Visiting Ottawa for the second time

During my first time in Ottawa, I was here with my (now deceased) labmate learning how to identify bees and flower flies.  Along the way to Ottawa, I could not help but feel very sad about my labmate and the things we talked about and saw during last year's trip.  Nonetheless, I think me being here in Ottawa will definitely help in terms of moving on and appreciating life even more.

Waiting for the city bus in Peterborough to catch the Greyhound bus to Ottawa.  It takes about four hours from Peterborough to Ottawa.  I think this is a maple tree, and the flowers are showing signs of blossoming now.

Arriving in Ottawa, I was picked up by the professor and we had lunch together at Freshii on campus.  We then discussed project ideas, and I meet other graduate students and professors in the department.  Afterwards, I checked into the Ottawa Jail Hostel.  Despite the name, it is actually not bad at all. 

Jail (hostel) Entrance.

Inside the hostel.  I was not placed in a jail cell, but in one of the private rooms with a twin bed.  The bathroom is shared among four private rooms with two showers.  Being a relatively experienced traveler myself, I have no complains (except maybe that my room was too warm and I couldn't find a themostat), because I am pretty sure there are worst hostels people can stay at.

In the evening, I had Thai food for dinner with the professor, one of her students, and two other PhD students from other labs. 

I am never a good sleeper, especially in unfamiliar places, so I didn't really get a lot of sleep that night.  In the morning after 6 AM, I went to Tim Horton's for breakfast and walked around downtown to take some photos.

Canal draining into the Ottawa River.

Parliament Hill
Parliament Hill.

The West Block
West Block of The Hill.

Parliament Hill

Supreme Court of Canada 
Supreme Court of Canada.

Ottawa River.  Last year, there was a Cat Sanctuary behind the Parliament.  But all the cats had apparently been adopted by volunteers and now there's no more.

The next time I am here, I am definitely crossing the bridges into Gatineau.

There sounded like a lot of rain in the evening (my room was facing a side of a building) and earthworms were scattered throughout the path in the morning.

 Ottawa Convention Centre and Rideau Canal
Rideau Canal and the Ottawa Convention Centre.  If you look closely, the canal is actually littered with garbage and Christmas trees (for some odd reason), which I assume are all left over from festivals and other events during the winter.

Afterwards, I checked myself out of the hostel and came to the university to talk more about the projects and meet more new people.  Around noon, it was time for me to head back to Peterborough and finish my thesis so that I can move onto a new chapter of my life (hopefully).

Overall, Ottawa is a very nice city and the campus is quite nice.  However, the city does not have as much nature as Trent University or UBC, but I think that is something I can adjust by living closer to natural areas (e.g., Gatineau).  I also think that I get along really well with the professor and other members of the department, and the project ideas (investigating plant-pollinator interactions) are all very intriguing and I can definitely foresee myself living and studying here for the next four plus years.  But first thing first, I need to finish my Masters first!

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