Saturday, August 3, 2013

Oh Canada

Bright and early, I got up because today is a very special day. Why is that, you ask, and I reply: I’m going to Canada!

Yes, that’s right. Canada is only an hour-long ferry ride away. Who would I be to miss such an opportunity?

I’m going to Vancouver Island—more specifically, Victoria. I’m meeting up with Heather—a friend I made in Japan and haven’t seen for over a year—and she’s leading me on a merry romp of the city.

When I first arrived, Heather was there to meet me with a big hut and a butter tart. It was tasty. Then we drove to Victoria with minor mishap (the ferry arrives in Sidney, BC) and I checked in to my hostel. I like it—it’s not as nice as the one in Tokyo, but the beds are comfy and the showers work. We went on a walking tour of the city before having lunch in a Japanese restaurant.

Oh, how I have missed Japan! The tastes were excellent. It was also fun to see all the various Japanese, Korean, and Chinese signs around. Victoria seems to be a very Asian city and I’m enjoying every moment of it.

After lunch, we went to an art gallery. Most of the exhibits really didn’t do it for me until I entered the Emily Glass exhibit. My god, someone get that curator an award, a bonus, a cake—IT WAS EXCELLENT! The text was perfectly positions, it was easy to understand what was going on in the paintings and in Glass’ life, it was easy to see the theme of the exhibit, and the paintings really resonated with me. It was an Experience with a capital ‘E.’

And then we got to the pinnacle (in my opinion) of the day and went to Craigdarroch Castle.


It was amazing—it is the best historical house museum that I have ever had the privilege to be in. I was completely blown away.

This is what you see the moment you look up

The castle is not a castle, per say, but six stories of one of the most elaborate houses I’ve ever been in. But not only does it show the period when it was lived in by the Dunsmuir family, but also has signs that acknowledge AND DISPLAY the history of the rooms that happened after. Seeing as this house was built in 1890 and was also used as a military hospital and boarding school, there is a lot of history and information to cover. The exhibits do this wonderfully. In addition to this, the signs also let the reader know a TON about the conservation efforts put into each individual exhibit. I am such a geek, but this kind of thing is TOTALLY MY THING. I was very pleased by the education in the museum. We even got to see the original lace curtains getting restored. HOW FREAKIN’ COOL IS THAT?!

The view from the top of the house, neat, right?

Lace restoration

And the sign that went with

After my near-religious experience at Craigdarroch Castle, we went to Beacon Park. We scuttled around the beaches and I took lots of pictures of bees and flowers.

Then we headed up to the main event:

That’s right, there are totem poles here. How fascinating is that? This totem pole is the longest pole in the world. Look at it! Look at how mighty it is! Bask in its glory!

See how tall it is?

Me for comparison
 And then we headed back into the city for dinner and to meet up with Heather’s boyfriend. We got BBQ. After dinner, I was treated to a minor walking tour of Chinatown just as the sun was beginning to set. Beautiful.

And then we were off to the Night Market! Such a variety of color, though most of it was either jewelry or some sort of accessory. Then it got dark and I continued to take pictures. Some of them were even worth keeping. Retiring to the hostel, I wrote a passel-load of postcards to those who had asked from them (and a couple who didn’t) and went to bed.

On the way

The market

The sunset was gorgeous

Tomorrow, tomorrow, though is going to be brilliant. It’s my big museum day—I’m going to the Royal BC and NEVER LEAVING. Well, maybe for lunch, but I fully intend to enjoy myself thoroughly.

Onto tomorrow for my next great BC adventure!

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