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Thursday, 8 October 2009

Playing catch up!

There has just been so much to tell you that I am falling way behind!  I’m actually in a place called Banff right now – named after the one in Scotland - having had a fabulous time in Vancouver, and travelled by train to Kamloops yesterday and through the Rocky Mountains today but more of that another day.  Let me see  if I can get caught up a bit!

 first nations art BC museum Don and Nancy took me to the Museum in Victoria one day, where we spent quite a lot of time looking at the First Nation section.  Their history and folklore is really interesting – and some of their art is a quite reminiscent of that of the Maori people of New Zealand.   Beautifully carved and painted totem poles tell the stories of the people.


canada 005 We spent ages there, before heading over to the Empress Hotel – an old hotel built actually on what was land reclaimed from the  original harbour.  We had booked there for afternoon tea!  Well, it felt very grand being ushered to our table with its white cloth and beautiful china all laid out and ready in the old lobby, with it potted palms and piano music playing in the background.

 epress tea2 Our “server” was Malia, who explained about the teas they serve, and gave us a menu to choose our blend from!  We all chose the Empress special blend.  First of all we were each served a dish of strawberries and cream, which was followed by a selection of dainty little sandwiches, scones, jam and cream, and another selection of little cakes, all nicely presented on a tiered cake stand! 

Mahlia Malia poured our tea and took my camera for a photo of us!  Seems that’s what they do!  Afternoon tea at the Empress is a bit of a tourist attraction!  We enjoyed the experience thoroughly!




vic inner harbour Victoria is a lovely city, situated round the Inner Harbour, with some beautiful old buildings like the Empress and Government Buildings, and much newer builds, like the ones you can see here

BC museumand the British Columbia Museum, here, for example…..

It was extraordinary to have come all the way to Canada to see an exhibition from the British Museum in London that included the Lewis chessmen, found in the Isle of Lewis, Scotland, in the 1920s.

Out of the whole week I was with Don and Nancy, it rained for only one day, so then we went shopping. 

Mo, eat your heart out!  I wish you could have seen the quilting stores!  Nancy took me to two, and I had to take pics to let you see!  canada 048(There are more than I have shown you here! ) Another store was Michaels where you can get just about anything for any craft.  It’s a huge store, and of course with Halloween coming up  there were displays everywhere!


 autumn quilt, satin moon You know, you can even buy Halloween cards to send!  Talk about commercialisation!  Anyway these stores were still wonderful to look through!  We visited shopping malls and some shops on Government Street where there were the two main chocolatiers – Rogers and Purdey’s!  Rogers is a really old fashioned shop with wood panelling, and old counters with glass display cases…. full of chocolates -  fabulous!  We visited a few First Nation Art shops too – some lovely things, canada 061 and Nancy dropped some huge big hints to Don about the jewellery she wouldn’t mind getting for Christmas!



canada 007 The supermarket shopping was as  interesting as the other shops we saw!   I couldn’t believe the choice of fruit and veg, and of course was interested to see the kinds of foodstuffs you can get over here that you can’t get at home!   Nancy bought a small bag of flour –a small bag of flour see the photo!    She couldn’t believe that the biggest bag of flour we get in the supermarkets at home are still way smaller than this!  10 kilos, this weighs!

Salads are so much more interesting than ours too and are presented very nicely in the chill cabinets.  Come to that, so are cakes …….everything in the chill cabinets really.  canada 027

There are numerous choices of fresh bread – white, brown, sourdough, flatbread, multigrain, breads with seeds in, flavoured breads…. this photo was actually taken in a bakery and not the supermarket!       

These are some of the salads in the supermarket though!canada 004

Well, I’m going to stop here and post this now before you think I’m not going to write any more!  There’s just not enough time to get everything written up to date!  I’ll get there eventually!  Just hang on a bit longer!

Talk again soon.

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