People in North America are kind of obsessed with Europe. Probably partially because many of us have roots there and partially because it’s so old and beautiful. We don’t have old here…well, our old is several hundred years. European OLD is several thousand or at least a thousand years. Although I think many of us can appreciate good, modern architecture, I don’t know anyone who would scoff at – in fact most would embrace – the overwhelming and distinct historic architecture and culture of Europe. I remember being in Greece and realizing that I was walking the streets that people had for nearly 7000 years. That’s quite a feeling.
If any part of Canada is ever mentioned worldwide, or particularly in American magazines, it’s always either Montreal or Quebec City. Why? Because the old parts of the cities are like walking into an old European town. Here in Ottawa we have a little bit of that. Ottawa is much smaller than the above mentioned and has a lot of mixed architectural styles crammed into that small space. However, the Byward Market area – down near the Chateau Laurier – is where you’ll get most of the old European feel. Most of the buildings there date back at least a century or maybe two.
Last evening I had the pleasure of dining down in the market. I went to The Grand Pizzeria which is a nice little spot on George St. – with an outdoor patio – right across from a beautifully done, two-story pub called The Aulde Dubliner Pourhouse. I took this shot from my table which happened to be right under a lovely Elm tree. I actually felt transported to Europe. Can you see why?