This is the 12th of a series of posts dealing with my third trip to Eastern Canada. I’ve made minor corrections to these reports. Also, I’ve added additional thoughts with the hindsight of a year later or to add further clarification. These are indicated by “NOW”.
Forgot to mention: one quirk with the hostel bathrooms being co-ed was that one of the stalls had one admonishment for men standing and another for women sitting.
This morning I went west a little on Maisonneuve in Montreal and then east along Sherbrooke. I wandered the main area of McGill University briefly and also looked at the art pieces on the outside of la Musée de Beaux-Artes. I then grabbed breakfast from the hostel and then checked out. I wandered my way down to Gare Centrale, whereupon I found a Bentley's right at the train station. Expecting to buy more DVDs I bought a sack there. There was still time before my train so I did one last quick trip outside.
The train ride to Ottawa was comfortable enough. I stored my tickets in the luggage area but then there was an announcement that tickets would be revalidated. Luckily there was another stop before this happened (Dorval, which I forgot to mention earlier has English stop signs) so I was able to grab my ticket then without losing out on any picture taking.
Ottawa... proved to be not very pedestrian friendly, plus the Ottawa Transit website had misinformation (all bus rides today Ottawa Transit), claiming that you buy daypasses from dealers rather than from buses. I wandered to a stop that I think was the train station bus stop. The bus driver, noticing my confused state drove me for free to Hanlon Station, where I tried to get a pass at Gateway to go. Because I hadn`t managed to get to a Scotiabank that was open in Montreal I got docked an extra $1.75 getting money from an ATM for the bus, and then it was exact change so I had to go back and get the change right. Had a meltdown but recovered and got a 95X bus to Mackenzie King Station, which proved to be closer to the hostel than Laurier as noted on the Ottawa website. Even so it took me a while to find the hostel. Finally someone told me it was right down the stairs from Mackenzie King Station.
[NOW: The stop near the train station was the Train Station on the Transitway. All stations listed this report other than the actual train station are Transitway stops. The initial bus was also a 95X. Ottawa’s Transit is actually called OC Transpo].
I was too early to check in but I paid for my room and dropped off my baggage. Oh, and for those of you who don`t know, my hostel, H-I Jail is in fact a converted jail. Heading out I visited Vertigo Records and had lunch at McDonalld’s in the Byward Market district. Unexpectedly I found that missed the French signage and Hull was close to next on my itinerary so I skipped one place and headed towards Alexandra Bridge, passing the US Embassy, the Canadian Mint, and Kuwait Embassy. I realize I`d gotten turned around and had to doubleback a bit but managed to get to the bridge, with has separate lanes for cars, pedestrians, and bikes for both directions.
I made it to Hull, now part of Gatineau. I left my map sheets in my room and my map book only covered Ottawa mostly, but I found a tourist info place that gave me directions. I was able to figure out that the guy was asking me how I wanted to get to the street I was looking for and so replied “En pied” (by foot). I made it to the video store Cédé Troqué. The wrong number was written on one DVD case so that movie couldn`t be found but I did get Mystery Science Theatre 3000 Volume 7.
I wandered south to Prospect Bridge and returned to Ottawa, working my way to Bank St. Around this point I realized that I was going to skip the Canadian Aviation Museum; there`s only a one-hour window that it`s free and it`s closed tomorrow, and it was just not something I could fit in while still getting a sense of the lay of the land, plus wanted to move at my own speed.
Walked south along Bank St (and area) I visited Prospero Book Company, Compact Music (tiny upstairs store IIRC), Comic Book Shoppe, Invisible Cinema (should have been open with the hours indicated but was locked), Chumleighs, Octopus Books, Turning Point (bought DVDs). Then on Elgin Mags & (rude rhyming word for cigarette), Perfect Books, heading back west to Book Den. Back to Bank and area I visited Silver Snail Comics, Book Bazaar, Crosstown Traffic (the DVDs I wanted were too pricey), Glebe Video, Compact Music (different one), Octopus Books (ditto), and Dragon Tail Bookshop. I then took a 7 bus south to West Coast Video (closed).
I took a 1 bus back up north to near the Quebec border. I then lucked out: the next bus I wanted, 2, was about to turn on a different direction than expected and I was able to compensate in time.
Off the bus at Wellington (originally planned for tomorrow), visited Record Centre, Videoflicks (gone), and Legends Records. I saw a 16 bus heading east and gambled it would take me to a connection I needed. It did and at Mackenzie King Station I took a 97 bus south to St Laurent Station, then transferred to a southbound 114 bus. I got off at CD Warehouse and got more DVDs. Noting that the next 114 was a while yet, I jogged to its connecting bus (149) at Elmsdale Centre. Again the Ottawa Transit gave me bad info and let me off at a stop that was hard to get to my destination to (I think the computer assumed easier access to a park to cut through than there really way. I finally made it to Moves n Stuff on Kilborn... and found a bus stop right there. A bit of a long wait but finally got a 148 bus back to Hanlon and then a 95X bus back to Mackenzie King Station. I bypassed the hostel briefly and had dinner at Tim Horton`s directly to the left of the McDonald`s I ate at earlier, then returned to the hostel, where I got into my cell on the 6th floor.