Ready to finish up the West Coast trip with one last post!? I sure am! That means I get to look through our Thailand pictures really soon and share them with you! 🙂 The Royal Tyrrell Museum isn’t actually in the West Coast, but I included it because it was still part of the same trip. The museum is located in Drumheller, Alberta.
The terrain in this area of Alberta is really unique. You will come across what is called Alberta’s badlands. Unfortunately, I didn’t take any pictures of the terrain, but here is a picture that I found online to give you an idea. This is where the dinosaurs used to live 70 million years ago.
All that is left behind of the dinosaurs that once used to live in this region, are their bones and fossils. Thankfully they left enough behind to give us a good idea of what they might have looked like.
The Royal Tyrrell Museum is a really neat place to visit for all you dinosaur lovers! These creatures truly were magnificent! You will get to see lots of dinosaur sculptures that have been recreated based on a lot of research and all the evidence (real bones and fossils) that they have found. The museum is very informative and I would highly recommend it! Kids that are into dinosaurs would LOVE this place! Here are a couple more pictures:
Here is the Royal Tyrrell Museum website if you would like more information on what they offer.
Well that was short and sweet. This also concludes our West Coast trip. If you would like to see all the other places that we visited on this trip, click here. Thank you so much for reading along. But, I would also love to hear from you. What are some places that you have visited in Canada that you would recommend?
Hello my lovely readers! It’s been a while since I last posted something on my blog. So it’s about time I get back to it. Today’s post is the second last post of our West Coast trip (2015), and the last post of Vancouver Island. I will specifically be writing about the different places that we visited in Ucluelet, Pacific Rim National Park, and Tofino (all located on Vancouver Island).
Amphitrite Point Lighthouse
The first place we visited was the Amphitrite Lighthouse in Ucluelet. This place isn’t your typical beach with luscious, soft sand, but it is absolutely beautiful nonetheless. With a dark rich gray color, the coastal rocks really stand out against the blue ocean. We spent our time exploring the little creatures that the high tide had left behind, in the remaining small pools of water.
We found some pretty cool creatures. For instance, the above starfish was in the process of eating the little guy living between the shells. Apparently starfish use their suction cups to pry open the shell, then they push their stomach out, and get inside the clam to eat the meat. Crazy things happen in nature!
Close to the Amphitrite Lighthouse, there is a 10 km trail, called the Wild Pacific Trail. We only walked a short distance to see the coastline.
We really enjoyed the view of this beach. We took our sandals off and went for a short walk. There were many people surfing the waves. I’m most definitely not comfortable enough in the water to go surfing. I’m sure it’s really fun once you know what you’re doing, and if you’re not scared of deep water (like me!).
Florencia Bay seems like the perfect beach for an evening bonfire or a cool family photo shoot! It takes some stairs to get down to the beach, but it’s definitely a beautiful view! We didn’t spend a lot of time at most of these places. It was more of a quick sight seeing kind of thing.
Tonquin Trail Beach & Radar Hill
On this trail you’ll walk through old-growth forest and eventually you’ll arrive at Tonquin Beach. It feels like a little hidden treasure tucked away behind the walls of the forest. This is another amazing place to reflect and enjoy nature, either by yourself, your family and friends, or your pets! I remember one of the hikers had his dog along, who thoroughly enjoyed playing fetch and running in and out of the water.
Radar Hill is basically what it sounds like. It’s a hill with a radar tower on it. There is parking really close by, and it just gives you more of a birds eye view of the surrounding area. If you’re in the area, you might as well stop by.
Jacks in Tofino
We very much enjoyed the fish and chips at Jacks (in the town of Tofino). We sat out on the patio by the docks.
Long beach is a stunning place! It’s a SUPER long beach, so there’s definitely room for lots of people! We went here a couple of times. We enjoyed the sand and throwing around a disc. I was in love with the fog in the distance. I’d love to do photo shoots here in the future!
Rain-forest Trail Loop B
There are two rain-forest trails right next to each other. Loop A and loop B. What a super green and lovely walk it was! Kevin and I did loop B together, and then he did loop A on his own yet (while I relaxed in the car). 😉
The plants were HUGE!!
So were the trees!
Rain-forest Trail Loop A
Schooner Cove Trail and Beach
Schooner Cove Trail and Beach is another nice nature outing! It’s a good combination of both forest and a beach. The beach here has sand, but also has plenty of rocky areas.
