Where to begin? At the beginning!

I’m going to have to cut this down into a few posts because I have so much info and pics and not enough time. SO here is the long version first day of my trip to Vancouver Island.

Wow, Vancouver Island is beautiful! It has such a big British influence, and with lots of English tourists too. It is, afterall, the capital city of British Columbia!
I got the fancy pacific coach bus from Vancouver and it drove me to the ferry. Sitting up so high and in my comfy seat it made me want to do some more bus touring – like maybe a coach trip somewhere? I’m investigating!! Anyway, we then got to walk around for an hour and a half while the ferry went along.

It was HUGE! Like a mini cruise ship!

It had about 4 restaurants and shops and then another level on top with just seating.


This is what our ship looked like (another one passed us)

We passed through all these little islands with houses and it made me think about the people who must live there.

Then the bus drove me to Douglas Street (which is the main street in Victoria) and I walked up to my hotel and checked in. The place I stayed at has several restaurants, a pub and nightclub on site. The first night my room looked out on the rooftop sand volleyball court and bar.

That was all well and good during the day but when the music didnt stop until 2am it was a bit much for me. I ended up going down at about midnight to complain to the front desk, but they were all booked out and couldnt move me. He gave me some earplugs but they didnt work. So the next afternoon when the music started I ended up going down to inquire if there were any other rooms available since I was still there for 2 more nights. It turned out that I was in luck, and they moved me to another room on the other side of the hotel. I slept like a LOG for the rest of my trip. AMEN! Anyway, back to day one haha.

So after I’d settled a bit in my room I went for a walk down to the harbour.

There were so many people about!! I walked in some souveneir stores and then headed down towards the empress hotel.

It’s a beautiful ivy covered old building, and a bit further along was the parliament buildings.

I really felt the English touches, and noticed English accents and even Irish around. I hadnt noticed that in Vancouver for a while and it was nice!! Then I noticed right down beside the harbour there was a market on. As I walked down to check it out I realised that there were about 12 stalls that featured native first nations selling their wares.

They were actually sitting there, on the grass with their beads and wooden carvings on the ground – proud and strong. I had to stop myself from crying. I’m such a strange person. This was the first real group of first nations I had ever seen together in one spot and it touched me so deeply. I was way too shy to ask the questions I wanted to and couldnt buy anything. I felt unworthy.

So I walked around some more and then I got a lemon lime float. The sound of a brass band drew me back to the parliament buildings and I noticed signs saying that the roads will be closed off tomorrow.

I later found out that there was actually going to be a proper parade with floats and bands and everything the next day! Very exciting! hahaha.

Stay tuned for day two!

Advertisements

Roadtripin’ along the sea to sky.

Hello folks!! Wow, what a day it has been today! Insane. We were up at 7am and out of the door by 7:30 to start our adventures. My homestay family ever so kindly invited me along on this trip and I was excited to join them. After a bit of a rough start we took the sea to sky highway and headed to Pemberton via Whistler.
Georgia insisted that I sit in the front so I could take it all in and take some photos. These were the kinds of roads I had been dreaming about.

I would turn my head and take in the mountains and they took my breath away. Immense is the word that comes to mind. These photos dont do them justice at all. The sheer height of them and depth of greenery is something that I dont think I will ever get over. I imagine myself hiking along hidden trails for days.

I also got to see some of the many islands that dot the coast along here. I will definitely be putting a few visits on my to do list. vancouver Island and Bowen Island are right up there.
Unfortunately the weather wasnt too happy, but I still got to see a lot.

Then we stopped at Pemberton church for Georgias cousins daughters christening, and later headed to her house for lunch. We had yummy quiches and cake and then I got these photos of her property and views.

Then after some chatting and meeting of the families we headed to Whistler!

I have been told that Whistler actually possibly has more Aussies than Canadians, and will investigate this later. This time we just took a driving tour.

It was really cold but I got a feel for the place. There were lots of chalets and wooden buildings and hotels and people- making this a typical ski town!

It’ll be interesting to check it out a bit more in Summer and then go back in Winter! I’ll need to buy some thermals beforehand! hahaha.

Next on the schedule was a trip to the Open House School Festival in Squamish.

Here’s the parka people heading to check it all out!

They had animals, popcorn (which Kylan loved) and a nature house where he got to dress up as a bald headed eagle.
but my fave part was the Bighouse/Longhouse where we got to see some Squamish first nations playing drums and singing and making traditional bread (which they call bannock).

The house was all decked out with banners and it had a huge fire pit in the middle where people would cook their bannock. There were lots of families around, checking it all out and cooking. It was really interesting.


It tasted like damper! And then they brought out a salmon that they had been smoking and that was yum! We stayed in the room for a while, just taking in the warmth from the fire and the rhythmic sounds of the drums. I really enjoyed it!!

On the drive back home I saw some deer! YAY! hehe I didnt get a photo though. I did get a photo of some people sleeping in the back though.
Kylan and Tim -Like father, like son!

Ancient Wisdom is everlasting.

I have always had a huge fascination with the first nations culture of North America. I suppose in part I grew up watching little house on the prairie and dr quinn medicine woman. I remember buying several books of native quotes and speeches and being in awe of the wisdom. I remember first reading ‘Bury my heart at wounded knee’ and bawling my eyes out practically every chapter. I wanted to change what really happened, I felt bitter at the injustice and ignorance. I wanted to be there, to meet the people and to see it all with my own eyes. So it makes sense in a way that I am finally here, in Canada, and that a big part of my to do list is to do with first nations discoveries.

You may recall that I made a stop at the Museum of Anthropology. That was important. The other day I found these amazing postcards that I will turn into an artwork when I am back home. They are each incredible and take me back to the stories and journeys the photos contain. I hope you like them just as much as I did.

I hope to see a lot more of the culture first hand and meet some of the people. I love their connection with nature, and I believe if we understood and took on more of that the world would be a better place.
And if you’re looking for a book on the true history of ‘how the west was won’ then please read Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee. It will change your life.