Sunday, 24 April 2011

Life in a bauble

Slap my wrists and call me slacker. I know, I've not been very good over the last few days.

On Thursday we took the ferry across from Tsawwassen in Vancouver to Victoria on Vancouver Island. We were hoping we might see some wildlife on the way, but nothing came up. The ride was pleasant though, very calm waters and we enjoyed looking at all the little settlements on different islands on our way. We spotted a few nice places which we will be sure to buy once we've won the lottery.

By the time we arrived in Victoria, it was quite late and we'd been travelling all day - I was grumpy (yes, really) and hungry and just wanted to eat something and go to bed but we went down to the harbour instead to take a few photos in the 'golden hour'.

After that, we enjoyed the best Japanese food I've eaten outside Japan at a little restaurant called 'Foo' just next to the hotel. We sat at the bar in the front where we could watch the food being prepared (and set on fire by accident) in front of us. I had the caramel chicken and enjoyed it so much, I pretty much inhaled it and finished my meal before Paul - and that's a first, let me tell you!

In the morning, we had a wander round Beacon Hill Park and laughed at the ducks enjoying a Jacuzzi around the aeration pipes. Seriously, they couldn't get enough of those bubbles!

After we checked out, we set off for our next stop, the one we had been most looking forward to, via a little place called Cowichan Bay which reminded me a lot of Whitby. It's a lovely little historic waterfront community where green is key. It's lined with lots of organic cafes and hippy type shops. We ate lunch in 'Hilary's Cheese' shop (I had lovely roast tomato and garlic soup with a nice crunch baguette) followed by a cake from 'True Grain' and organic and very sweetly scented bakery - the smell of cinnamon seeped out of the Walls of the place.

I loved how all of the stilted buildings were painted in different bright colours, it was a really cheerful place and the people were very friendly too.

Our next stop was the Free Spirit Spheres in Qualicum Beach near Nanaimo. Think giant Christmas tree baubles and that's pretty much what these are.

They are made out of wood with a couple of layers of fibre glass on the outside for water proofing with a winding spiral staircase up the tree to get you inside.

The design is amazing, even the composting out house is artfully designed to look like a mushroom.

I'm actually going to write a separate post about the spheres when I get back because there is just so much to say. For now, I will just say that sleeping inside this giant nest in the forest with the sound of the birds and the creaking of the trees, I felt like Titania in a Midsummer Nights Dream cupped inside the bud of a flower, protected from the elements and gently rocked to sleep by the breeze. When I came down in the morning, I felt like I'd been away at sea for months, I could still feel myself swaying!

Sorry to leave the spheres after only one night, we headed off to Tofino. We are right on the coast now but it is not what I expected. Tofino is to surfers what Banff is to snow boarders. As the sun started to set though, I started to see a different side to the town. Shades of pastel cut through the clouds and rippled over the water right outside where we're staying, the jetty just a black silhouette against a pretty watercolour sky. As we were enjoying the sunset, we saw the graceful arch of a dolphins back break the water just metres in front of us, a few minutes later, we saw what looked like a pod of dolphins swimming around, probably wondering what I was doing scrambling around in the rocks with my bum in the air trying to take a picture. I wasn't quick enough to take a photo of the dolphins but I did get s great one of the view.

Location:Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, Canada


  1. Can't wait to hear more about the night in the odd orb.

    Happy Easter to you both.

  2. Just gorgeous.
    Did you love Victoria?
    Imagine the orb must
    have been a fantastic
    xx Suzanne

  3. Hi, I came across your blog and am amazed by how many places you have visited so far in your lifetime. You are a girl after my own heart (and that of my best friend!). I completely agree with you that Perito Merino Glacier looks AMAZING. That's definitely on my list of places to go...which is getting longer and longer! Follow me on my blog if you so wish