blending an assortment of thoughts and experiences for my friends, relations and kindred spirit

blending an assortment of thoughts and experiences for my friends, relations and kindred spirit
By Alison Hobbs, blending a mixture of thoughts and experiences for friends, relations and kindred spirits.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Exploring Victoria

Cliffs between Clover Point and Ogden Point
Today we walked some 8 kilometres, mostly by the water. John drove to a parking spot on Dallas Road at the southern end of town and we skirted the shore through the Dog Park on the cliffs, covered with gorse in bloom, as far as Ogden Point. The weather was cloudy but dry, and once again cleared up by the afternoon. People were scrambling over the rocks on the beach and one man was in the water on a paddle board. Further out, container ships were sailing by. Ogden Point is a cruise ship terminal and heliport. We carried on round the headland into downtown Victoria, with a long pause at Fisherman's Wharf, a touristy place where genuine fishing boats were moored as well as many houseboats, painted in bright colours. A man was feeding fish to a family of seals and a sea otter--a "vicious looking thing like a ferret", said Chris, who doesn't like ferrets.

Fisherman's Wharf, Victoria

Across the road by the fish market we bought our own fish lunch from a fish 'n' chip wagon and ate at a picnic table. John and I shared smoked tuna tacos, surprisingly tasty. Then Jill led us past the posh hotels on Belleville Street, all fronted with flowering trees and colourful gardens, so lovely to see after black-and-white Ottawa (where it's still -10, apparently). I commented that flowery Victoria seemed to be gloating over the rest of Canada, and Jill said I was probably right there.

The inner harbour was crowded with boats, including tugs and little yellow water taxis, and seaplanes taxied in after landing from the mainland.

We passed the neoclassical Legislative Buildings and the renaissance Empress Hotel, the trees in front of them as impressive as the architecture, and went a few blocks up Government Street, the main drag, to an excellent bookshop called Munro's where I was tempted by several volumes of Pablo Neruda's poetry, but bought music CDs instead. I wish we had a shop like that in Ottawa. We saw numerous bookshops up the coast in Sidney yesterday, besides. 

To get back to the car, we took a direct route through Beacon Hill Park to Cook Street Village, past the cricket pitch, the bowls lawn, the Petting Zoo, the tennis courts and other such shades of Little Britain (7600 km distant). Many more wonderful blooms en route, a yellow magnolia, a fully flowering azalea, swathes of daffodils, and so on. Back at the house I had a peaceful siesta while Chris sat on the lawn in the Adirondack chair, and woke up to a view of the deer that was trespassing in the garden.

Chris and John went off for their workout at the gym, again, and tonight's supper was chilli with red wine garlic bread; we all dined with relish.

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