February 17, 2008

Winterlude 2008...

The first few weeks of February in Ottawa brings along Winterlude, which is like a scaled down version of Carnival in Quebec. The canal opens for skating, there are free concerts, ice carving competitions, and all sorts of outdoor activities in the freezing cold Ottawa winter.

Ever since I was little I wanted to go skating on the Rideau Canal, which until this year was the longest outdoor skating rink in the world (the title now belongs to Winnipeg). They let several kilometres of the canal freeze, including Dows Lake, and they open it up for skating. There are a few places along the canal to rent skates, buy Beaver Tails (fried dough and sugar), hot chocolate, coffee, and other snacks.
There's also an ice carving competition, with people from around the world who do some amazing things with blocks of ice. Really amazing stuff.
This sculpture was done by somebody from Thailand.







And this one represents the landing of Jacques Cartier in Quebec City 400 years ago (this year is the 400th anniversary of the founding of Quebec City).

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

very COOL. looks awesome

JN said...

Love the sculptures. Did you actually skate on the canal?

Stephen said...

Haven't been skating on the canal yet, only walked on it a few times

Anonymous said...

interesting photos, have you got any day shots?

Stephen said...

No, all of my photos are from when I was out at night. I should go by during the day and take a few.

Anonymous said...

how long do the ice sculptures last in that weather?

Stefers511 said...

Can't believe it's so winter-y there still but the canal skating sounds pretty cool ;) We are in Spring weather in SF, with green hills and sunny weather...if you need a vacation from the cold, you should really come visit me and Jode! Miss u!

Stephen said...

The ice sculptures can last quite a while, if they're in the shade. I've seen some around town that have been up for at least a month, despite a few days that were just above freezing.
Steph -I could use some warm weather, it's supposed to snow 14inches today (on top of the 2 inches yesterday)!