A Travellerspoint blog

Bike, Feet and Bus

Definitely No Need for a Car in Vancouver

On Thursday, it was a fantastically sunny day. I rode my bike along the seawall. Unlike Victoria, Vancouver has provided extensive pathways for both pedestrians and bicycles. Both are well traveled. And surprise - except during early morning and evening exercise times, most cyclists are European-style riders.
Getting Around by Bike

Getting Around by Bike


Along the Seawall

Along the Seawall


I Could Live Here When the Sun Shines

I Could Live Here When the Sun Shines


Summer Shakespeare in the Park

Summer Shakespeare in the Park


Every bridge in Vancouver is designed for vehicle traffic and pedestrians and bicycles. Imagine!
Able to Cross All Bridges

Able to Cross All Bridges


Many Bridges Many Marinas

Many Bridges Many Marinas


Modern Totem

Modern Totem


I parked my bike near the Sun Yat Sen Public Garden to walk about a mile to the center of downtown.
Abacus Public Art in Chinatown

Abacus Public Art in Chinatown


I managed to get lost several times walking my way back downtown to join up with a walking tour that would culminate back in Chinatown.
I Hope This Isn't the Walking Tour

I Hope This Isn't the Walking Tour


On the tour, we saw many of the same sites I had seen before, but was provided good description and information from the guide.
Greenest Building in a Green City

Greenest Building in a Green City


Cafe Topiary

Cafe Topiary


I had thought Chinatown was only about one block as in Victoria. Here it covered many, many blocks. I was not sure I was going to find my bicycle.
Gates to Chinatown

Gates to Chinatown


Originally, Chinatown was comprised of mostly bachelor workers providing the backbreaking labor of the ports and building the railroad. Over 1000 lived on this one stretch of now empty street.
Once the Roughest Block in Chinatown

Once the Roughest Block in Chinatown


During early 20th century renovations, the city tried to limit Chinese retail by widening the street and reducing the width of the stores. The shop owners survived. This block-long store has the Guinness Record for the narrowest store at 1 1/2 meters.
The Narrowest Building

The Narrowest Building


What Is All This Stuff

What Is All This Stuff


I ended that day riding back along the seawall and then the circumference of Stanley Park which I had also seen from the bus. Stanley Park is named for Lord Stanley who was also Governor General of Canada and was the original presentor of hockey's Stanley Cup.
Be sure to stop and eat at the Tea House - formerly officer mess quarters for the Canadian military when Stanley Park wa a defense site during WWII,
Dinner at the Stanley Park Tea House

Dinner at the Stanley Park Tea House

If you get weary of walking and pedaling, public busses go everywhere every 10-15 minutes. There was a stop 1 block from my apartment which I took on Wednesday to get to the Art Gallery and the Foodie Tour.
Take the City Bus

Take the City Bus

Posted by pscotterly 23:07 Archived in Canada Tagged vancouver Comments (0)

Bus, Feet, and Train

No Auto Needed to Get Around Vancouver


View North by Northwest on pscotterly's travel map.

As I usually do the first time I arrive in a city, I purchased a Hop On/Off tour ticket to get the lay of the land in Vancouver.
I purchased it at a convenience store before boarding and was told to use my sales receipt and I would receive my official ticket on the bus.
I saw many sites during the tour:
City Scene

City Scene


Third Beach in Stanley Park

Third Beach in Stanley Park


I got off at several spots:
Granville Island
Yaletown and the original culmination of the cross-Canada railroad
Remodeled Train Station
Sun Yat Sen Public Park
There is also a Sun Yat Sen Gardens created by master gardeners from China with all materials brought from China. This public park was designed by local architects by the parks department with Mexican or manmade resources. It is provided as a free public Chinese garden so you do not have to pay to enjoy a similar ambience. As the ancient gardens in China were only for the wealthy or royalty, I think this makes a statement about the city that it provides this environment for the public in addition to the costly traditional Chinese garden.
Good Recreation

Good Recreation

Reflections Sun Yat Sen Public Park

Reflections Sun Yat Sen Public Park

The Harbour Center
Harbour Center

Harbour Center


It seems that I took a dozen pictures looking up at this sphere, but this is the only one I can locate.
At the end of the day on the last stop on my way home, there was a ticket taker who was surprised no one had given me my official ticket. I told her mine should be good until Noon on the following day as the tickets are good for 24 hours. She printed one for me saying “You are in luck because the 24 hours starts at the time the ticket is printed. You have until 5:30 PM tomorrow.”
Who am I to refuse a few hours of free transportation?
Riding the open-top bus to the next stop, the wind grabbed my ticket from my hand and I watched it flutter away. I went to the young ticket taker at the next stop and told her I needed a new ticket. She asked for my receipt. I told her I didn’t have it, “but I just purchased it at the last stop so it is good all day tomorrow.”
She didn’t believe me, but eventually and begrudgingly printed me a new ticket good for 24 hours because she couldn't convince herself that I looked like someone who would not be telling the truth.
English Bay Beach on a Rainy Day

English Bay Beach on a Rainy Day


It rained all day on Tuesday. I am not proud, but glad I lied. I was able to see the same places again plus many more sites.
Included with your Hop O/O ticket was one water taxi ride. I took it to the maritime and Vancouver museums.
Take the Water Taxi

Take the Water Taxi


Maritime Museum

Maritime Museum


Musuem of Vancouver

Musuem of Vancouver


The museum had some interesting permanent and temporary display:

  • First Nations - this land had been taken and never ceded; a placard indicates the Salish people welcome us to their land to respectfully view their artifacts
  • Early settlers from Europe and China
  • Expo 1986 - could have skipped that
  • Collectors - Unusual collections from locals included everything from jewels and jukeboxes to taxidermy, toasters, and transvestite costumes

I walked about a mile to Granville Island.
Not the Scenic Route

Not the Scenic Route


Dreary BC Weather Stuning Vancouver Condos

Dreary BC Weather Stuning Vancouver Condos


I don’t think Granville Island is worth two trips, but it was the next stop for the Hop O/F Bus.

After another lunch on Granville, I returned to Yaletown to find the stop for the Sky Train. For some reason, I had imagined a much more spectacular ride. It is just a light rail that alternates between being a subway and an elevated track. I think I must have had it confused with the gondola that that is “somewhere” around here. Have to save that for my next trip to Vancouver.
Take the Sky Train

Take the Sky Train


I did get to see typical houses and shopping centers from the Sky Train. Until now, everything had been low- and high-rise apartments and condos, glass buildings, and a few historic buildings.
I love the architecture here.
Architectural Contrast

Architectural Contrast


Art Gallery Rotunda

Art Gallery Rotunda


Gallery Rotunda

Gallery Rotunda


Vancouver Public Library

Vancouver Public Library


Ceiling of the Marine Bui8lding

Ceiling of the Marine Bui8lding

Posted by pscotterly 22:40 Archived in Canada Tagged vancouver Comments (0)

Fine Arts and Food

These are Two of My Favorite Things

Vancouver Art Gallery is Vancouver's art museum that seemed to have all special exhibits and minimal permanent collection on display.
Art Gallery Formerly the City Hall

Art Gallery Formerly the City Hall


The historic building was striking and they build the walls based on the exhibit. They will begin construction on a new art museum in 2017. The model appears to be an amazing structure on the style of most new museums - the building itself is a construction of modern art.
Vancouver Art Gallery Will Be Gone from Here

Vancouver Art Gallery Will Be Gone from Here


I finally saw the works of one of my "new favorite artists," Emily Carr from early 20th century Victoria .Photo of Emily Carr

Photo of Emily Carr


Big Raven

Big Raven


I Forget the Title

I Forget the Title


Her art is among the Gallery's permanent collection, of course (there is an Emily Carter School of Art and Design in Vancouver. This exhibit paired her with works of the surrealist Wolfgang Paalen from his visit to British Columbia when he met Carr. I had never heard of him, but was entthralled by some of his work - even though, as like Ms. Carr, I am not inclined to gravitate to surrealism.
Surrealist Wolfgang Paalen

Surrealist Wolfgang Paalen

They also had an excellent Picasso exhibit. It was titled The Artist and His Muses and displayed familiar works and studies in the order of the women in his life. There was considerable written displays on each woman's bio and their life together. You could really see the difference each muse had on the work during the relationships - several of them overlapping.

