Canada 2017 travel blog

The Royal Mint

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Notre Dame Basilica

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Rideau Hall, official residence of the Governor General

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The Long Gallery

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After such a tiring day yesterday, I didn’t really feel like more sightseeing today but I wanted to go to the Royal Mint & although they have tours on the weekend, nothing would be working so it had to be today.

I looked at different ways to get into town but decided it was easier to use the route I knew. Because I was so slow to get moving, it was almost lunchtime when I got into town so I stopped by Parliament Hill & had a delicious grilled bratwurst sausage in a bun from a street vendor I’d noticed yesterday.

You’re supposed to call the Mint to book in for a guided tour but every time I called I got a recording telling me to leave a message, which I did, but they didn’t call back. When I got to the Mint, I was able to get on the next tour in 15 minutes time & then, when I was waiting for the tour, I got a phone call from them in reply to my message. Such an efficient system!

I was a bit disappointed in the tour. It was a big group, all behind glass of course & you couldn’t see much of what was going on. The guide was describing the process but it was hard to work out which machine she was talking about & even then you couldn’t see much happening. No photos on the tour, of course.

The Mint was built in 1905 as a branch of the British Royal Mint & because the Gothic building is heritage-listed, they couldn’t expand so a 2nd mint which produces all the circulation currency was built in Winnipeg. This mint in Ottawa only produces special collectable & commemorative coins & medals.

Rideau Hall, the Governor General’s residence is on the same bus route but first I had a look at Notre Dame Basilica which is just down the road. I’m glad I did because it was just amazing. It’s difficult to describe so I hope my photos do it justice. The National Gallery is across the road from Notre Dame so I had to choose between that & Rideau Hall because I didn’t have time for both.

Rideau Hall won & although it involved another bus ride & a long walk, it was worth it. The guided tours were all finished for the day but I was told all the rooms were still open & there was someone in each room to answer questions so much better than a tour. The 4 main rooms were all very different & quite beautiful, then as I left (through the front door), they were just changing the guard with a handful of us watching.

I had a bit of trouble finding the bus stop to get back to town but a bus came along a few minutes later. In all I had 2 train rides & 5 buses so got good value from my $10 day pass.

It was very warm this afternoon but still no rain & the motorhome was hot from sitting in the sun but on the way home I noticed petrol was 96.6 cpl which was the cheapest I’d seen it all week (it had been up to 105.9) so I stopped & filled up.

No problems except that when I got back to the campground, I noticed I’d left the fuel cap sitting on top of the pump so I had to go back, only about 2 km luckily, & it was still sitting where I’d left it which was a relief.

It was about 6:30pm by the time I finally got back & settled, so I was too tired to write up my diary & I’m not planning to go anywhere tomorrow – I’m definitely due for a day off.

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