Leaving Vancouver Island
These are just a couple of pictures of the beautiful sunset from the ferry ride, leaving Vancouver Island. It took me four travel posts to show you all the things we did on Vancouver Island! You can imagine how many more activities we didn’t even get to do. So if you ever decide to visit Vancouver Island, don’t be afraid! There will be plenty of things to do!
After a break from our West Coast trip, let’s get back into it and talk a little more about Vancouver Island. Vancouver Island has so many great places to visit. So far I have posted about the Butchart Gardens and Victoria City. Today I want to show you a few of the stops that we made on our way to Pacific Rim National Park (still located on Vancouver Island). On a side note, this is the third last post about the West Coast. That means that very soon I will begin to blog about our trip to Thailand.
The Kinsol Trestle Bridge
We visited the Kinsol Trestle Bridge, which is an old wooden railway bridge. It was a nice walk, and Kevin ended up exploring the surrounding area for a while, while I found a picnic table and dozed off on the bench. We were both happy.
The Kinsol Trestle (completed in 1920) crosses the Koksilah River, and measures 44 m (144 ft) high and 188 m (617 ft) long. With its large dimensions, it is one of the highest railway trestles in the world, and the largest wooden trestle in the Commonwealth of Nations. It was built to simplify the transportation of timber, when forestry became more popular on Vancouver Island.
We also saw a beautiful doe and her little fawn covered in little white spots.
Coombs Old Country Market
The Old Country Market in Coomb was such a unique experience for me. I mean seriously people, real goats grazing on the roof of a market!? What is there not to love about that! First of all, I LOVE markets. Secondly, I LOVE animals. Now, someone really smart must’ve been like, why don’t we combine the two of them, and create a place that everyone will talk about! I definitely won’t be forgetting about this place any time soon!
Little Qualicum Falls
Little Qualicum Falls is the perfect stop for an easy, but longer hike, surrounded by so much greenery and a beautiful waterfall. I’m pretty sure this was also the place where we saw some guys jumping off of rocks into the water (not by the waterfall though). Now that is beyond my comfort zone, but I’m sure some of you might enjoy that!
Cathedral Grove is simply an astonishing place. This temperate rain-forest has such massive trees. It was amazing to see how resilient they are too. If a tree didn’t make it, then sometimes a new one had grown on top of what was left of the old tree.
There was one tree (pictured above) called the Hollow Cedar. “All trees contain a dead central core known as the heartwood. The dried and decayed heartwood of this [particular] red cedar caught fire and smouldered for several days. Although cedar trees are not known for their resistance to fire, the living outer tissues of this tree were not severely damaged and it continues to live.”
“Native people often used fire to assist them in hollowing out large cedar trees for canoes. These dugout canoes… were capable of carrying 30 to 40 people!” (quotes taken from a sign in the park).
“The largest tree in the park is this giant Douglas-fir (pictured above). It is over 800 years old, 76 m tall and 9 m round. Douglas-fir is one of Canada’s oldest living tree species and can live to be over 1000 years old” (quote taken from a sign in the park). Also, to put it into perspective, the Leaning Tower of Pisa is 56 m tall. This is a fair bit shorter than this marvelous tree. Let’s face it. This tree is way cooler than any of us will ever be!
This website contains a lot more interesting information about the history of Cathedral Grove, if you’re interested.
Thank you for joining us on our West Coast journey. Two more posts, and we’re done! What!? Hope your week has started off well!
Good evening my lovely readers! Today I’d like to show you the rest of our pictures from Victoria City, British Columbia. For those of you who might be new to this blog, I try to post a new travel post once a week. Currently, I’m sharing about our 2015 Canadian West Coast travels. If you are interested in seeing more travel posts like this one, click here.
The Bug Z00
One of our memorable stops in Victoria City was the Bug Zoo. I should also warn you to not look at the next few pictures if you’re not a fan of spiders or bugs. I have to say though, I’m super proud of myself for actually pulling myself together enough to hold a living scorpion in my hands!
Another favorite was their large ant colony. It’s amazing to see how hard working ants are. Ants have a designated area where they bring all the dead ants. The healthy ants that bring them there, won’t return, in case they should now also carry a disease. This is to protect the colony.