I had never heard of Bharti Kher, but almost the entire third level was an exhibit of her work. (I am not particularly the most well-schooled individual in the world of art and artists).
Her First North American Exhibition

Her First North American Exhibition


But, I am so excited that I "discovered" her work today.
Site Specific Bindi Design

Site Specific Bindi Design


Apparently, she is most well known for the work she does with bindis, but I was most enthralled by her sculpture.
Bharti Kher Exhibit

Bharti Kher Exhibit


She created Six Women by applying polymer by hand to each of these llifetime sex workers from India. It was beautifully created and poignant.
Six Women

Six Women

After hours at the art gallery, I participated in a Foodie Walking tour. We went to five stops for a few bites and beverages at each.

Stop 1 was Kirin's for delicious dim sum. I love dim sum, but seldom go because I eat alone so often and it seems to be more of a group pleasure - like tapas.
Stop 1

Stop 1


Dim Sum and Tea

Dim Sum and Tea


Next we stopped at an urban market for appetizers and wine.
From Gourmet to Everyday

From Gourmet to Everyday


Appetizers and Wine

Appetizers and Wine


Interestingly enough, the next fine dining restaurant was called Jean-Georges Market where we had delicious ginger Margaritas and sushi.
Market in the Shangri La

Market in the Shangri La


Stop 3 Ginger Margararita and Sushi

Stop 3 Ginger Margararita and Sushi


Another Jean-Georges Bite at the Market

Another Jean-Georges Bite at the Market


I could have skipped the macarons at Thierry's. They do not call them macaroons because they are French! Another couple from New Zealand said they also use the English pronunciation.
Macrons at Thierry

Macrons at Thierry


At D'oro, we received a full lecture on the difference between gelato and ice cream - as a matter of fact, we got it twice: once by our tour guide and then the prize-winning owner of the shop saw us and gave us the entire spiel again.
Gelatto Presentation by the Master Himself

Gelatto Presentation by the Master Himself

Posted by pscotterly 08:32 Archived in Canada Tagged vancouver Comments (0)

Goodbye Vancouver Island

Hello Vancouver


View North by Northwest on pscotterly's travel map.

You can either fly or take a ferry to get from the island to the city. Of, course, Ol' '95 and I took another ferry ride.
Departing from Swartz Bay Vancouver Island

Departing from Swartz Bay Vancouver Island


Looking Back

Looking Back


Vancouver Island is part of the province of British Columbia. Before Canada was unified, it was separate, but they united to make a cross-continent nation to deter the US from gaining any part of those territories. This was shortly afterSeward's Folly and the purchase of Alaska.
Victoria on Vancouver Island was allowed to be the capital city of the province. Because of this, the beauty of the islands, and the natural resources still in abundance, there is constant ferry service between several ports on various routes.
Going and Coming

Going and Coming


The route I took from Vancouver Island to the city of Vancouver is about 90 minutes long, The first 45 minutes, we wend our way through small islands.
Going Around the Islands Would Put Us in USA

Going Around the Islands Would Put Us in USA


One of the Islands

One of the Islands


Many islands have summer homes of the rich and full-time not so rich. All must take a ferry where available, or their own boat or plane to get on or off the islands.

BC Ferries provides a naturalist on this ferry to keep children and retirees entertained for about 20 minutes.
A Little Education on the Salish Sea

A Little Education on the Salish Sea


Back when they decided Victoria could be the capital city it was the largest city and sat at the greatest vantage point for British Interests and Vancouver wasn't much more than a town of 1000 people.
Well, it is certainly more than that now!
This Ain't Vancouver ISLAND

This Ain't Vancouver ISLAND


Fortunately when I got on the mainland, I was able to get my phone working again. Google Maps got me to my AirBnB destination on Vancouver's West End. (I think my phone might have worked on VI. It just took it a while to get oriented and I didn't have the patience to wait for it! Then I rather enjoyed pretending like I had 1990 communications.)
The description for my rental property warned that the building was not very attractive. I was still a bit dismayed when I made my way to my flat (similar to how I felt in Paris in 2014, but convincing myself I am here for the experience of what I can afford.)
Ol' '95 Is Not Happy with This Spot

Ol' '95 Is Not Happy with This Spot


Walk through This Garage

Walk through This Garage


Hallway

Hallway


50some Stairsteps

50some Stairsteps


Welcome Home

Welcome Home


The actual apartment has it's charm and is not uncomfortable.
Ah This Is Better

Ah This Is Better


But it is the rooftop garden that makes it worth it.
Rooftop Garden I

Rooftop Garden I


Rooftop Garden II

Rooftop Garden II


Rooftop Garden III

Rooftop Garden III


A Place to Watch the Sunset

A Place to Watch the Sunset


However when it rains and there is no sunset and the lighting is too dark to read by, I began to wish I had booked at the Comfort Inn,

Posted by pscotterly 21:36 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

Go Along One More Path

Things to Do Before I Go


View North by Northwest on pscotterly's travel map.

There are many more kilometers of bike paths and hiking trails on Vancouver Island than there are are roads and streets.
And believe me, they are better marked.
V Islanders are an outdoorsy bunch. I certainly hit the trail far less often and certainly less further than most residents and visitors. After riding a bit on the Galloping Goose, I wanted to experience the Lochside Trail.
This trail goes from Swartz Bay at the tip of the Saanich Peninsula to downtown Victoria.
I only did about 5 miles,that goes through agricultural land just before it hits the urban area..
Lochside Bike Path  through the Shade

Lochside Bike Path through the Shade


Cabbage Patch on Saanich Peninsula

Cabbage Patch on Saanich Peninsula


Lochside Bike Path through the Sunny Fields

Lochside Bike Path through the Sunny Fields


Organic Farm

Organic Farm


It is time to pack up and head for the next leg of this journey.

Posted by pscotterly 06:19 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

See the Butchart Gardens

Things To Do Before I Go


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Everyone, and I mean everyone, visits the Butchart Gardens when in Victoria.
Arriving at Buchtart Gardens

Arriving at Buchtart Gardens

\Typical Path

Typical Path


I waited until the very end of my six weeks here, but it is the first stop for many others.
Dragonflies on the Wall

Dragonflies on the Wall


One ticket costs almost $34, but you can get an unlimited annual pass for $58. If you live here or are staying for an extended time, get the pass.

Six nights a week, they have free concerts, which I can hear from my patio.

Every Saturday, they shoot off fireworks, which I can also hear from my patio. I am behind the trees about 5 miles away, but the sound carries as they are located on the cove at the base of very steep hills.
Butcvhart Cove

Butcvhart Cove


Mrs Butchart's Private Tea Garden

Mrs Butchart's Private Tea Garden


The Butcharts originally settled in this spot to quarry limestone to create Portland cement for the western US and Canada. When the limestone was depleted Mrs. Butchart had the idea to create gardens in the abandoned quarry.
Welcome on a Sunny Day

Welcome on a Sunny Day


The gardens are still privately owned and maintained by the great grandchildren of the original Butcharts.
Walking through a Shady Glen

Walking through a Shady Glen


Their original home now contains a very fine restaurant, Which I enjoyed almost as much as the gardens.
A Nice Place for Afternoon Tea

A Nice Place for Afternoon Tea


There are so many photo opportunities, it is impossible to stop taking photos.
1,000,000 Possible Beautiful Photos

1,000,000 Possible Beautiful Photos


After deleting many, it is too difficult to delete any more.
Enjoy the following or look on line for more professional photographs.
Or - just decide you have had enough.
Whatever you do -= "Enjoy," as they say.
BG Beautiful

