Posts Tagged With: Ottawa

Cover Art: Photo Challenge

After the chills that ran down my spine earlier this week when I heard about the horrific event at the Canadian Parliament I thought every newspaper and magazine will be covering the events in pictures, words and accounts as they try to piece together the how and why it happened. After all things like this don’t happen in Canada.

Here are my cover shots….


The Peace Tower and Canadian Flag a witness to lost innoncence in Ottawa on Parliment Hill

The Peace Tower and Canadian Flag a witness to lost innocence in Ottawa on Parliament Hill

This photo below was taken this past summer at the re-enactment of a battle of 1812 which, took place 200 years ago July 1814 in Chippewa Ontario. I added a soft focus to the  close up of a solider uniform and gloved hands.  The gloved hands are gentle.  Hands are meant to heal, help and hold. To me this photo  is a symbol of bravery and honour as Canadians stand up and fight for everyone to keep us safe. 200 years later this still rings true. Thank goodness to the quick action and thinking of those that risked their lives to keep so many others safe. Thoughts and prayers go out to the young man who lost his life.


This week Word Press asked us to show “Cover Art”. A photo that could grace the cover of a book, magazine or album.


Categories: Canada, Culture, History, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Proud Treasures: Photo Challenges

This week word press has asked us to show a treasure; something special and dear to our heart. Maybe it is a simple item and others would  think of it as meaningless, but to yourself it is priceless. Bastet has asked us to show photos we like and are especially proud of the way they turned out. To me my photos are treasures that showcase my world travels and bring back memories of places, people and events. Each is special and unique. To have had the opportunity to travel, especially so much in the last 4 years, that has been a wonderful gift. To be able to see places most  people have only heard about, seen in books, or on TV is amazing. I will treasure my photos long after we leave. These below are some I am most proud of and one day they may grace the walls of our home.

I have loved taking photos for a long time and I am trying hard to learn more. Someone once told me look for the shot no one else will have. Although I find a good photo sometimes is a lucky shot, a fleeting moment you happen to capture, a chance encounter that you might be in the right place at the right time, or when all elements just come together. Other times it takes  a careful eye and planning. The following are the shots I am most proud of. Enjoy my treasures….

Intricate carvings

Intricate carvings – Angkor Wat. The lighting was perfect for this capture of the bas reliefs along the temple walls.

I love this photo. It caught my breath and I almost couldn’t believe it was I who took it. Cambodia was an amazing place and this photo was my favourite from Angkor Wat. Everything came together perfectly.

Speaking of lighting be just right…..

Sun or Heavenly Rays in St. Peter's Basilica?

Rome, Italy – Sun or Heavenly Rays in St. Peter’s Basilica?

I saw the sun rays and hoped it turned out. It was much later I realised how this looked and I was really happy with the result.

This next one reminded me of an eerie old B&W film. The sepia tones in the hazy, humid sky after an earlier downpour played with the lights. Everyone takes the horizontal shot of the parliament buildings, so I looked for an alternate angle. I was happy how it was different and the atmosphere and feeling it has.

The Peace Tower at Night

The Peace Tower at Night

I liked the shadows of the palms to frame the view we had on the beach while we were in the Philippines. More than just another shot of the beautiful blue water.

What a view!

What a view!

I also took this shot in the Philippines. I kept moving around to get the right angle, light and detail I wanted. I am really happy with the result. I like how the palm is in the background to give it an extra dimension. It is my new favourite. What do you think?


What do you treasure? What photo are you most happy with? Check out the links above to see more posts, or find out how post your own.  No photos? Then tell us about it in the comment section below.

Like this blog? Want to help me move onto round two of the Canadian Blog Awards? Then please click on the Canadian Blog Awards 2013 picture/button on the right sidebar to take you to the webpage if you would like to vote. Round one closes Feb. 21. I am Canadian Travel Bugs in the Travel and Expat category. CAREFUL you only get 1 vote! Not sure what it is all about? Then read my post that explains in more detail here.

