ciders and local maple syrup.