My visit to Arnprior was too brief. It would have been fun to explore the shops in the downtown area and find a nice place to eat but Ottawa was calling me. I stopped at PJ’s and had some dinner before I headed for Ottawa.
When I landed on Sunday at the Ottawa airport I had gone directly to Renfrew and not dallied in the Ottawa area. So this was going to be my visit to the capital of Canada.
My intention was to travel the Ottawa River Parkway but I somehow missed the turn to get onto this byway. I ended up on Somerset and made my way into the city. In the long run it might have been a better idea because I was at once tossed into the diverse neighborhoods of Ottawa. I drove under the arch in Chinatown. Fortunately Somerset is not a fast-moving street because it is filled with shops, restaurants, people, cars and traffic lights.
I had to quickly revise my plan and started looking for Banks St. Once there I turned left and headed to Wellington. Once on Wellington I was right where all the old castle like parliament buildings are found. I couldn’t spend time sightseeing because the Ottawa drivers were communicating that there was no dallying here. I almost got caught but I managed to move over two lanes to the right. Apparently they come out of Elgin and there are two left turn lanes onto Sussex which leads to a bridge across the Ottawa to Gatineau. At least that is what my theory suggests. My goal was Rideau Street. I made it!
It was about this time that the sky opened up. I had been hearing rumblings and thinking I was seeing flashes of light. Well it was a mega thunderstorm. I made my way down Rideau St. going east and learned not to argue with the Ottawa City buses and watch my right side for those sneaky drivers that took opportunity to use that as way to get around me.
There was a man walking down the middle of Rideau St. apparently not in his right mind. It was a dangerous situation. I finally spied my motel, another Econo-Lodge, and turned into the parking lot just as the sky opened up and dumped a massive amount of water on me and the car and most of Ottawa. I pulled into a parking spot and just sat there waiting. It was coming off the car in sheets. It was about 15-20 minutes later that I was able to get out of the car and go into the lobby by jumping across huge puddles to check in. It continued to rain intermittently and occasionally hard but not as bad as that initial deluge.
My room was on the top floor next to the street and I was concerned about noise but that didn’t happen. This Econo-Lodge was a bit worse for wear. I liked it! I loved my little room. I had a desk, a full bed, a newly remodeled bathroom, WiFi an adequate TV and a view of Rideau Street so I could watch all the action!
I had made it to Ottawa and survived the city streets. I settled in for the night and occasionally looked out my window and watched the activity on Rideau Street. I was right across from the Korean Palace and it seemed like it was a very popular place. There was a Shawarna Palace Restaurant next door and it also had a lot of activity.
The next day was Saturday and I had decided to visit the Ottawa Main Public Library and see what they might have.