Thanks in advance. 🙂

Stay tuned…

Categories: Awards, Photography, travel, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Eerie Hallowe’en Like: Weekly Photo Challenges

I have posted this photo before, but it was the first idea that popped into my head when I saw the photo themes this week.

The Peace Tower at Night

The Peace Tower at Night

This photo was taken in Ottawa, Ontario of our nation’s Parliament Buildings. I find it eerie in sepia and due to the angle. Normally the building is shot with blue skies and as a wide shoot taking it all in.

Parliment Buildings

Parliament Buildings

Although come to think of it this sky looks a little eerie. Shortly after this was taken a heavy rain and thunderstorm passed through.

This is my response to 2 different photo challenges this week. WDBP wanted something Hallowe’en inspired; something that gave you the chills and looked a little spooky. Maybe this would remind you of Hallowe’en? The other is WordPress and the theme was eerie. Be sure to check them out to get all the detail and learn more about what they are looking for.

Stay Tuned…

Categories: Photography, travel, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Black & White: Pixelventures Photo Challenge

I have been scouring the USBs and hard drive for some Black & White photos for this week’s photo challenge set by Bastet with their weekly Pixelventures Photo Challenge. She is looking for photos of Autumn. Well here in Shanghai temperatures are still hovering around 23-27c. Autumn sets in much later. Hopefully my summer wheat ready for harvest fits the bill where the rest break the rules ;), but they are some of my favourites.

Until recently I haven’t taken a lot of black and white photos. My little point and shoot camera didn’t have that as an option. When I bought my larger camera  it allowed me more choices including Black & White and Sepia. I use it on occasion, but I tend to lean towards Sepia. I like to use warmer tones of the brown to the cooler B&W.

Thanks to Bastet for the inspiration. Enjoy my gallery of B&W pics and a few Sepia too 🙂 Be sure to follow the links to see more examples, or to post your own.

I added pictures from nature as well as man made things. Hover over the photo to see the titles.

Which ones were your favourite?

Stay tuned I still want to post more this weekend on our short trip to Hong Kong…

Categories: Photography, post a week, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Inside & Hobbies

I never had a hobby I was passionate about until I found photography. I really loved snapping pics and finding unique angles and seeing and hearing people’s reactions. I respond in the same way to pictures and I tend to go for the unusual. Imagine my bliss when scrapbooking came all the rage and I could show case my creativity in a new and fancy way. Living abroad my scrapbook tools are stored away for my eventual return. However, my photography hobby has taken off and I now have a new way to showcase my love of snapping photos. BLOGGING! These are my favourite past times and hobbies, as I am sure you may have discovered by now.  😉

This week the theme for Pixel Adventures is Hobbies and Past times. Well visit any of my posts and you can see this is how I spend my spare time… snapping photos and then writing about the adventure that goes with it.

Word Press has asked for photos inside.

I thought I would go for the silly this week with the photo themes…

Willow in the Box

Willow in the Box

Willow inside a large box waiting to pounce.

These Lego sculptures were set up at our local plaza and I happened to snap a few photos. One thing I learned in China ALWAYS carry a camera ’cause you never know what you might see.

It's all fun and games until it goes too far!

It’s all fun and games until it goes too far!

Look closely… Did someone get eaten by a lion??? Oh MY! 😉 I think there is a lady inside!

OK now to be more serious and show more of my hobby side…

Ottawa Arches

Ottawa Arches

Taken from inside the open archway on Parliament Hill, Ottawa Ontario below the Peace Tower, looking out across the grounds.

Want to participate in the challenges? It is easy as 1-2-3. Just follow the links and get the information.

Stay tuned…

Categories: Photography, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

One Shot Two Ways: Photo Challenge

This past summer I was able to head to Ottawa, Ontario the capital city of Canada. I have been meaning to show you more, but there isn’t a lot to talk about since I went for a conference and didn’t get to sight see too much. This week’s photo challenge gives me a perfect opportunity to show you a little bit more of the capital city.