BG Beautiful

BG Fl;owers 3

BG Fl;owers 3

BG Flowers 2

BG Flowers 2


BG Flowers 6

BG Flowers 6


BG Flowers 7

BG Flowers 7


BG Flowers 8-001

BG Flowers 8-001


BG Flowers 8

BG Flowers 8


BG Flowers 9

BG Flowers 9


BG Flowers5

BG Flowers5


BG Snail Fountain

BG Snail Fountain


Feelling Like Monet

Feelling Like Monet


In the Japanese Garden

In the Japanese Garden


Is That a Heron

Is That a Heron


Moss Topiary

Moss Topiary


Sturgeon Fountain

Sturgeon Fountain

Posted by pscotterly 22:24 Archived in Canada Tagged vancouver_island Comments (1)

Visit Sooke Again

Things To Do Before I Go


View North by Northwest on pscotterly's travel map.

I had stayed in Sooke for over a month and had not met the owners of the home where I was house sitting. They had to leave for Europe before I could arrive, and I had to leave to visit my new granddaughter before they returned.
They were nice enough to invite me for dinner at "my house."
Who Is Working in My Kitchen

Who Is Working in My Kitchen


One Last Glass of Wine in the Backyard

One Last Glass of Wine in the Backyard


I had not had one single guest at this home. It was so nice to be welcomed by the owners.
My only responsibility at this home was to keep the flowers and vegetables watered and harvest what I could eat. We were all pleased that I let only one potted tree die and broke only a few branches on the cherry tree. We ate cabbage and green beans from the garden.
I was delighted to see that this unusual plant had bloomed.
Had Bloomed

Had Bloomed


Sooke Fine Arts

Sooke Fine Arts


Sooke has an annual Fine Arts Show. It is a juried show of new work by artists who live in one of the Canadian Pacific Coast Islands. There was some really spectacular work - with some quite spectacular prices.
Entering the Sooke Fine Arts Show

Entering the Sooke Fine Arts Show


My 3 Favorites All in a Row

My 3 Favorites All in a Row


All of Victoria Island is recognized for its galleries and resident artists. The little community of Sooke should be quite proud of what they present. My friends are quite active in many things in the community and this show is one of them. Rob is part of the team that lays out and hangs the over 300 items. It was a job well done.
If you come to Vancouver Island, come towards the end of July to attend this exhibit.
Lunch with Maria and Rob MacD

Lunch with Maria and Rob MacD


Rob and Maria are such delightful folk (maybe they enjoy my company also) that we decided to get for lunch another day.

You might be interested in knowing that while I was house sitting for them they walked the Camino Frances. They started skipped the Pyrenees and started in Pamplona and ended in Santiago de Compestella shortly after Maria's 75th birthday. That should motivate all of us to get moving!

Posted by pscotterly 19:22 Archived in Canada Tagged vancouver_island Comments (0)

Make One Last Stop in Victoria

Things To Do Before I Go


View North by Northwest on pscotterly's travel map.

There is plenty more to experience in Victoria than what I have, but there were only two more on my "Must Do" list.

Ride my Bike around Beacon Hill Park and along Dallas Drive

Beacon Hill Park is the city park of Victoria. I arrived around 7:30 one morning and took a spin along some of the paths and roads.
Watering Can Play Shower

Watering Can Play Shower


World's Tallest Totem

World's Tallest Totem


A Putting Green for Burns

A Putting Green for Burns


It is definitely a pleasant place to go for a ride, a stroll, a picnic, or to sit and read or knit.

Dallas Drive borders one side of Beacon Hill Park. After about 1/4 mile of pedaling, I saw the "no bicycle" symbol. Uh Oh! You are supposed to ride your bike on the street.
Bicycles Not Allowed

Bicycles Not Allowed


Actually, that is safer because the path becomes filled with pedestrians. Too bad they can't make a bike path beside the pedestrian path. The street is quite busy with commuters, visitors, tour buses, and delivery trucks. Drivers are mindful of cyclists, but the road is so far from the rim and the the traffic so heavy you can't really enjoy the view or the ride. Canadian cyclists are like those in the states and not at all like European cyclists. That is, instead of loading all the kids and groceries and pedalling leisurely along in good work clothes and high heels - Canadian cyclists are all attired in their vivid lycra (or is it spandex?) outfits and riding as if they were in training for Le Tour.
View along Dallas Drive

View along Dallas Drive

Take a Tour of the BC Parliament Building

The Parliament Building and grounds are very impressive.
Denver might want take note that the only people on the grounds are tourists and people with business in the building.
No Drug Dealers or Homeless on These Capitol Grounds

No Drug Dealers or Homeless on These Capitol Grounds


I am not sure if that is a good or bad thing - just saying.

