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Monday, 12 October 2009

Still on Vancouver Island

Still September as far as the blog goes, even though the actual date today is much later, so  still on Vancouver Island!  We did so much, cruise ship harbour from mt tolmie viewing Victoria from Mount Tolmie, for example.  We could see there was a couple of cruise liners in at Victoria so later drove round to have a closer look!   The mountains in the background are the Olympic Range in US.  It’s odd to think of the United States being west of Canada, but Vancouver Island dips south of the 49th parallel, generally the border between the two countries.

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Twelve decks high, these things are like mini-cities, with all the amenities you could want on board!

Don drove round the Saanich Peninsula coast through beautiful suburbs to let me see how the well-off spend their millions!  Some of the houses there were beyond imagination!  /t was hard to take pics though as they were all behind trees and hedges or wooden fences. 

canada 056  We also drove past the governor-general’s official home – the governor general who has just caused a bit of controversy back at home, by styling herself as the ruler of Canada.  Well the Queen can’t be there all the time, she has lots of other countries to worry about, so Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean is probably doing the job ok for now.

We explored Victoria inner  harbour area later, and heard the carillon, in the tower on the right of the picture below, being played.

canada 014 - It has over 60 bells played by wooden levers, in the same way they play the far fewer bells we have in the Peebles church tower -

The flag is at half mast because of a police memorial day, I think.

 

govt bldgs2There was some work being done to the top of the government buildings – I missed out the photo of government buildings last time, so this is it -

 

 

canada 063  so maybe they were changing some light bulbs, as the place is lit up at night by hundreds of lights on each angle, outlining the building –

 

 little ferriesWe took a trip round the harbour in one of the little ferries that look like little bugs buzzing around the water.  That was fun. 

 

 

 

ron This is Ron with the walrus moustache,  who himself lives on the water in a houseboat.  He says the kids used to come and stay when he lived onshore, now they only come for the day!!  He prefers it that way!!!   He gave us a very good guided tour.

 

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This is just one  of some very elaborate houseboats permanently moored in the harbour.  It’s a little village in itself.

 

 

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We could also watch the little Beaver float planes taking off and landing.   There are two “runways” in the harbour!

 

 

 

canada 090and saw a rib full of whale watchers return from their trip out to sea.  Prince of Whales indeed!.

One of the most amazing things were the posts set up in a line along part of the water, as booms to stop logs coming downriver from coming ashore.

purple martin birdie boxes  Nesting boxes have been erected on each one of the poles which purple martins have been encouraged to use to escape from the starlings they were competing with for nesting sites on land.  It has been a very successful operation and numbers of the martin are increasing.

There were a few craft stalls round the edge of the harbour shore too so they were something else to look at later. 

first nations guy I bought a dream catcher from this first nations guy who told us   his wife made them.  Other stall holders were selling jewellery or wooden carvings.   I also found a guy selling “ear-huggers”, pieces of jewellery, that  hug  the shape of the shell of the ear.  I seem to remember seeing that sort of thing years ago at home, but they never caught on!

Apparently during the summer the harbour front is full of craftworkers selling their wares.

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And finally…

on the way home we stopped at a White Spot for tea.  You should have seen the milkshakes they serve up!  Not only do you get a glassful but the rest of the shake in the mixing cup, and it’s so thick that a spoon stands up in it!  The rest of the meal was good too.  White Spot and Tim Horton are big around here as eateries.

Well that’s another day!  One more on Vancouver Island then it’s on to Vancouver itself.

Talk again soon.

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