The following pictures show some of the creatures that we saw at the Bug Zoo.
About Victoria City
Victoria City is a charming city with a combination of old and new buildings, beautiful gardens, a harbor filled with small boats, and many local shops and restaurants to visit. Here are some more facts about the city (taken from Wikipedia):
Victoria City was named after Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom.
The British started settling in 1843, making it one of the oldest cities in the Pacific Northwest.
Many historic buildings remain, of which two of the most popular ones are the Legislative Building and the Empress Hotel.
Victoria city’s Chinatown is the second oldest in North America.
The Coast Salish First Nations peoples were established in this region possibly a few thousand years before the British started settling.
Victoria is nicknamed “The Garden City”
Population in 2011 was 80,032
The following pictures were taken on our stroll around the inner harbor. We saw the old Empress Hotel, the Legislative Building, some cool sculptures, and of course some beautifully planted gardens.
Beacon Hill Park
Beacon Hill Park is the perfect stop after a lot of driving. It gives you the opportunity to stretch out your legs while being surrounded by greenery, flowers, and wildlife. It is also a great location for a picnic.
Fiamo Italian Kitchen
We enjoyed a delicious dinner at Fiamo Italian Kitchen. I would highly recommend this place. I absolutely loved the design of this restaurant. It was so cozy, yet edgy. Oh, and the Chicken Parmesan is to die for!
To end the day, we briefly drove to the Craigdarroch Castle. We also saw some churches, but from the outside only, as they were already closed for the day. We then returned to the Legislative Building and the Inner Harbor to see all the buildings lit up at night.
Unsuccessful Whale Watching
Early the following day, we drove into the city to do some whale watching with Orca Spirit Adventures. We were on the restless ocean for nearly three hours, bouncing along in the Zodiac boat. It got so bumpy at times that landing kind of hurt. On this excursion we saw a bald eagle and its nest, as well as some sea lions. To our great disappointment the tour ended without seeing any killer whales. The great news is, Orca Spirit Adventures offered a free tour if we ever were to return in the future.
After being super bummed about not getting to see any killer whales, we enjoyed some macarons from Bon Macaron Patisserie. It was our first time trying this french delicacy, and we definitely enjoyed them!
We continued on to Hatley Castle, and prepared a quick lunch in the parking lot. Now what makes this castle super cool, is the fact that it was used in the X-men series. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see the inside, because of ongoing classes. Yeah, it seemed to be our bad luck day. We did, however, get to see a beautiful peacock on the castle grounds, as well as some gorgeous gardening, and of course the castle from the outside.
Successful Whale Watching
To leave you on a positive note, after visiting some other places, we planned it into our schedule to return to Victoria. We knew that if we didn’t return on this trip, it would be a long time before we would ever go back. Of course, we also desperately wanted to see some killer whales. So, naturally the following pictures are actually from a later time of our trip, but I decided to include them now, as they are related to Victoria.
We were lucky this time and definitely got to see some killer whales. There were very strict regulations in place, which didn’t allow us to get very close to the whales, unless if they came our way. This was for their protection. We were pretty excited to find out that our tour guide was mentored by the man that trained and also released Free Willy.
Thank you for reading along! Wishing you all a fabulous week!! 🙂
It’s Travel Tuesday! My last travel post brought us to Victoria, BC, via a beautiful sunset ferry-ride. After a good night rest, our first destination in the morning was The Butchart Gardens. These gardens are basically heaven on earth for any gardeners or flower lovers. There was so much variety in these gardens and so many things to see! Therefore, I will only cover this place today. Next time, however, I will show you some more pictures of the actual city.
Ever since having worked at a garden stand, I get a kick out of being able to name flowers. Since these gardens contain many flowers that grow in Manitoba, I would be able to name some of them. However, I’m sure there are a lot of people out there that know their flowers way better than I do.
Fun fact: did you know that Begonias are edible (pictured above)? I’ve tried them before and I didn’t die, I promise. They have a citrus kind of taste. Begonias would make beautiful dessert/cake toppers, or you could decorate your salad with them!
Pictured above, is the rose garden.
Aren’t these bunnies cute!?
