A Travellerspoint blog

A Perfect Sunset

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As the sun began to set over the water it was clearly going to be something special, so we headed out and found a good spot to watch. We were rewarded with a truly spectacular sunset.

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Posted by shoestring 22:35 Archived in Canada Tagged sea water sunset clouds sun canada british columbia tofino Comments (2)

Tofino or Not Tofino

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We were in two minds about whether to make the trip to Tofino, especially since the bus options were limited and we'd have to make our way pretty much all the way back to Victoria to continue our journey to Vancouver, but in the end we decided the effort was worth it. On our journey in yesterday our driver informed us that scenes set on the forest moon of Endor in Return of the Jedi had been filmed in Cathedral Grove, the area we were driving through. Ben immediately got out his camera.

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Tofino, to the south-west of Vancouver Island, is located in the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, and our hostel overlooks some of the beautiful tree-lined coast.

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The landscape is made up of temperate rainforests and, as you'd expect, there's a lot of rain here. However while yesterday was wet, the rain held off long enough today for us to follow a short trail from the hostel to Tonquin Beach.

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By the time we were back in Tofino the skies were blue.

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Posted by shoestring 19:55 Archived in Canada Tagged trees sea rainforest park landscape beach canada british columbia pacific rim tofino tonquin Comments (1)

Magical Mystery Tour

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This morning started out grey and drizzly but we decided to stick to our plan of a ten-mile walk around the coast of the island, from where we're staying to Victoria's downtown. Thankfully before too long the clouds parted and we got some beautiful views.

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Our destination for the evening was the Silver City Cinema to see the final Harry Potter film. We arrived an hour before it was due to start but there was already a long queue.

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Some people took it very seriously.

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With all the bespectacled cinemagoers Ben wished he'd brought his Where's Wally glasses.

And the film? Much better than the Deathly Hallows Part One. A solid four magic wands out of five.

Posted by shoestring 23:05 Archived in Canada Tagged boats sea victoria walk canada hike british columbia film harry cinema movie potter Comments (2)

A British Flavour

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Our first stop today was Glenlyon-Norfolk School, where Karen worked during her gap year ten years ago. Although the students were on holiday there were several members of staff on site that she knew from her time there.

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Victoria is the capital of British Columbia, and the British influence is very visible here. Even the weather has been similar to Britain - grey and overcast with drizzle.

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The harbour is dominated by the Empress Hotel and the Parliament Buildings, both designed by British-born architect Francis Rattenbury. The Empress was completed in 1908, and is known for serving afternoon tea.

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Slightly older than the Empress, the Parliament Buildings house the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia.

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We were allowed to walk in and take a look around.

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The coat of arms of British Columbia were on prominent display. It was quite surprising to learn that the arms were only granted in 1987.

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Victoria even boasts a couple of British sweet shops. We popped into one for lemon bon-bons and rhubarb and custards.

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Posted by shoestring 21:05 Archived in Canada Tagged buildings victoria hotel canada british columbia parliament empress Comments (2)

O Canada!

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After catching a bus from Seattle to Port Angeles and enjoying an excellent dinner at Kokopelli Grill for Ben's birthday yesterday (and getting woken up at 5am this morning thanks to the room's alarm clock), today we caught the ferry to Victoria on Vancouver Island, Canada.

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We're staying with Karen's host family from her gap year ten years ago, who have very kindly offered to put us up. Their house is in a beautiful setting, close to the sea.

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Already we've seen raccoons in the garden, and deer wandering the streets.

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Posted by shoestring 21:19 Archived in Canada Tagged victoria boat port usa canada british columbia ferry washington angeles Comments (0)

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