Winterlude in Ottawa, 2nd year

As posted in my blog last year, people in Ottawa enjoy going outside when the temperature drops below -10 degrees Celsius. Winterlude, or should I say the celebration of Winter, this year is no exception to the rule. Today was a beautiful day here in Ottawa and provided for a great excuse to go and see the ice sculptures and the canal before the end of the “Bal des Neiges” as it is called in French.

Ice sculpture at Winterlude - Ottawa, ON

In addition to the great ice sculptures, local inhabitants go and skate on the canal… well, I’ll see next year if I want to give it a try again. It’s been so long that I haven’t skated on ice that I’m not sure if I could actually still stand straight.

Ice skating on the canal - Ottawa, ON

Continue reading Winterlude in Ottawa, 2nd year

Living in Ontario, Canada – Part 1

Or should I be more specific… living in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada – Part 1. I’ve crossed the Atlantic in November of 2006, just in time for winter, which I survived, and am now enjoying my first Canadian summer. To summarize this blog post, I really like living in the capital of this huge country. People are really nice, and many of them speak a language that reminds me of French, hidden behind an accent and some strange ways of saying things, that is for someone who grew-up on the other side of the Atlantic. As for when living in the UK before coming to this side of the world, there are things that come as a surprise to me, some constructive comments and other random thoughts not really worth mentioning. In no particular order, I’ll be covering the milk distribution, the temperature during winter, batteries recycling, the Canadian-French language, buying geek toys, hockey and weather news on USA channels.

Continue reading Living in Ontario, Canada – Part 1

Winterlude in Ottawa

Every year, there seems to be this concept of “it’s really cold today, let’s do something outside”… In Ottawa, they call it Winterlude, e.g. North America’s greatest Winter celebration. At that time, you can skate on a 7.8 kilometer “skateway”, which in summer is a man-made river.

Skating on the Canal

There are also those who are much more gifted with their hands than I am and who take part in the International Ice-Carving Competition. Really impressive temporary-work of art.

International Ice-Carving Competition

And for those who wonder, there is a difference between -10? and -20? Celsius… when the air you breath freezes your nose, you can tell it’s cold outside :-)

Enjoying an NHL game

Already my second NHL game in three months… Looks like I am getting hooked to hockey if I continue at that rhythm.

a first NHL game

The most interesting thing in this game is that there where almost as many Toronto Maple Leafs fans as there where Ottawa Senators fans… and when you get the two groups together encouraging their teams, it combines “Go Sens Go” and “Go Leafs Go” into what sounds like “Go Sleeves go” :-)