The Rideau Canal is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The canal was constructed between 1826-31 as a military bypass of the St. Lawrence River to connect Ottawa with the city of Kingston on Lake Ontario via a more defensible inland route. During the winter, 7.8 kilometres at the Ottawa end is converted into the world’s largest skating rink. Lace on your skates and come for a brief tour of the skateway with me.
START OF SKATEWAY IN DOWNTOWN OTTAWA
DOWNTOWN HOME STRETCH
FOOD CATERING SHACK
DOW’S LAKE STRETCH…..ALMOST THE END!
Away from the city centre, the skateway becomes more remote and open.
7.8 KILOMETRES LATER…….END OF SKATEWAY
See you all next year!!! Bye!!!
Posted in PEOPLE, TOURING
As part of the sanctions invoked by the British government against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, has been the banning of Aeroflot. Similarily, Delta Airlines in the US has ended its partnership with the Russian airline.
It’s about time!! Here’s a pic I snapped while transiting Heathrow airport, London in 2014. It immediately caught my attention as it bragged about being the official carrier of Manchester United. I understand that the UK ban puts a 40 million pound sponsorship deal between Aeroflot and Man United in jeopardy. A lesson for us all, choose your partners carefully!!!!
Happy Saint Valentine’s Day and welcome to Dieseldorf, Honkistan, Truckistan (Formerly known as Ottawa, Ontario, Canada).
The Freedom Convoy that has descended on the nation’s capital has attracted world attention.
Below are pics of the general protest scene on the day when the Emergencies Act was proclaimed for the first time ever in Canadian history by the Prime Minister in an attempt to deal with the situation.
PARLIAMENT HILL PROTEST
Protesters brave -15 degree Celius weather.
IMPROVISED SOUP KITCHEN
Seems like some of the protesters are dug in for the long term.
Rideau Street Protest
Posted in PEOPLE, TOURING
Today is the 26th of December, or Boxing Day throughout most of the Anglosphere. It is also celebrated as the Feast of St. Stephen in many Christian jurisdictions and features prominently in my favourite Christmas carol, Good King Wenceslas.
Stephen was the first Christian martyr and was stoned to death in front of the gate subsequently named after him in Jerusalem’s Temple Mount shown below in an image I captured on a recent trip to Israel.
St. Stephen’s Gate, Temple Mount, Jerusalem
“December the seventh, 1941…..a date that will live in infamy” Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Today is the 8oth anniversary of the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor which dragged the United States into the Second World War.
MEMORIAL TO THE USS ARIZONA
Lt. Commander, USN BRUCE. A. RECK
I’d like to acknowledge the exploits of my first cousin once removed who received 14 medals for his service on 6 vessels of the US Navy during the Second World War. Bruce Reck was a proud American whose parents were born in Humberstone, Ontario prior to emigrating to Erie, Pennsylvania. While stationed at Pearl Harbor, he did salvage diving on the sunken ships.
After the war he was active in the Naval Reserve into the 60s and became a dedicated family man and community leader as a Boy Scout leader whose troop became famous for its Native American dance interpretations, one of which I can recall being performed in my home town. Bruce was a heck of a nice guy and proud of his parent’s Canadian roots. He often visited as he liked to keep in touch with his many relatives north of the border.
For good reasons many today call men and women of that era the “Greatest Generation.” Hard to disagree with that assessment.
Lt. Commander Bruce A. Reck
Ave Atque Vale
PRETORIA BRIDGE AT NIGHT, OTTAWA
Rossmann Architecture Inc. of Gatineau, QuebeC has acquired a metal copy of my Pretoria Bridge as a donation to a Silent Auction in support of Counselling and Family Services Ottawa held through ARIDO (Association of Registered Interior Designers of Ontario).
Kudos to Rossmann for their support of local charities and artists.
Canadian War Memorial, Green Park, London
Happy Columbus Day to all those in the United States observing the national holiday. As dozens of Columbus statues fall victim to mob violence, I thought I would present a challenge to all the social justice warriors out there in presenting the most impressive Columbus statue that I have ever seen. That is of course the Columbus statue in Barcelona. Good luck on bringing that one down!!
The extremely sad news out of Afghanistan recently has brought back memories of my 10 day traverse of that benighted country back in the day before the Soviets invaded and made a mess of it.
At the time, I had only a small fold out bellows camera with a couple of rolls of film to support what would become a trip around the world. The following are the only legacy images to have survived. What I would have given to have had a modern digital camera to capture the trip of a lifetime.
Thinking of travelling rough in Afghanistan?? As they say on TV, “Kids, don’t try this at home!!”
My entry into Afghanistan was clinging precariously atop a speeding oil tanker in the biting cold of the early desert morning.
“Bobby flagged a diesel down….just before it rained…and we rode it all the way to …..Herat!!”
AFGHAN ROAD HAZARD
COBRA AND MONGOOSE FIGHT
Our escape via the Kyber Pass was interrupted by a brief stop which provided the brief distraction of a traditional cobra and mongoose fight. No time to tarry as we had to be out of the Pass by sundown to avoid gunfire from bandits.
How bad was my Afghan experience?? Upon entry into Pakistan, we swore that we would never go back into that lawless land. I was now firmly committed to a trip around the world. Travel back to Europe through Afghanistan was out of the question. We considered ourselves lucky to have survived.
A cash payment of one US dollar gave you a “ticket to ride” for 24 hours. Travel wise, this was the most efficient use of time and money. The buses had no air conditioning and hence we wrapped ourselves in newspapers at night for insulation and sweated it out during the day.
AFGHAN REFUGEE CAMP
Afghan refugee camp on the outskirts of Islamabad that I snapped much latter in 1993 during an official visit when I was responsible for trade relations with Pakistan.
Pray for Afghanistan!!
To commemorate the 100 anniversary of the Comunist Party in China, the Chinese ambassador to the UK laid a floral tribute at the Marx grave in the “Victorian Valhalla,” HighGate Cemetery in North London.
KARL MARX, HIGHGATE CEMETERY, LONDON