The Ottawa Backpackers Inn is pretty central, everything important in walking distance. Also a supermarket where I went to get some supplies. People in this hostel are just great and the common room is really cosy. Back to the hostel I prepared dinner and got in contact with 3 Germans and the Scottish girl I was sharing the room with. We went to the other building to the kitchen to play a few rounds of President and Scum accompanied by some beers. The next day I slept in again and got some administrative stuff done before moving to my new home. The hostel I was staying the first night was completely booked out Saturday night. So I decided to try out the Jail hostel. A night in a cell, special experience. Parking in Ottawa is super expensive. So far I could always park for free somewhere (apart form the fine in Montréal), but here no chance. Since it was a little bit cheaper at the first hostel and the Jail hostel only like 900 m away, I left my car in York Street and walked over to the jail. Explored a bit of the city like the Byward market, Parliament Hill, National War Memorial,…
Didn´t take any tours that day. In the late afternoon I could finally check in into my cell. There is not much space. Interesting experience and quite scary when you think that people used to be locked up there like 23 hours a day!
In the evening I went to The Highlander Pub with Judith, the Scottish girl from my dorm to watch the hockey game Ottawa – Pittsburg and have some dinner. With a Scottish girl in a Scottish Pub, having some Scottish food. 🙂 After the match I went back to the hostel and settled into the common room for blogging before retiring to my cell. I had a pretty good night there. It´s funny, you just have this really confined space, but still hear the others since there are only bars on top and bottom of the cell door. So it is basically like a huge dorm with walls between the beds. But the mattresses are good, a lot better than at the Ottawa Backpackers Inn. Also the showers are better. It´s quite expensive for a hostel, but you have free breakfast, linen, a towel and a free jail tour every day at 11 am. So for one night, to get the experience it´s definitely worth it. After breakfast I went on the jail tour. This place actually was only closed down in 1972 as a prison due to inhuman treatment of the prisoners. When you are on that tour and see the whole place and hear the stories, it really gets kind of creepy. Many people died here of starvation, infections and abuse. There is also a death row and a gallow that would theoretically still work. Three people were hanged there. This place used to be hell on earth just like 45 years ago and only 6 months after closing down the prison this hostel opened in this building. I am quite happy, that I only did the tour after I slept there! Was definitely worth the experience though.
After moving my stuff back to the other hostel and a quick snack, I went to walk around the city again. Met Ben, an Australian guy from Perth who I got to know during breakfast, in front of the Parliament. Unfortunately all the tickets for the free tour in there were again sold out. So we just walked around on our own following some suggested tours from the information center. Passed the Supreme Court, several Museums and monuments, crossed the river to Gatineau and back and went to Chinatown. This Chinatown is absolutely not like I know Chinatowns. It basically looks like every other part of the city just with a few more Asian restaurants. We had some nice Korean Bibimbap, before both returning to our respective hostels. Time for laundry, organizing accomodation and blogging again.
Since my French is almost not existing it was quite a relief for me to be in Ontario finally where everything is in English and everyone speaks English. Makes my life a lot easier.