Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Victoria Inner Harbour - Fun in the Sun

Victoria's Inner Harbour is very busy. The marine traffic alone is mind boggling. There are sea planes, a car ferry, multiple passenger ferries, yachts, kayaks, pleasure craft, sailboats and more. The causeway has a large number of vendors, crafters, and buskers to give the harbour a carnival atmosphere. Summer brings on the big crowds. Pictured above is just one of the many buskers with a large crowd watching him perform. There are just as many people hanging over the wall at street level. Come join the summer fun at Victoria's Inner Harbour. For more information about what to do in Victoria, click here.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Treasures: World Cultures from the British Museum

Photos: The Trustees of the British Museum

Today, we did the Treasures Exhibition at the Royal BC Museum. It was billed as an event that should inspire wonder and curiosity. It was that and more! The 300 plus amazing artifacts were organized in seven geographic sections - Africa, the Middle East, Europe, Asia, Oceania, the Americas and the Modern World. The exhibit starts with an African hand axe that is more than 1.5 million years old! There was a 3000 year old Egyptian mummy, a large metal shield from the Bronze Age, artwork from Picasso, Rembrandt and others, a replica of the security towers built along the great wall of China, a gold astrolabe, and so much more. The exhibit shows how the world has come together and apart throughout the centuries. Each exhibit is explained in detail. In the middle of the exhibit is an area called the Enlightenment Gallery where you can get hands on with many items and computers. It is excellent for explorers of all ages. The museum did an fantastic job of creating this exhibit. Like others it has presented, it is world-class. Be sure you don't miss the North American premiere of this very special event!

The companion show in the Imax Theatre, Journey to Mecca is a story about Ibn Battuta, who in 1325 began an epic journey to Mecca, the historical centre of Islam. It is an incredible story of an incredible man, who travelled the world. There is an area of the Moon named after Battuta. It is very well done and quite a cultural eye-opener. Check it out.

If you want more information about the Museum and Imax, read our Travel Magazine Article.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Ocean Discovery Centre- FREE TALK - OUR ORCAS

The SHAW Ocean Discovery Centre is off an running. Tomorrow you can attend the first Speaker Series entitled, Our Ocean, Our Orcas. Learn about the incredible Orca population that lives in our local waters. Admission is Free. Location: Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre - 9811 Seaport Place, Sidney, 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, June 24th. Don't miss it. Once you have discovered the centre, you will be back again and again. See you there.

To find out more about the Ocean Discovery Centre, Click Here

Friday, June 19, 2009

Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre Opens Saturday

The long anticipated wait is over! Tomorrow you can go to the opening of the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre in beautiful Sidney by the Sea. The centre is located right at the end of Beacon Avenue where the roundabout is. You can't miss it. The address is 9811 Seaport Place. It opens with a grand splash! Celine Cousteau, granddaughter of the famous Jacques Cousteau will be here to celebrate the opening of the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre. Celine Cousteau will join First Nations elders and other local dignitaries on Saturday, June 20 at 9:00 am in Beacon Park on the Sidney waterfront, for the official welcome. The inaugural ceremonies will take place before the doors open to the public at noon Saturday. From giant octopus to microscopic plankton, the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre showcases marine life of the Salish Sea. Seventeen aquarium habitats filled with 87 tonnes of seawater are home to thousands of fish, invertebrates, and marine plants. How could you possibly miss this. This is the most exciting new attraction to come along in years. I will be there, how about you?

You can find the centre web site at
Vanisle Tourism Click Here

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Cruise Ship Season - Busy Harbour

Cruise ship season is upon us. On many weekends there are often up to 4 cruise ships docked at the Ogden Point Breakwater on Dallas Road in Victoria. To get a great view of these beautiful ships you can go across the blue bridge and stop in at one of a number of ocean side viewpoints where you can view the cruise ships. This photo was taken from McCauley Point. The ships are especially beautiful at night when they are lighted. With four ships at the dock, it appears as if a small city has grown up suddenly. Check it out. On this occasion the Coho Ferry, dwarfed by the Cruise Ships, was just on its way to Port Angeles. Also, a small sail boat was entering the harbour with its spinnaker leading the way. If you are coming to Victoria and are looking for a place to stay, click here.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Kinsol Trestle - A Hidden Secret