Word Press has asked us to show a subject in two different ways.

  • the shot can show landscape and portrait views of the same thing
  • or a regular shot and the next zoomed in extra close

Here are my examples of the Canadian Parliament Buildings. I have included 4 shots in 4 very different views.

Here is the Peace Tower, which is the centre of the main Parliament buildings, just before sunset.

The Peace Tower

The Peace Tower

It had rained hard earlier that day as an intense thunderstorm passed through. Luckily this caught my eye and I was able to get an interesting shot of the tower in this puddle. A very different (and unexpected and unique) view of the same subject.

The Peace Tower after the rain

The Peace Tower after the rain

Then the sun set and I got this eerie picture of the Parliament Buildings. Yet another view of the same subject, but it still doesn’t ft WP requirements of orientation or zoom.

The Peace Tower at Night

The Peace Tower at Night

The next day the storm had passed and blue sky and clouds made for great photos and cooler temperatures, which was much more comfortable for walking around and exploring. Here is the last view of the same subject in a different time of day AND orientation.

The Parliment Buildings

The Parliament Buildings

Which shot was your favourite?

This is in response to WORD PRESS‘s weekly photo challenge. I think I could also link this back to Where’s My Backpack for architecture as well as Bastet’s Pixelventures for unexpected (for the puddle shot anyway).

Stay tuned… this is my third post today! I’m back to work on Monday, so I had to get them all done while I still have some free time. Be sure to check out the other posts I did today (if you haven’t already 😉 ):

Stay tuned…

Categories: Photography, post a week, Tourist in My Own Town, travel, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Masterpiece #2: Ottawa

After rereading Word Press‘s post about a masterpiece I had another idea. Cheri described the masterpiece the Sagrada de Familia a huge, amazing cathedral designed by Antio Gaudi. It is located in Barcelona, Spain and is still under construction over 100 years later. I saw it on TV when I was a teenager and I was impressed and vowed to myself one day I would go there and see if for real. Years later my dream came true. I remember the feeling of coming around a corner and there is stood. It took my breath away. It was truly a masterpiece and better in real life and more than I ever imagined or dreamed it could be. It certainly outlived my expectations. I expected the same reaction when I got to the Great Wall, but I was disappointed that I didn’t have that ‘take my breath away‘ reaction. That is not to say I wasn’t impressed, because I was. When I thought about something that gave me that little intake of breath I thought of this:

3 floors of books and a domed roof

3 floors of books and a domed roof

This is the library inside the Parliament buildings in Ottawa, Canada, our nation’s capital. I had never been inside this building before and only made one other visit to Ottawa over 10 years ago. I didn’t have any preconceived notions or ideas of what it would look like, or really that such a thing existed. when we went inside it did take my breath away. Our tour group’s collective intake of breath was immediate. Our tour guide’s response…. “I know…. incredible!” He is still in awe after hundreds of tours. The lighting, design, details… just incredible. A true masterpiece in design.

The details and design amazing!

The details and design amazing!

We were so lucky to be there on a Saturday since tour groups are normally not allowed to take photos. During the week it is a working library and the staff do not want the distractions or constant flash and photos. Can’t say that I blame them.

a close up of some of the detail

it’s all in the details

As a book lover it was the most amazing thing I ever saw. Our guide told us it almost was lost to fire many years ago. A fire broke out inside the Parliament buildings in a near-by room. Luckily a quick thinking individual closed the large iron doors and the library was spared. The beauty, books and so much history would have been lost.

Statue that greets you as you enter

Statue that greets you as you enter

The statue is of a young Queen Victoria. The building was completed in 1876 in a Gothic Revival style. Click here to get more information. The photos certainly do not do this magnificent structure justice!

The domed roof

The domed roof

What has taken your breath away?

Stay tuned….

