So after spending my first week trekking about Montréal and Quebec City, I was ready for a little rest and recuperation. Nick ever so kindly offered to let me crash on his couch until Julien arrived in Ottawa, so I had just under a week to doze about doing some me things. Which means I got some laundry done.
Rather daringly, I decided to skate the entire length of the World’s Largest Skate Rink, the Rideau Canal. Which didn’t sound so stupid until I was hitting 3km thinking surely it’ll end soon. It didn’t. The rink is 7.8km…and I had to get back to the start to pick my shoes up. That’s a whopping 15.6km of skating. For a rookie! I ached for days and I’ve probably torn a muscle. At least now I know to check the distance before setting my heart on a challenge and stubbornly sticking to it.
Later I headed on up to Parliament hill, where I swiftly noticed Big Ben (or at least something that looked a lot like it). It’s actually the Peace Tower sitting proudly in the centre of Parliament Hill, where I found a hoard of school groups, tourists and workers alike taking photos.
Are you in a hurry? – I was asked.
Not at all. So I helped a woman who had been working in Parliament for just over a week, to get the perfect shot of her and the Peace Tower. She was happy. That made me happy. The sun was shining. She told me to enjoy my vacation. It felt like a good day. Strolling casually out of the park, I noticed a lady struggling to hold some paper and take a photograph.
Do you need help? – I enquired.
And then I learnt something beautiful. There is a Facebook group called My love for you is so big it has reached… and this woman was taking photos for strangers to help show and share their love. It was such a beautiful sentiment. I helped her hold 12 notes as she photographed them with the Peace Tower. My request to join the Facebook group has been accepted and despite not needing to trade for my own love note, I hope I can help spread the love and be just as kind with my time on my travels.