|Victoria, B.C., Canada|
Seattle was interesting but I was more comfortable in Victoria. The city's small size and slower pace suited me. The waterfront was particularly enjoyable with the provincial capitol, restaurants and our B&B within easy walking distance.
Victoria Inner Harbour
Victoria's heart is in the Inner Harbour (Canadian spelling). Within eyeshot are the centers of government, culture and commerce. Upper left in the photo above: Kayak's in the harbour. Upper right: Sleepless in Seattle? Not exactly but living on a houseboat on the Inner Harbour is the next best thing. Lower right: The Inner Harbour's dual water runway system is the busiest float plane harbour in Canada with an average of 175 takeoffs and landings a day. Rule # 1 for boats ... stay off the runway! Lower left: A walkway lines the harbour providing sites for craftsmen, lounging and ... food vendors. We ate a lot of ice cream. Center left: Sailboats, lots of sailboats, anchor at the marina.
People of the First Nations
The ocean and forests of the Pacific Northwest provided abundant food for the tribes and clans of the First Nation. Relieved of the constant burden searching for food, time became available for development of their own unique art forms. Freestanding memorial poles are the most visible examples of native expression. The figures on the pole identify the family and tell the story of their history.
In the photo above, far left: The Thunderbird, representative of Powerful & Mystery, tops a pole in the Empress Hotel collection. Center: This pole rises form the grounds of the provincial capitol. Bottom right: Poles of two different styles are shown. Upper far right: A pole sits along side a native long house.
Jennie Butchart and her husband Robert lived adjacent to his cement plant near Tod Inlet, Vancouver Island, B.C., Canada. Far from Vancouver she focused her energy on creating one of the world's finest gardens. Photo above, top left: The entrance to the 55-acre garden. At top center: Plantings in a reclaimed limestone quarry. Right top, middle, Bottom: The Gardens feature an extensive collection of begonias as these examples show. Lower left: The fountain display, is built in another abandoned quarry. We stopped here as dusk was falling.
Victoria City Views
I've seen painted horses in Saratoga, NY. Victoria's the first place I've seen painted Orca, photo above upper left: Sprinkled through the Inner Harbour area. Upper right: The interior of the dome topping the provincial parliament building. Lower right: One of the many horse drawn carriages available for hire. I stopped to give the carriage horses a good scratch on the withers while they were at rest. They seemed to appreciate the attention. Bottom center: The provincial capitol building. Lower left: Our B & B, the Albion Manor.
Individual captains work in concert finding whales. The first to spot a pod radios the location to the others. The provincial government has established rules to protect whales. In the photo above: We watched a pod of Orca in the Strait of Juan de Fuca. One female member of the pod is over 100 years old. The Orca is a powerful symbol in native culture appearing extensively in their art. Photo above lower right: In Port Townsend I was drawn to and purchased the print shown lower right.