The Story Behind the Butchart Gardens
“Robert Pim Butchart, a pioneer in the thriving North American cement industry, was attracted from Owen Sound, Ontario to Canada’s West Coast by rich limestone deposits. In 1904, he developed a quarry and built a cement plant at Tod Inlet (on Vancouver Island) to satisfy Portland cement demand from San Francisco to Victoria. Jennie Butchart became the company’s chemist. Close to the quarry, the Butcharts established the family home complete with sweet peas and rose bushes.
As Mr. Butchart exhausted limestone deposits, his enterprising wife Jennie, made plans to create something of beauty in the gigantic exhausted pit. From farmland nearby, she had tonnes of top soil brought in by horse and cart and used it to line the floor of the abandoned quarry. Little by little, the quarry blossomed into the spectacular Sunken Garden.
Between 1906 and 1929, the Butcharts created a Japanese Garden on the seaside, an Italian Garden on their former tennis court and a beautiful Rose Garden. Mr. Butchart took great pride in his wife’s remarkable work. An enthusiastic hobbyist, he collected ornamental birds from all over the world. He kept ducks in the Star Pond, noisy peacocks on the front lawn and many elaborate birdhouses throughout the gardens.” (Story taken from The Butchart Gardens’ website. The website also contains other useful information that you might want to check out).
Pictured above is part of the Japanese Garden.
Finally, a definite high-light was the ice cream that we got from this Gelateria. This was part of the Italian Garden. I tried their Wild Flower Honey and Lavender flavoured ice cream. It had a bit of a unique taste, but it was actually quite tasty!
If you are new to my blog and would like to see the rest of our West Coast 2015 trip, you will find the other blog posts about all the beautiful places in the West Coast of Canada here.
And hey… by the way, I don’t know how many of you are familiar with bloglovin’. Bloglovin’ is a large community for bloggers. The website is designed to make following your favorite bloggers a breeze. You simply create your own account, and then you can start following different bloggers. This is an easy way to keep up with the newest blog posts. You may follow me on bloglovin’ here.
Last week I wrote a little about some of our adventures in Vancouver City. Since we had so many pictures, I decided to write two posts on Vancouver. Today, I’m going to show you the rest of the pictures of the two other activities that we enjoyed.
First, we went to the Capilano Suspension Bridge. The main draw here is the long suspension bridge, but there is also a tree top adventure (among others), which is a walking path, suspended by tall trees.
It was a hot summer day, and the place was packed. We waited in line for quite a long time before it was our turn to walk across the very long suspension bridge. It was quite a thrilling experience. The bridge moved so much, because there were so many people walking on it.
Here is a little more on where the word Capilano came from:
It is actually a First Nations name belonging to the Squamish Nation and originally spelled Kia’palano, meaning “beautiful river”. Kia’palano was the name of a great Squamish chief who lived in this area in the early part of the 1800s. Over time “Kia’palano” was anglicized into “Capilano”: a word that has become the namesake of our bridge and park as well as the river and surrounding area.
Walking through the trees felt like some kind of a “George of the Jungle” adventure. Perhaps it made my childhood day-dreams come true? 😉
I must say that the suspension bridge, as well as the tree top adventures, were quite impressive. It must’ve been SO much work to build everything, making sure that it is strong and safe.
The long bridge is suspended by two very thick wire cables, and is capable of holding tons of elephants at once. In the past, a large tree fell on the bridge, and instead of causing damage to the bridge, in snapped in two. Now you know, the bridge should be able to hold you just fine!
As the above picture shows, we saw this huge tree that was 1300 years old!
We ended our time in Vancouver by visiting the Vancouver Aquarium. I very much enjoyed this place. It was so much fun to see so many different kinds of sea creatures. We saw a great variety of fish, sea plants, jelly fish, tiny poisonous frogs, beluga whales, otters, and dolphins. The following pictures show just some of the life that we saw:
Ferry Ride to Vancouver Island
After having some leftover pizza for supper, we drove to the ferry and waited in line for a long time. To make time go by a little faster, we blasted the music in our car, and treated ourselves to some snacks.
We really enjoyed the ferry ride. We chose to sit outside for most of the time. I wrapped myself up in my blanket, as it was pretty chilly, and enjoyed the breathtaking sunset. How I miss these days.
That brings our adventures in Vancouver city to an end. Thank you for stopping by. Enjoy your day!
