Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Loonies & Toonies

As we were staying a mere 1.5 hours away from the Canadian border, we decided to spend a night in Ottawa. Ottawa is an amazing city. First of all, it is insanely clean. Everyone rides their bikes or walks to work and in the winter they skate to work on the canal! The architecture in the city is beautiful. The people are friendly. It's just a great place and it made me want to explore more of Canada (this was my first time visiting our neighbor to the North). Instead of dollar bills though, they have loonies ($1 coins) and toonies ($2 coins). That is my one complaint about Canada: I do not like coins. But moving on...

We visited the ByWard Market, which is an incredible daily farmer's market. There are also various shops and eateries within the market. The produce was the best I had ever seen. And berries in August!!! Sign me up. We bought a small container of wild blueberries and they were like the fruit equivalent of crack. The produce was all local to Ontario and Quebec. Everyone in Ottawa speaks both French and English because part of the province is is Quebec, where French is the official language. The market reminded me so much of my time in Paris and in Aix-En-Provence. I wish they had more daily open-air markets in the United States.

We spent over an hour just walking around and ogling the produce, cheeses, breads, and pastries. We stopped for lunch and had some quiche and shared a few delicious sweets (the one pictured was a heavenly pistachio mousse pastry).

Even though we were only 3 hours away from the US border, it really did feel like we were in another country, which was nice.

No comments: