Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Tauca Lea Resort Ucluelet

If you are looking for adventure you should check out Ucluelet BC. While there, I recommend you try the Tauca Lea Resort. You can read the details of this resort and of Ucluelet on our Travel Magazine. The Wild Pacific Trail is a must see and the new golf course at the WyndanSea Golf Resort was designed by Jack Nicklaus and it is a sight to behold. If you get a chance take a boat ride into the Broken Group Islands there are spectacular. If you can kayak there, even better. This is probably the best area on Vancouver Island for outdoor excitement. It is well worth a visit and there is lots to see and do on the way there as well. The Resort is magnificent and the food exceptional. Even if you do not stay there, go there for dinner. I hope you take my advice and visit Ucluelet and the WyndanSea Resort Golf Course.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Darth Fiddler - Victoria's Busking Original

Busking, or street performing, has been around for a long, long time. In the Medieval Ages, merchants would often invite entertainers to perform in front of their stores to attract passers-by. It was a symbiotic relationship that bore excellent results for all involved: pedestrians were entertained and spent more money; merchants and performers brought in extra cash.

Throughout recent years, countless North American buskers have become famous after starting their careers on city streets. For example: Pierce Brosnan (fire-eating), Cirque du Soleil (acrobatics), George Burns, Steve Martin, and Robin Williams (comedians), Joni Mitchell, Eric Clapton, and Loreena McKennitt (musicians) - to name a few!

Downtown Victoria is full of such performers all year round. Musicians, mimes, and magicians add fun and colour to a leisurely afternoon walk. One of these characters is putting Victoria on the map by becoming famous (or infamous), on the Internet: a violinist who dresses up as Darth Vader, dubbed "Darth Fiddler" by his fans.

He can often be found near Victoria's Inner Harbour or on Government Street, or just Google "Darth Fiddler" to find pictures, blog entries, and videos about him. He has recently been featured on CBC Radio, in Victoria's Entertainment and Tourist Magazines, and PEI's Entertainment Magazine, "The Buzz." His image has even shown up on a door at the hip Hotel Max in Seattle, Washington . Guides announce him on tours around Victoria, and he is a common topic of cruise ship visitors when they arrive in town.

If you do happen to find him, be sure to get your photo taken with him and drop him a bill or two. Beneath the dark mask and perpetual histrionics, he's actually a real nice guy.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Sidney Waterfront Experience by Lisa Cole

Unlike some people who seem to breeze through the process of getting their wisdom teeth out, I had a difficult time of it. My face swelled to twice its normal size and the pain was unbearable. And, as soon as I started feeling better, I had to catch up with several project deadlines. Needless to say, when the work was done, I was feeling frazzled. I needed to get away for a day, to unwind and let my face heal. Luckily, I live in Victoria, BC, where one doesn’t have to go far to escape the busyness of city life. When Sidney’s Waterfront Inn, Ocean Palm Spa, and Beacon Landing Pub teamed up to offer me a twenty-four hour getaway, I took them up on it . . . Read the rest of the story at our Vancouver Island Travel Magazine

A Tale of Two Castles by Lisa Cole

Photo Courtesy of Craigdarroch Castle

Victoria is a city teeming with art, culture, and beautiful architecture. There aren’t too many places in Canada where you can walk down a particular street and feel like you’ve suddenly arrived in the Great Britain, Ireland, or Scotland of old. Contributing to Victoria’s rich history are two Victorian Era mansions that are so majestic and immense that they are now referred to as castles: Craigdarroch and Hatley Gardens. Each belonged to members of the Dunsmuir family – one to a father, and one to a son. The story of these two castles and their relationship to one another reads like a fairy tale . . . Read the rest of the story at our Vancouver Island Travel Magazine

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Beatuiful Cowichan Bay

The plan was to do some kayaking on Cowichan Bay, however it was thwarted by an injury. Too bad it was a gorgeous day. The water was like glass and the sun was shinning. There was lots of explore in Cowichan Bay. We opted out for a dinner and the Rock Cod Cafe. If you are looking for a good menu of seafood and a nice place to spend the day, you should give Cowichan Bay a try. If you like fish and chips, then try the Rock Cod Cafe. The pieces of halibut are enormous. Check out Cowichan Bay.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

A Serene Fall Day

Here it is mid-September in Victoria. This is our fall. Well, not quite! It is a warm sunny day and we are on beautiful and serene Langford Lake, a little secret that many people who live in Victoria don't even know or experience. The entry was easy off a level boat ramp off Leigh in Langford. The water was calm and the sun shining. People were fishing all over the lake. No powerboats are allowed on this lake, so it was a very peaceful paddle in bright sunlight. It doesn't get much better than this. There are a number of fishing docks and piers around the lake that the municipality built and as we passed one, some young anglers pulled in a small trout. Nice day. Check out the West Shore of Victoria next time you are around. You just might be surprised.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Broom or Bust - Capt. Walter Grant

Vancouver Island is covered with golden hillsides resulting from Scotch broom and many people think it’s a pretty wildflower that belongs here. It spreads aggressively and rapidly growing so dense that it is often impenetrable. It prevents reforestation, creates a high fire hazard, renders rangeland worthless and greatly increases the cost of maintenance of roads, ditches, power and telephone lines.

In 1850 Captain Walter Grant planted some broom from some seeds he had picked up in the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii) from the British consul and his original three plants germinated at Sooke and have since colonized Vancouver Island, Washington and Oregon States. Scotch broom grows so well in this area that it's driven out many native plants.

The picture at the right is a commemorative cairn in Sooke that was in honor of Captain Walter Grant. Looks like it is falling apart. Too bad!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Unique View of Inner Harbour

If you are looking for a unique view into the Inner Harbour I suggest you travel down Esquimalt Road and turn at the first left on to Songhees Road at the new Bayview tower and follow the road along the water until you get to a point where the entrance to the Harbour narrows considerably. You will know you are there when you see two totem poles marking the spot. There are great views of the Harbour, the blue bridge and all the traffic coming to Victoria via water and float plane. This spot is action central and you get great photos of the Empress, the yachts visiting, etc. Check it out.