• Beautiful British Columbia

    natural world, travel • Apr 23rd, 2020

    I went on  a virtual trip to the Pacific North West this week, looking at all our photos of Vancouver Island especially. We were in Canada for three weeks some years ago now, driving from Calgary to Banff and Jasper and then a train ride to Vancouver. This photo is probably from a hike we did out of Jasper. Our last stop was Vancouver Island and it’s this watery wilderness that shines most brightly in our memories.

    The photos reminded me of cool August temperatures, we’re in sweatshirts and long trousers and it seems we mostly ate fish and chips: photos of big plates and food boxes with sides of oysters. The choice of fish though grilled or battered was amazing, best I’ve had. Coffee and tea shops feature too with English style cakes like scones and chocolate shortbread. The winner though was the bear’s paw pastry that I’ve tried to recreate using a Danish pastry recipe. I filled mine with apple and a few raisins rather than the almond filling as we’re short of ground almonds at the moment. Wednesday morning break was fun with our pastries and pour over coffee.

    Most inspiring was the natural world on the island, dense pine forests, fjords and bays. From Campbell River we took a boat ride up the east side to watch whales and orcas and spy bears and deer from the tiny deck. We were enthralled and it was so lovely to fall back years later into the wonder of these animals and their natural habitats.

    The art and culture of the indigenous peoples or First Nations, is well represented for the visitor to BC. Wood carving, weaving and basketry and jewellery past and present are easy to find and admire. We treasure the screen prints we bought and they move round the house as all our pictures do, neither have been put to one side in the library of prints up in the loft. The photo below is of one of the galleries at the Museum of Anthropology at the University in Van.

    The last photo was taken in Tofino, a surfers’ paradise with the openness of the ocean to marvel at. You can see amazing sunsets and the moon on the water if you stay longer. We did a lot of beachcombing and staring out to the horizon imagining Hawaii and the Japanese Islands.

    I’ve put the links for the places I’ve mentioned below, worth a look for the décor and vibe.

    Both Dick’s Fish and Chips in Campbell River and Go Fish near Granville Island in Van itself, have pages on Facebook. Similarly Common Loaf Bake Shop in Tofino.

    The Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver is here

    The Bear’s Paw Bakery in Jasper is here

    We were there in 2013; it’s been fun looking back and doing it again completely stress free and at no extra cost. We turned away from confinement today and went on holiday instead.

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