What a beautiful city and what a great way to enter it through the Staircase Lock at the start of the Rideau Canal! We had an amazing day with Lisbeth and Hubert. We invited Allie and Matt, two Canadians observing at the second staircase lock, to come aboard and ride through the rest of the staircase with us. It was so much fun to see their excitement and share the experience with them.

Once we cleared the lock, we made our way to the lock wall in the heart of the city. We tied up and headed out to explore the city. We headed to the ByWard Market. Along the way we met a postman, Hill, who gave us a guided tour of the restaurants in the area. He took our postcards to mail for us. Since we hadn't tried the famous smoked meats in Montreal, we decided to head to Dunn's for a smoked meat sandwich. It was melt in your mouth delicious! As we explored the ByWard Market area, we ran into Allie and Matt at the bakery! Next we headed to the Senate for a guided tour. We ran into Allie and Matt there too! The Parliament building is being renovated for the next 9-15 years, so the Senate is meeting in a temporary place. The guided tour was very informative in regards to the way the Canadian government is similar and different from the US government.

There were some short rain showers in the afternoon and evening, so we headed back to the boat for a rest and dinner before heading out again to the Northern Lights show at the Parliament building. A crowd was gathered on the lawn in front of the Parliament to see the show that retraced Canadian history and shared pride in the vision for the country moving forward. There were a few raindrops during the show.

The next day, we headed out on a guided tour of the House of Commons, also in a temporary space during the renovations of the Parliament building. It's remarkable that in Ottawa, French and English is spoken and written side by side in all areas of the city and government. Tours of Parliament are available in both languages and the light show as done in both languages in a way that was beautiful and seamless.

Our friends Lisbeth and Hubert had rented a car to drive back to Ottawa while their boat was on the hard being diagnosed for repairs. We met them for dinner and enjoyed an evening together at the ByWard Market area, topped off with some gelato!