Thursday, September 27, 2018

Elk/Beaver Lake Regional Park

Making the most of a warm, sunny September day, we packed a picnic lunch and our two Brompton bikes into our smartcar and headed south about 16 km to Elk/Beaver Regional Park. The park is home to the Victoria City Rowing Club and we see various craft out on the water.
Confused by the map and signage, we cycled about 10k around the lakes using some trails that were not designated for cycling. There were many dog walkers and hikers on the paths and no one seemed bothered by the fact that technically speaking, we shouldn't have been there on bikes. We were careful not to inconvenience other park users and I walked my bike in some sections where the path was narrow with rougher terrain.
It's a great location for walking but the bike portion of the trail is only 5km so we'll seek out other local spots for longer cycle rides.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Dutch Bakery and Diner

According to their menu, four generations of the Schaddelee family have been running the Dutch Bakery and Diner since 1956. Founder Kees Schaddelee Sr, retired at age 72 but frequented the shop until he passed away at age 97 in 2007.
It's a busy spot with folks ordering from the bakery counter to take home and people lunching in the diner.
I notice a sign for the afternoon special - a pastry and tea or coffee for $5. I ask my server which pastry they're most famous for and she replied, "Without a doubt the Vanilla Slice" so I order one with a pot of rooibos tea. The vanilla slice, seen here, is two layers of puff pastry filled with custard and topped with vanilla fondant and buttercream. A little sweet for my taste, but I'm sure I'll be back to sample another pastry from their long list. 

Royal BC Museum

My Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea membership netted me a 20% entry discount off the $26.95 adult admission charge so I paid $21.56. I ask if there are any tours available and sign up for a free 45 minute  "Behind the Scenes: Butterflies and more" tour. I've got half an hour to spare so I grab a coffee and a breakfast sandwich from Sequoia Coastal Coffee kiosk in the Clifford Carl Hall.
Two volunteer tour guides take our small group up to the entomology department in the Fannin Building. We learn about the history of the department and its focus on BC species of insects and arachnids. Many volunteers, with backgrounds in the field, work on cataloging and updating the collection.
After the tour, I visit the Natural History exhibits which focus on BC wildlife of the past and present, including the mammoth, seen here, and a tidal pool with living creatures.
Next I take in the Becoming BC Gallery that traces the history of the province from the arrival of the first Europeans. Seen here is a mock-up of an early salmon canning plant.
There is a lot more to see but I've reached my capacity to take any more in so I'll pay a return visit in the near future.

Netherlands Centennial Carillon

As its name would suggest, this bell tower was given by Queen Juliana in 1967 to express gratitude for Canada's role in liberating the Netherlands during the Second World War. The tower officially opened in May 1968 with 49 bells and a further 13 were added in 1971.

The bells were ringing as I walked out of the Royal BC Museum but I did not recognize the tune.

Thunderbird Park

Adjacent to the Royal British Columbia Museum is Thunderbird Park which celebrates local Indigenous culture and history.

The Mungo Martin House, built in 1953, is a scaled down replica of a Kwakiutl chief's house in Tsaxis (Fort Rupert). Here a Kwakwaka'wakw Heraldic Pole is topped by a Thunderbird.

Over the years, the original poles have been moved indoors to preserve them and replica poles have taken their place.  On the left is a  Gitxsan Memorial Pole and next to it is a Kwakwaka'wakw Honouring Pole. 
A statue of pioneering doctor John Sebastian Helmcken stands outside his former home which was built in 1852 on this site.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Sidney Seaside Run

At the start of the Sidney Seaside Run the weather looked a bit iffy but thankfully the rain held off. It was a very low keyed event with 217 participants, compared to 2600 entrants in the Spring Runoff 8k and 7500 in the Waterfront 10k I did in Toronto earlier this year.
I completed the 8k walk in a personal best time, with no ill effects or stiffness the next day. The course is fairly flat and well marshaled.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Bug Zoo

When I bought my $12 ticket I was told, "Daisy is giving currently giving a tour, feel free to join in. You'll learn a lot that way". It would have been easy to dismiss this pierced and tattooed young lady at first glance. But stopping to listen I quickly realized not only is she passionate and knowledgeable about the Victoria Bug Zoo's critters, she had a lot of hands on experience caring for scorpions etc as pets.
It was fascinating to hear about the differences between the massive millipedes (they walk by peristalsis) and centipedes (their venom causes victims days of excruciating pain).
Just like Miniature World, if you resist the temptation to rush through, there is a lot to see in a small space. Try to count the walking sticks in this photo.