The Kinsol Trestle, also known as the Koksilah River Trestle, is a wooden rail trestle located on Vancouver Island, north of Victoria and just a bit north of Shawnigan Lake. Construction was finished in 1920. It is 38 metres (125 feet) high and 188m (614 ft) long, It the largest wooden trestle in the the British Commonwealth and among the highest railway trestles in the world. It was built to connect Victoria to Nootka Sound, passing through Cowichan Lake and Port Alberni, in support of the lumber industry on Vancouver Island. It was named after the nearby Kinsol Station which, in turn, took its name from a nearby mining venture grandiosely named “King Solomon Mines”.There is an effort to raise funds to rebuild the Trestle to make it safe and allow it to be an integral part of the Trans Canada Trail which currently is diverted around the Trestle. It is quite a site to see. For more information and pictures, Click Here. For maps and other information, Click Here. The Kinsol Trestle is being restored and is in need of donations. To find out how you can support this worthwhile project, click here.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Summer Fun in Victoria For Children

Photo courtesy of the Royal BC Museum All images © The Trustees of the British Museum.

Are you coming to Victoria this summer and bring the kids? Well if so, be sure to check out the summer camps at the Royal BC Museum. The camps are called Camp Treasures and are designed for children age 8-12. .

Every summer vacation should uncover at least one treasure. At the Royal BC Museum, you kids will discover many Treasures. As the youngest members of the human tribe, your children will connect with the history that makes us all so special. Plenty of room for inquiry – and plenty of space for activity – makes for a memorable vacation experience.

Three different dates to choose from: Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. ‐ 4 p.m. (July 13 ‐ 17, July 27 ‐ 31 and Aug. 10 ‐ 14).
COST: $200/week (regular)
$180/week (Annual Pass Holders)

Each camp includes:
*visits to the feature exhibition Treasures: The World’s Cultures from the British Museum, where amazing artifacts from around the world await discovery;
*explorations of the museum’s permanent galleries – Natural History, Modern History and First Peoples;
*behind‐the‐scenes tours of the museum, where campers will see hidden artifacts, meet curators and the Royal BC Museum’s special effects crew and discover how museums work;
*learn how to wrap a mummy (!);
*crack the hieroglyphic code – and write secret messages;
*play games that children around the world have played for thousands of years.

All supplies for arts and activities are provided. Your camper only needs to bring lunch and snacks for the day. Before‐ and After‐Camp Care is available at an extra cost.
For more information click here and then click on Royal BC Museum

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Sail Away - Victoria Style

Summer weather is upon us. Most people would not know this, but the wind blows more in July than any other month of the year. Most days of the summer, around 1:00 pm the wind starts to blow. This creates some pretty good conditions for sailing. The great thing about sailing in the protected waters of the Gulf Islands and San Juan Islands is that there are great places to pull into protected harbours and coves and enjoy the Islands. You can also charter boats with or without crews. If you like to sail, you will truly enjoy what Vancouver Island has to offer. In Victoria's Inner Harbour, you will find the 3-Hour Sail people. They take out daily sailing trips into Juan de Fuca Strait. It is spectacular to sail along the coast. Give it a try, sail Victoria!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Finding a Good Bakery

If you are hungry for some good fresh bread while in Victoria there are many great options for you to try. There are Cobb's Bakeries throughout Victoria and they make some great bread. Many of the grocery stores also have some fine loafs. One of the newest bakeries is Fol Epi (phone 477-8882) at 398 Harbour Road. It is on the Inner Harbour just to the left as you cross the Bay Street Bridge goihg West. The bread is delightful. They also have a small coffee shop adjoining the bread sales area. Give them a try you will be pleased. If you are looking for a good bakery be sure to ask your hostess at you accommodations. Your accommodation host will certainly direct you to a great bakery. For more info about Victoria, Click Here.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Abkhazi Garden:One of Canada's Most Significant Gardens

Tucked in the southeastern corner of Victoria is an exquisite garden property with a heritage house turned into a tea room. Prince and Princess Abkhazi began creating their garden in 1946 the year they married and settled in Victoria. Both lived a life of privilege and tragedy. Their garden was a labour of love and they developed it over many years. The garden is comprised of dramatic glaciated rocky slopes, magnificent native Garry oaks and an amazing vista. The garden flows around the rocks, with conifers, Japanese maples and rhododendrons found in the deeper pockets of soil. The rhododendrons are immense and mature, many over 50 years old. Carpets of naturalized bulbs, choice alpines and woodland companions provide interest throughout the year. This is truly a unique garden that has been well designed. Don't miss it. For more information on Victoria and other gardens throughout the city, click here.