Ottawa is the administrative capital of Canada, however, despite its importance in the country’s political landscape, it remains distinctly unassuming. The parliament buildings themselves are probably the most grandiose feature of the city. Perched high on Parliament Hill the beautiful gothic revival style structure and central Peace Tower (often referred to as Canada’s version of ‘Big Ben’, though rather smaller than its British counterpart) dominate the skyline. Nearby, the Rideau Canadal is a popular place for recreational activities, flanked by parks and walkways and eight successive, and frequently photographed, locks that allow boats to gently descend into the meandering Ottawa River. The city, however, excels in state-of-the-art museums, most notably the superb Canadian Museum of History, and art galleries which showcase a wonderful range of national, international, contemporary and traditional works.