North West Passage – Day 2 – London to Ottawa

4th August 2023

A misunderstanding regarding check in times at Heathrow resulted in me booking a night in the airport Premier Inn ready for an early start. I met Dan in the bar where we remained until midnight. The flight to Paris was uneventful other than needing to queue for donkeys to check in oversized baggage (well they said it was oversized!). I was looking forward to steak frites in Paris airport but that was not to be. We opted against Pret a Manger, which ironically sounded too English, and went for a French equivalent but the queue took so long we had to ditch the food and do a runner for the flight to Ottawa, which we only just made!

The problem with flying Air France is that your expectations are set for great food, which it sadly wasn’t. With British Airways you expect crap, so when something almost edible arrives you are rather chuffed. My other minor disappointment with the flight was that they weren’t showing Barbie, which would have been the perfect film to watch prior to sailing the NWP.

We arrived at the airport in Ottawa only to find we needed a bus to get the Airport Hotel which slightly defeats the point. The bus driver said we could hop on for free which was pleasantly friendly. The hotel upgraded us to a room so huge you could easily swing a really big cat in it. It also had two massive TV screens, yes two! God knows why anyone needs two TVs!

We went downstairs to book a cab to visit a burger cafe when an almighty racket of alarms went off. This appeared on my mobile phone:

“At 6:50 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time Thursday, Environment Canada has issued a tornado warning for this mobile coverage area. Take cover immediately if threatening weather approaches. /// À 18h50 heure avancée de l’Est le jeudi, Environnement Canada a émis une alerte de tornade pour cette zone de couverture mobile. Mettez-vous immédiatement à l’abri si un phénomène météorologique menaçant s’approche.”

Sadly we never did encounter a real tornado but we did have a great elk burger. Canada is proving fun already.

Canada History Museum

A flight of locks in Ottawa.

Today we experienced most of Ottawa’s bus routes whilst attempting to visit the Canada History Museum. A beautiful building and excellent museum where we discovered an interesting fact.

Will had asked me to bring out two large jars of Horlicks. I wasn’t too sure whether it was his wicked sense of humour or if he had seriously developed a penchant for the pensioners favourite tipple. I couldn’t fit both jars in my bag so I left one at home. I was surprised to see that an exhibit at the museum actually had a sledge carrying a tea crate full of the malted powder! Now I am in big trouble for only bringing one mesley jar, he was obviously serious!

We fly to Iqaluit tomorrow.

The sledge carrying a crate of Horlicks

2 responses to “North West Passage – Day 2 – London to Ottawa”

  1. Great start to your expedition, however does the Skipper know about your Barbie fascination? He should be worried! Looking forward to the next installment.

    1. Did I say Barbie? Of course I meant Oppenheimer, easy mistake to make!

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