Categories: Culture, Photography, post a week, reading, Tourist in My Own Town, travel, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Food & Sweet: Photo Challenges

Whenever possible I try to combine photo challenges to save time when busy with work, or in the summer to get outside and enjoy the blue sky and sunshine. Also the ‘are you done yet?’ from John hurries me along. 😉 This week what was a more fitting combination than We Drink because we are Poets theme FOOD and SWEET from Where’s my Backpack? I know I should post on some crazy treats from China, but after a visit to Ottawa last week for a conference I came across a favourite Canadian treat that I should share. I posted last week on the Montreal Bagels I had while there and they also fit the theme, so if you missed it check it out here.

Beaver Tails, or Queues de Castor in French, sounds gross if you think of the furry little dam building creatures, but I assure you no beavers were harmed in their making 😉 I never heard of these pasties until my first trip to Ottawa about 10 years ago. The friends I went with had, so they were on a mission to find the pastry stand and buy a few. I must live a sheltered life and missed out in this sweet sticky fried mess for so many years of my life. It seems the popularity is still going strong as the little stand in the Byward market had a steady stream of customers day and night. With the changing times a wider selection of toppings seems to be available from what I remembered.

The small stand in the Byward Market

The small stand in the Byward Market

So what is a Beaver Tail? Well it is dough pulled into a long oval shape to resemble… you guessed it… a beaver’s tail. It is then quickly deep fried, so they are always fresh. After picking your flavour they slop on a generous topping of cinnamon sugar, hazelnut spread, or maple butter to name a few sweet flavours. It you prefer a more savory there is garlic butter with cheese.  Balancing the sweet sticky hot goodness, which is about as long as my forearm, I take a delicious bite. It kind of tastes like a doughnut, but not as puffy in thickness.

Beaver Tails originated in Canada and have been around since 1978. I also learned they are in 3 different countries and of course all across Canada. Who knew there is even one tucked away in Niagara Falls just off the main tourist trap street, Clifton Hill. If you want to learn more check out Wikipedia for a short description.

What kind would you like to try?

What kind would you like to try?

How did they taste… delicious. I had the maple butter (hey what could be more Canadian?) and my friend had cheese cake with Skor candy bar. Luckily we had lots of napkins because when we were done our hands and faces resembled a small 3-year-old who dove in face first to a birthday cake. We tried our best to eat them carefully, but the size and amount of toppings that melt from a combination of the heat outside and them fresh out of the deep fryer made the task of staying clean and lady like almost impossible.

What flavour would you like to try?

Stay tuned…

Categories: Tourist in My Own Town, travel, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

FRESH Montreal Bagels: Weekly Photo Challenge

This week’s theme is FRESH. I am really enjoying the FRESH air after a bad few months in Shanghai dealing with higher than normal pollution levels. Little hard to take photos of air 😉 After heading to Ottawa for a conference I had lots of photos to look through. I was able to explore the city for a few hours and snap pics of the Parliament buildings. As I scanned the 538 pics I came across my Saturday morning photos when we walked through the Byward Market and discovered Montreal Style Bagels. These style are by far the best I have ever had. They are not as heavy and bready as most bagels and before cooking they are dipped in a honey water bath that makes them ever so sweet. If it is authentic place they aim to cook them in a wood fired oven which, gives them a better taste, or so it seems. Each of these were made by hand early that morning as I watched and waited for my bagel to be prepared. A little bit of butter is all that is needed so you can enjoy the flavours and they are not masked by anything else. For $1.75 I enjoyed a buttered bagel toasted and fresh out of the oven.

Bagels in the wood fired oven

Bagels in the wood fired oven

What smells better than FRESH baked bread?


This part of the market smelled so delicious. They were so yummy I went back and bought half a dozen to take home (only $5).

Head over to Word Press to see more examples of Fresh or post your own.

Stay tuned… working on posting on another photo challenge and more about Ottawa.

Categories: post a week, travel, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,