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Do you enjoy your solitude? Do you find it conducive to navel-gazing and existential contemplations?

Do you alternately feel a sense of inclusion and connectedness when in a crowd of like-minded strangers?

I do.

One way I experience the latter is to treat myself to a personal adventure on the Doors Open Ottawa tours. This was the third year that I explored the city on my own, learned new things, admired architecture and met other interesting humans.

Yesterday’s weather was perfect for being in the sun, walking, busing, touring around Ottawa.

My first stop was a disappointment. It seems that arriving at noon is too late to get on the guided tour list for the temple of online commerce, Shopify.

Still determined for urban exercise and discovery, I walked from Elgin Street all the way to my next desired stop, The Temple of Science.

ScienceApologies for this ear worm coming at you.

I arrived tired and sweaty at the National Research Council Canada (NRC) – Temple of Science on Sussex Drive. After freshening up in the ladies room and refilling my water bottle, I unwittingly jumped the queue, ignoring protocol by inserting myself into the next guided tour group. I blame it on the heat.

It was a very interesting, fast-paced walking tour. Kudos to the staff and volunteers.


The wait on Sussex Drive for the OC Transpo bus downtown was very long. The buses were not obeying the GPS offerings according to various smart phone apps shared by me and my random companions. At least we had a bench in the shade of nearby trees. People came and sat. Some gave up and started walking.

It wasn’t the first time I used a park bench for deep thinking activities. I had plenty of time for people-watching, casual conversation, contemplating the Universe, and … catching up on some reading.  I really hope to finish Masters of Time this weekend!

comic speech bubbles of black cat critiquing human reading efforts


Waiting for another bus on construction-cramped Rideau Street provided a different lens into humanity, social interactions of ragtag gangs rallying back and forth in some loud, shared purpose. I was relieved when the next bus finally arrived.

Next stop was the Saint-François d’Assise Church, another temple of sorts. It was cool and quiet except when someone was demonstrating the organ (!). I admired the wooden pews, the statues and all those candles.

Presque tous les panneaux d’information et de la littérature était en français! 

Les gens sympathiques à la réception m’a remis le seul pamphlet anglais. Heureusement pour moi, je continue avec l’apprentissage de la langue de ma mère

Now resting and reflecting on a rainy Sunday morning, I plan to head out for another educational tour. I think I convinced one of the young people to join me.

On a parting note, here is something else to contemplate:

The odds are overwhelming that we’re characters in an advanced civilization’s computer simulation.  See:  http://qz.com/699518/we-talked-to-the-oxford-philosopher-who-gave-elon-musk-the-theory-that-we-are-all-computer-simulations/

Thanks for stopping by.