Imagine yourself at MILE ZERO of the
Trans Canada Highway on which you can travel all the way to Newfoundland
on the Atlantic coast, thousands of miles away.
|I had been there before
but ageing and memory play tricks on one. Also, one has to
realize that when one finds the ‘perfect Eden’ there are quick
changes and population growth. What draws both residents and
visitors to Victoria BC is its location, it’s climate and it’s
ambiance. There are buskers on the street, souvenir shops
galore, world class restaurants, wonderfully designed museums,
some of the best west coast hotels and a summer of light, sea
breezes and moderate climate.
What more can one ask for?
Located at the southern tip
of a very large (Vancouver) Island, it is relatively easy to get
to by ferry from the east or the south. Hence, there are tourist
busses from the USA, parts of Canada and tour groups that arrive
from places all over the world. There is a bustle of people but
never a feeling of overcrowding.
Buildings by night facing the harbor
Once you get to the main harbor you
see many of the sites worth visiting. Of course the great government
buildings face the harbor as does Queen Victoria’s monument set as a
memorial to the city’s namesake and the effigy of a welcoming monarch.
Even the great cedar standing at her side boasts over a thousand lights
Also on the harbor front is the
impressive Empress Hotel where people book long in advance for
accommodations or perhaps a taste of British tea and scones. It’s a
tradition as you sit on the balcony watching seaplanes land through
tilting trees reaching for the sun or gigantic colorful whales
sculptured from shrubs and welcoming all.
Salmon is king in
this Pacific mecca but all forms of see life add to a balanced diet
including, squid, halibut, snails, crabs, shrimps, sea urchins all those
sea creatures we dream about but never see, let alone eat.
Condos are being constructed along
the sea wall with exposures to the setting sun. Rents are rather high if
you want a view or more than average space but the architecture is
unique and, Victoria , while old and remodelled, is being redesigned for
In the center of the city is the
great Royal BC Museum and about 15 miles north is the world famous
Butchart Gardens easily reached by car, bus or one of the many tour
The museum traces the history,
major events and visual projects showing how the early natives lived. It
also shows the animals of the region found throughout the region or ones
that lived before man settled in this part of the New World.
have set out their priorities for the future with new exhibits
to be complete by 2015. It is an ongoing process that looks to
the past and to the future.
There is a helicopter pad on the roof and special
environmental control facilities within the exhibit areas. This
is done through cooperation with government partners like BC
ferries, BC Hydro, Canadian museums association and the Canadian
Heritage Information Network. But private institutions have
helped bring the story of BC to millions. They are budget Rent-a
Car, London Drugs, Canadian Heritage CIBC and Shaw
communications. They all work towards a common goal
Upon entry to the museum, I
expected to see totem poles, underground huts and Indian masks.
I did, but only after I faced the welcoming exhibit of John
Lennon’s Yellow (Submarine) car.
Once inside, I was able to see
something of the country’s original inhabitants, sea and land creatures.
There were ancient fossils, totem poles, Chinese opera
Costumes, Haida Gwaii ermine, bone
blanket pins and furniture. Some of these items were donated by
Truly, there is something for the
young and old including an Ornithology exhibit that contains about
39,000 bird skins, 4,000 skeletons, 2,000 eggs, nests and various
specimens preserved in alcohol.
Add entomology (insects)
ichthyology (fish) paleontology (animals) botany (plants) herpetology
(reptiles & amphibians, zoology (animals) and about 21,000 specimens of
One learns that there were at least
88,000 people living in BC before the arrival of Europeans. By 1885 only
28,000 remained. Hopefully breakthroughs in medicine will allow future
generations to flourish.
675 Belleville Street (Victoria’s Inner Harbour)
Victoria, BC, V8W 9w2
250-356-7226 or 888-447-7977
Web: http;//www,royalbcmuseum.bc.ca (Includes entrance fees)
lovers: See website for the Emily Carr: The other Emily
concerning Canada’s greatest woman artist
archives Access Services contact:
You can Contact Professor Arnie Greenberg at:
Over the past few years, Professor
Greenberg has traveled with groups to France, Italy, Spain, Greece,
Budapest, Vienna, Salzburg, Prague and both Sorrento and the Bay of
Naples plus most of Sicily. His tours traveled to the far reaches of the
globe including Italy and most of
China (Beijing -Hong Kong) and to Russia where his group cruised the waters
from St.Petersburg to Moscow.
"He took a group to Greece and another to northern
Russia. In Nov 07 he took a tour group to much of India and ended his tour
groups by revisiting France. He now travels with his wife and friends. They
winter in Argentina or San Miguel Mexico. His newly found spare time
is taken up with his painting and writing. "I must write every day." His
current work is a cautionary manual for would-be tour leaders.. "So
You Want To Be A Tour Leader."
Arnie now travels with friends. He continues writing
Travel articles about unusual places but often concentrates on novel
writing. Two books based on French Art will be published this year.
Keep reading his web for travel ideas. His next
novel HELLSTORM'S Folly,
will be available this fall. He now
lives in British Columbia.
www.top-travel-ideas.com or contact him directly at
(More about the writer.)