On the tour, we saw the door that only the queen can enter. Of course, the rotunda is beatiful.
Rotunda I

Rotunda I

Rotunda II

Rotunda II

Rotunda III

Rotunda III


After explaining the provincial flag and seal, describing the relationship between Canada government and the queen, and many other details that I found very interesting, the young guide said "And we always want to honor our First Nations.
Reflections on Missing Women

Reflections on Missing Women


Remembrance Quilt Seen from Above

Remembrance Quilt Seen from Above


She then pointed out a Remembrance Quilt made by the families of the missing and murdered women of the First Nations in British Columbia. Surely, there is a better way to introduce this quilt to visitors and a better way to acknowledge how many First Nations are represented in the unicameral.
If you are not aware of situation of the missing indigenous women in Canada, here are some good links.

Yes, Victoria is a charming little city. Might consider returning to stay in the city.
Why Don't They Need a House Sitter

Why Don't They Need a House Sitter

Posted by pscotterly 18:36 Archived in Canada Tagged vancouver_island Comments (0)

And It is NOT Drunken

A Day in Duncan


View North by Northwest on pscotterly's travel map.

Duncan is another port city about 50 miles up island from my current house sit.
Downtown Duncan

Downtown Duncan


When I had my hair cut in Sooke a few weeks ago, I told the stylist that Duncan was on my list of places to visit.
"We call it Drunken Duncan, if you get my gist," she chuckled.
"Well, I guess so," I answered assuming she was making derogatory remarks about the large First Nations population there and that much of the surrounding area is Reserve land.
Well, I visited and I certainly didn't see any drunks. I guess I didn't get her gist.
Totems and Rail History

Totems and Rail History


I knew Duncan had a museum, was the main center of the Cowichan Valley, and a impressive display of Totems.
I was not disappointed in any of the town.
Well, maybe I had expected a bit too much from the museum.
Every Small Town Museum Has One

Every Small Town Museum Has One


Always Yesteryear's Hospital Room

Always Yesteryear's Hospital Room


And, I sure wasn't impressed with my breakfast. Except the ceiling of the restaurant was a hobbyist's showplace.
Not As Good As His Airplane Models

Not As Good As His Airplane Models


No Particular Reason

No Particular Reason


Quench Fountain

Quench Fountain


But, I found the rest of the downtown quite charming. It was 1/3 hippie, 1/3 First Nation, and 1/3 small town life. In the early AM, no one is on the street and everything is quiet. Everyone you meet is friendly and will answer questions. After the stores open, you find galleries, boutiques, and hardware stores. You walk through wafts of patchouli, lavender, wood carving, and cooking food as you stroll the streets.
A Charming Little Town

A Charming Little Town


A Pleasant Pocket Park

A Pleasant Pocket Park


It is on the tour bus stop, but they only get about 20 minutes. I am glad I had the entire day.

The totems are quite spectacular.
Over 30 Totems throughout Duncan

Over 30 Totems throughout Duncan


Guided Walk of about 10 Totems

Guided Walk of about 10 Totems


You can take a guided tour. There are also yellow footprints painted on the sidewalk to guide you to most of the others. Each totem has a descriptive placard so you can read he carver's description and a brief bio. I began to be able to recognize some of the different stories and symbols,
Duncan Totem

Duncan Totem

Centennial Totem

Centennial Totem


The 39 Days of July festival was in full swing. For 39 days from the last week in July to the end of the first week in August, free concerts are held in the town park. Every hour between noon and 8 PM local musicians entertain for free.Each set lasts 45 minutes.
All Local Musicians

