Friday, February 25, 2011

Ottawa, Canada

February 23, 2011 Wednesday

Well, I made it! The National Capital and on the heels of St. John's skate. I was still on a high from my trip to Newfoundland and was anxious to get to the Rideau Canal this year, as my original goal was for a 12 month cross Canada skate, but because of the mild winter last year it has taken me 15 months all told.

What a great day I had for skating, although I arrived the night before I only walked on the Canal with my boots as it was dark, and I am not that confident skating at night. On Wednesday morning early, I could see the cleaners were on the Canal so off I went.

I was hesitant to ask anyone skating to work to stop and take my photo for me, so I did preface it with a "would you have time?" It was a great day for skating, nice and cold for good ice and lovely and sunny and clear, great for photos. There were soon lots of people on the ice, commuters more obvious than others. Someone said that the Canal is 8 kms long and I was telling them about The Forks and they said that the iceway is longer in Winnipeg, but not so wide as Ottawa.

My only comment is that each city has an outdoor rink, yes, even Halifax this year and they each have a unique quality. The fun part was when I was in the arena in St. John's, and they announced the changing of the direction (go counterclockwise, please) on the loudspeakers, whereas in Quebec City, it is understood and not announced. I didn't get it and a few people pleaded with me "Madame, Madame, you must turn!", and then I understood that I should skate in the opposite direction (go with the flow you know).

The thing about ice skating is that every Canadian can relate to it, and when I talk of a backyard rink, lots of people my age learned that way too. I am sure the youngest skater I encountered was at home at Dieppe Park in Toronto. I asked his father if he ever tried bobskates? He said he bought him the one blade kind just this year, and he was 3 years old!

I want to thank you all for coming along on my blog and if you ever get the chance to travel in the winter in Canada take your skates!! (also take shinpads for your elbows and knees, especially if they are not really your own). A special thanks to Dr. Nizar Mahomed who gave me the knees to do it.

I will keep the blog open in case I get a sponsorship to skate in the Territories, or the Yukon. Or I may do Rockerfeller Centre in New York city or even The Eiffel Tower in Paris. Who knows where my skates will take me?

My last photo will be of me at home on the rink at Harbourfront, Toronto.

See you later!

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