Travel to the country of maple leaves. Parliament of Canada and Parliament Hill
I really wanted to see the Parliament of Canada. I wanted so much that I almost easily arranged for an organized tour, knowing that in this case an excursion into the bowels of the Parliament would be guaranteed to us.
And early in the morning, under a harsh sky and in a cold wind, I stood in a long line of people who wanted to inquire about what was inside. Due to the early hour, the turn was humane – we managed to freeze, but did not die completely. Tour tickets are booked in advance because the number of visitors is strictly regulated. The tour itself is free, they are held until 16.00. But, as a rule, in the afternoon there are no tickets for today.
Having walked through winding paths and having gone through a thorough search of bags, handbags, backpacks and other belongings, peering into wardrobe trunks with photographic equipment, we were finally allowed into the revitalizing warmth.
In a large room generously heated by huge heating radiators almost to my height (and this in September – we never dreamed of such a luxury), we patiently waited for our guide.
The group was warmly warm at the heat sources and the tour was already pleasant – we were very cold in the wind! A guide girl came and invited us with her, having previously warned about the rules of the tour.
– You can’t take pictures of groups of children, which are very popular here – they are also studying the Parliament.
– You need to go along your half of the corridor, the second is reserved for parliamentarians, running about their business.
– It is strictly forbidden to take pictures in the library – although a year ago it was somehow possible and the Internet was overloaded with views of the library from the inside.
– Behave quietly, not to prevent parliamentarians from making crucial decisions.
Since there was no reason to object, we reached for our guide.
The first impression is surprise. For some reason, I represented the Parliament in a completely different way, having seen enough of it from the outside. The second impression is a shock. Everything is made of gray granite – you can touch it to make sure.
The ceiling vaults looked more like an old Gothic cathedral, well, or not very old, but it still looks like a cathedral!
Parliament buildings were rebuilt in 1922. What was built earlier burned down and only the library survived. Parliament consists of the Central Bloc, East and West. There is also the Peace Tower – a monument to Canadians who died on the battlefields in Europe. This is the highest part of the Parliament, we climbed to the observation deck of the tower.
The guide spoke in detail and in detail about all the stages of the construction of the Parliament and all the vicissitudes on its life path. I had to tear between “listening” and “taking a picture.” For the very curious, there is a bunch of any literature that you can take with you if the guide’s story is not enough. Although I confess, all the time I had to be distracted by contemplation and lose the thread of the story.
Our attention was drawn to the memorial plaque, where it was noted that a historic document was signed in such a room, uniting the four provinces into a confederation under a single government – the Canadian Dominion.
The lower house of the Canadian Parliament. Three doors lead into it. Usually interviews are filmed here, press conferences are held. Meetings are held daily in the hall, except for the time when parliamentarians have a vacation. Therefore, at the end of September, there is no way to look into the hall, this is only possible in the summer. I had to be content with the picture, kindly unfolded by our guide. In this room are very old tables and chairs, which are almost 100 years old. The hall is arranged in the likeness of the British House of Commons and the seats are located on both sides of the hall, at a distance of two and a half swords from each other.
At the end of the hall is the chair of the chairman. In front of the chair, on the table is a ceremonial mace. Opposition sits to the left of the chairman, members of the government to the right. The Prime Minister traditionally sits in eleventh place in the first row, to the right of the chairman.
On the contrary, the prime minister is the head of the opposition. Party leaders sit in the front row. Non-performing deputies are called “Deputies of the back bench.” In total, 308 chosen people should be in the hall.
Meetings are held Monday through Friday. If you’re lucky, then viewers can watch the process sitting on the balcony. We were lucky.
Of course, taking pictures was out of the question! After a thorough search, during which a long-lost badge was found in my pocket, which I had already said goodbye to, desperate to find, after going through all kinds of frames, depositing my purse, camera, scarf and jacket, we were admitted to the holy of holies. With bodiless shadows we slid onto the balcony – to watch and listen.
It was not possible to find out the secrets that benefited the Motherland – they spent time, one might say, in vain. It was interesting to watch how respectable uncles played toys on their tablets, quietly whispered on the phone and sent messages. It was also interesting that the deputies spoke in two languages at once, jumping from French to English and vice versa. Here you also want to find out secrets, but in languages you will be completely confused.