All Local Musicians


Children Enjoy the Music

Children Enjoy the Music


Serious Listening and Dancing

Serious Listening and Dancing


Young Children Always Make Me Feel Happy

Young Children Always Make Me Feel Happy


While eating a tasty hamburger at sidewalk table, I saw a young couple approaching. They were dressed a little fancier than most folks do around here on a typical weekday, so they caught my eye.
As they passed, I overheard her say, "I don't know what that means."
He replied, "Consummate our marriage - that is what we are going to do tonight."
Another venue just a few doors down has a piano sitting on the sidewalk for public use. She sat down to play him I song. I approached them to ask if I could take their picture as I had overheard their conversation and knew it was their wedding day.
They were delighted and I emailed them photos.
Wedding Song II

Wedding Song II


They have known each other for two months. I sure wish them the best of luck and a happy future.

Instead of driving the entire distance home, I picked up a ferry in Mill Bay and got off in Brentwood Bay just a few minutes drive from home.
I just missed the ferry, so had to wait 1 1/2 hours for the next one. It was okay because I had a good long chat with Angie, another woman in line. I think I motivated her to do some traveling again and not be afraid because she was no longer young!
Another Ferry Ride

Another Ferry Ride


Approaching Brentwood Bay

Approaching Brentwood Bay

Posted by pscotterly 12:28 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

From Sprout Lake to the Saanich Peninsula

Another House to Sit


View North by Northwest on pscotterly's travel map.

Sprout Lake

Sprout Lake


I left Sprout Lake to head for another house sitting assignment on the Saanich Peninsula.
If you are leaving up island and use Map Quest for directions, do NOT opt for the shortest route! Chances are it will take you twice as long.
For 1 1/2 hours, I drove on twisting one-lane roads, never quite sure if I was on the correct one. Oncoming traffic all knew where they were going and took their half out of the middle.
Be aware that No Thru Road signs do not mean you can't get through or are on a dead end. It just means that eventually you will probably end up at the shore and there won't be a ferry. Chances are, there will be several big intersecting roads or streets that you can use to get through to where you want to go. Do NOT turn around if you see this sign thinking you are in trouble; you will merely get on the wrong road and have to figure out how to find your way back to the No Thru Road.
Also, VI notoriously does not use street and road signs. The major streets have NO identifying signs. All the little cul de sacs that are true dead ends with a dozen properties are prominently signed. Go figure....
I asked for directions several times. Eventually, I hailed down a car and started to cry. I was not frightened, I was just so exasperated.
If my phone had worked, I would have called the people and told them I was not coming. I could not imagine spending the next 10 days trying to find my way in and out of this hazardous trail of twists and turns.
Another Couple Trusts Me with Their Home

Another Couple Trusts Me with Their Home


The next morning I drove the owners to the airport and learned the easier way to get to their house. Actually, there are even stores and amenities in the area!
Once again, I have a lovely home to live in with only minimal watering duties to perform - Oh yes, and keep the burglars away.
My Yard

My Yard


A Nice Patio

A Nice Patio


When I went to the strait a few miles from last home, I could look across and see Oregon.Correction! Of course that is incorrect. There is no way I could see Oregon, which is south of Washington! It is, of course, Washington. Here, I can also look out the window and see another side of Washington and its San Juan Islands. You have to go further North and West on VI to see Canada!
View of Washington State Out the Window

View of Washington State Out the Window


The weather is quite temperate. This house is built on the side of a hill. The driveway is quite steep - you can tell not much ice and packed snow is around here. You don't ride your bike up or down this driveway either!
There Are No Icy Winters on VI

There Are No Icy Winters on VI


To take advantage of the lot, they built a large home with a small footprint and several levels.
Four Levels

Four Levels


There is also a very fine market at the Saanich Fairgrounds on Saturday mornings.
Saturday Market at the Saanich Fairgrounds

Saturday Market at the Saanich Fairgrounds


On Saturday night, I watched the Buchart Gardens fireworks from my porch.
Unfortunately, fireworks a mile away as seen through a screened porch don't turn out as very beautiful in a photo.

Posted by pscotterly 22:33 Archived in Canada Tagged vancouver_island Comments (0)

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