Have you ever done one of those quizzes on Facebook about where you have travelled or what you have done, you know the ones designed to make yourself feel superior to your friends because you have travelled further afar than them? I digress. I was reading one a few months back and looked through all the places to visit in Canada, not to post the results I hasten to add, but to check out all the ‘must do’ things that we may not have done yet and one of them was to ice skate on the Rideau Canal in Ottawa. I was really excited about our trip to Ottawa in January but a little disappointed that the canal doesn’t usually open for skating until the end of January. I was delighted to discover that, due to the unseasonably cold winter we have been having this year, the Canal was open a whole month early than normal and we would be able to skate on it.
The Rideau Canal is famous for being the world’s longest skating rink at 7.8km and is used by tourists and locals alike, locals use it to skate to work and school in the winter, how cool is that!? I admit I didn’t skate an awful lot, the ice was extremely bumpy and not exactly like the ice rinks that I am used to, but I did it. We hired skates, instead of lugging our own all that way, which in hindsight was a mistake as the hire skates were expensive and incredibly uncomfortable. I didn’t last on the ice very long, truth be told, well it was -30C so you can’t blame me! But we did have time to sneak in a quick Beavertail, a freshly cooked flat doughnut like Canadian delicacy and an absolute must for après skating!
What is really strange about the whole experience is this; Growing up in England you are told never to go near frozen ponds or lakes as they are extremely unsafe, yet here we are in Ottawa skating on a frozen canal perfectly safely and the next day I took this shot of downtown Ottawa with the canal in the middle showing, not only skaters but buildings on the canal not to mention the great big truck with the snow plough clearing the snow from the ice.
It’s hard to believe there will be boats floating on here in a few weeks isn’t it!