Saturday, July 26, 2014

On To Canada

First sight of Victoria
After meeting everybody at the airport, and trying to park my car in the wrong long-term lot, we finally got away. We drove up to Port Angeles, where we caught the ferry to Victoria, on Vancouver Island in British Columbia.  Cleared customs easily and located our hotel with no trouble. Victoria is a very manageable size, and though we are well out of downtown, it's only a matter of blocks from the hotel to the center of activity. We unpacked and headed out for dinner at a new English pub (because the Persian place we wanted to go to was already closed).

On our first full day, we hit all the highlights of the city: the provincial capitol building;


Miniature World; 
diorama of the battle of Bastogne

the Bug Zoo;

and Craigdarroch Castle, home of western Canada's greatest robber-baron.

We spent a good deal of time walking around, including lunch at a hot dog stand that virtually doesn't exist, and dinner at a locavore place that was pretty good. I would say more, but (a) the pictures more or less tell the entire story, and (2) I'm too tired.

I think the only thing I would particularly want to single out, that's not represented by the pictures, is the truly outstanding job done by a "floor supervisor" named Adriana at Craigdarroch Castle. Of all the employees I've encountered at any tourist site in any city on any continent, she is undoubtedly the most interesting, knowledgeable and entertaining, not to mention vivacious. What would have been a self-guided tour of perhaps an hour in an interesting old house became a truly enlightening and fascinating three hours. She's an argument in favour of human cloning: with more like her, more people would want to know more about history and architecture, and that can only be a boon to society.

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