Hannah and I have been doing walking tours of cities more and more often, when we need some basic context to start understanding the history of a city/region/etc., and can then layer on more things from museums/etc. afterward. So, when we got to Ottawa, we proposed doing the same here, and Inquest wanted to join us. We showed up at the appointed hour in the morning to head to breakfast to find that, in fact, Inquest was gone. I guess we were too rowdy for them and they had left us for greener boatmates.

Just kidding. Turns out, they'd filled up their holding tank in the middle of the night and set out at first light to get pumped out, which then caused another debacle of losing another engine from the weeds lining the canal, dealing with a low bridge, and some other stuff. So they joined us later. We instead went back over to Byward Market and picked up some disappointing pastries for breakfast, then headed over to the tour meeting spot.

The tour was quite good -- the guy turned out to be the owner of the tour company, on duty that day, and had lived in Ottawa nearly his whole life, as well as being a history teacher at one of the local high schools and a college.

We started out learning about the parliamentary history of Canada (why do both of our countries have a completely broken Senate? ah, naive forefathers) and the buildings around it.

We moved onto the war memorial and got to watch two guards stretch their legs in perfectly synchronized walks. We toured Sparks street and talked about the history of Nicholas Sparks. We then used that context to learn a bunch more history of Ottawa proper, which basically started by building the Rideau Canal (the canal we're going to be doing for the next week or so). We ended up in Byward Market, talking about the history of the Irish Catholics vs. the Protestants and how that shaped early Ottawa. Wacky history with a bunch of people-that-turned-out-to-be-really-important. But we strongly suggest this walking tour (ottawawalkingtours.com) if you ever come to Ottawa.

Russ and Jax had returned from their adventure and joined us about half way through the tour, so afterward we got lunch together at Play, which turned out to be an utterly fantastic restaurant, and Jax's friend Jason (from Ottawa) joined us at the end. We had to run back to the boats after lunch to move them before the lockmasters got angry at us for staying slightly longer than 48 hours, so we moved ~1000 ft down the canal to a less-well-maintained section of the wall without power. It was also an excuse to give Jason a (tiny) boat ride.

After the boat move, we decided to take a walk North back through the park west of Byward Market, then over the bridge, into Gatineau to go to the Museum of History. It was a super warm day, but the walk was still gorgeous -- the older areas of Ottawa are very picturesque.

I neglected to take any pictures inside the Museum itself, but it was a fantastic museum -- tons of different exhibits that were, contrary to most museums, well-laid-out, with context and supporting artifacts that led you through a narrative history of different eras of Canada in one section, the history of the native tribes and their interactions with the Europeans in another section, and more. We only had an hour before they closed by the time we got over there, but it's a museum I could actually disappear into for hours someday. We were pooped/lazy after all the continued walking in the heat, and decided to take a water taxi back over to the downtown area.

Jason left us at this point to head home, and we ended up getting our first mediocre meal at a small Mediterranean place south of Parliament Hill. Can't win 'em all. We made plans for the morning and had an early night after all of that.