Link

Riding the water taxi home from downtown Victoria, BC, we see a … a … pirate ship? No cannon, no skull and cross bones on their flag, but a motley crew that can only be described as … pirates.

The Amara Zee drifted into our harbour today

A quick check on the Internet and we find that it’s a ship theatre! http://caravanstage.org/amarazee/

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Fort Rodd Hill and Fisgard Lighthouse

Exploring Victoria, BC is always a treat for you never know what you’ll find around the next corner.

Fort Rodd Hill,


 

a coastal artillery fort, designed to defend Victoria and the Esquimalt Naval Base,  was built by the British in the 1890’s. Three gun batteries, underground magazines, command posts, guardhouses, barracks and searchlight emplacements remind us of a bygone era.

The lighthouse glimpsed in the first picture is the first lighthouse on Canada’s west coast. It’s still in operation although there hasn’t been a keeper here since the light was automated in 1929.

Built by the British in 1860, when Vancouver Island was not yet part of Canada, Fisgard’s red brick house and white tower has stood faithfully at the entrance to Esquimalt Harbour. Once a beacon for the British Royal Navy’s Pacific Squadron, today Fisgard still marks home base for the Royal Canadian Navy.

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The surprise of Dragon Alley

Dragon Alley connects Fisgard and Herald streets. Originally, there were two passageways through buildings that Michael Hart constructed on each street in 1890. The Hart’s Fisgard Building replaced a wooden hut once owned by the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts. The Hart’s Herald Building was constructed as a stable and carriage repair shop. In 1910, Quan Yuen Yen and Joe Gar Chow purchased both buildings, and in 1912 they built a three-section, two-storey lodging house between the two Hart buildings intersected by a north-south passageway that connected to the two walkways through the Hart buildings. This route through the three buildings is now known as Dragon Alley. In 2000-2001, Moore Paterson Architects of Victoria won architectural and heritage awards for their conversion of the derelict central Quan Yuen Yen building into updated live-work townhouses.

And this is what Dragon alley leads to now.

More art in unusual places – Victoria, BC

These were found under the overpasses on the Galloping Goose Trail – for more about this hiking / walking / biking trail see Here

Under the overpass – one

 

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Under the overpass – two

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Off to the pumpkin patch we go

Victoria has it all. Flowers, boats, owls (see below) … and a pumpkin patch. Of course we have to take the munchkin so she can pick her own pumpkin.

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My last post was a picture of an owl in downtown Victoria. There are many myths about owls. Here’s what my friend in Nigeria had to say.

Well, some people — my dad’s mother included — believe that the sudden appearance of an owl anywhere near a person’s home is a sign of bad luck or impending doom. Not everyone gets to see the sign. As for my grandma, she believed occultists/those who practiced juju used these birds as a travel medium to see their enemies or hunt their victims.

And, after tomorrow, we turn our attention to Christmas.

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What’s a typhoon doing in Victoria?

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What’s a typhoon doing up here in Canada, you ask? Well, Typhoon Songda, born 5,000 miles away in the Marshall Islands, has decided to pay us a visit. A visit we could well do without.

Most typhoons either hit land and exhaust themselves or simply peter out as they track across the Pacific. But Songda, after hitching a ride on a jet stream, is revving up again and has now become what’s called a mid-latitude cyclone, which can be larger than tropical storms., have much farther-reaching effects.

At 2:30 this afternoon we went out to Clover Point to have a look. The wind whipped the car doors out of our hands and our normally calm waters were acting up.

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Now, at 5 pm the Gorge waters in front of our home are “blowin’ in the wind.” Predictions are for winds up to 90k or more later tonight.

So, we batten the hatches and wait.

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Enjoying Victoria, BC

Coming from the prairies, one of our most pleasurable experiences here in Victoria, is enjoying the water–from riding the water taxi to get downtown, to visiting Fisherman’s wharf where we admire the lush vegetation, the house boats, the boat boats and feed the seals.

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Castles in Canada – Victoria, BC

With the visit of Prince William and Kate this week, this post seems appropriate.

Victoria’s very own – Craigdarroch Castle.

 

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Craigdarroch Castle is a definitively Victorian experience. It is a shining example of a “bonanza castle” — massive houses built for entrepreneurs who became wealthy during the industrial age. In this case, the industrialist was Robert Dunsmuir, a Scottish immigrant who made his fortune from Vancouver Island coal.

This legendary Victorian mansion, built between 1887 and 1890 on a hill overlooking the City of Victoria, announced to the world that Robert Dunsmuir was the richest and most important man in Western Canada.

He died in 1889, leaving his entire estate to his wife Joan, who lived in the Castle until her death in 1908.

The immense fortune of the Dunsmuir family is reflected in the four floors of exquisite stained glass windows, intricate woodwork and fabulous Victorian-era furnishings.

Learn more: https://thecastle.ca/about-the-castle/dunsmuir-family/