Another week is on its way, and I hope it has started off well for all of you. It’s time for another travel post, and our next stop on our West Coast trip was Vancouver. I’m sure there are thousands of things to do in Vancouver, but here are a few of things the things that we saw and did in Vancouver.
First of all, we were excited to find Winnipeg on the street in Vancouver! We had to take a picture with it, of course. 😉
We visited Canada Place, which is located in downtown Vancouver’s waterfront. This building (pictured at the top of the page) looks unique because of its tent-like peaks.
If you want to get a better view of the city, Vancouver Lookout is the place to be. We went up this tower twice, once during the day, and then we came back to see the city lit up at night.
The view from the lookout was great!
Next, we went to Granville Island. This was my favourite part of the city. There was a market, and a lot of small local shops. We went to a soap shop, as well as a candle store, and it was nice to talk to the owners about what it’s like to own small businesses. It turns out that the owner of the candle store was actually from Winnipeg, where she has another candle business.
These Granville Silos have got to be the funnest Silos I’ve ever seen. They were painted by two internationally acclaimed street artists, known as OSGEMEOS. They are two Brazilian twin brothers, who are popular for their public art.
We spent some time browsing the market. So many plants! So much good food! So many things!
We decided that we absolutely had to buy some desserts from Stuart’s .The choices were endless!
After the market we made our way to Stanley Park. This park is massive! We spent a short amount of time there. We saw some skillfully crafted totem poles, and walked around the sea board walk. It offered such a great viewpoint of the city and Canada Place (the building with the white peaks). We drove through part of the park, as we didn’t have time to walk through it all.
At the end of the day we drove to Gastown and enjoyed some delicious burgers at Black Frog. It was closely located to this old steam clock, which would play a melody every half hour with steam and pipes. The cherry on top was the delicious churro we enjoyed at a small Peruvian restaurant.
We went back to the lookout tower one last time to see the lit up city. We got lucky to see a beautiful crescent moon. The Canada Place building looked neat at night, as it was lit up with different colours.
Next week I will write about the Capilano Suspension Bridge, and the Vancouver Aquarium, which are two other fun activities that we enjoyed in Vancouver.
Today I’m going to combine and write about three places that we visited on our West Coast trip, since the time spent in some of these places was pretty short. First, I’ll show you some pictures of Summerland, then Hope, and finally some pictures of our time spent with my relatives in Chilliwack.
When we first got to the small town of Summerland, most of the stores were already closed. We explored the main street briefly, then got settled in at our campground and had a delicious stove-cooked supper. We also got to enjoy the purple bell pepper that we had previously bought at the fruit market in Peachland! Don’t you just love the color?
The campground in Summerland was one of my favorite campgrounds (with the exception that we had to pay for showering with quarters!). It had a large willow tree and plenty of other trees. Our tent was right next to a creek, under a large maple tree. We enjoyed long conversations at our picnic table before settling in for the night.
The following morning we went back to Summerland’s Downtown area. We started the day with a delicious breakfast burrito at Beanery Café. They also served THE BEST Peach, Apricot, and Pear smoothie. I would definitely recommend this little Café.
And because we love food, we went to the True Grain Bread bakery next, as this place had been recommended to us by Kevin’s relatives. True Grain Bread is a small local bakery, which crafts its bread from fresh, local, and organic ingredients. They also have a flour mill right inside the shop! We tried their Copenhagen Swirl and the Carrot Pumpkin-seed Cookie. They were both excellent, but the Copenhagen swirl is to die for! If only I knew how to re-create it!
After all the deliciousness, we browsed some art, craft, quilting, and antique stores. It was definitely my kind of little town. I found a beautiful mint green stove (1935) in one of the antique stores, and it broke my heart that I wasn’t going to be able to take it home with me. So, I guess a little part of my heart stayed in Summerland with the old stove.
One of the top things to do in Summerland is to drive down the Bottleneck Drive. There are many wineries along this stretch of road. We were not sure which winery to go to, so a lady that worked in one of the craft stores, recommended the Dirty Laundry Winery to us. So, that is what we did next.
Dirty Laundry Winery
The Dirty Laundry Winery is definitely the prettiest winery that we went to. They had a beautiful patio, covered in grape vines and other plants, with red patio umbrellas.
Down in the valley the luscious grape vines were being watered, creating a beautiful scenery, surrounded by hills and lake Okanagan.
We did some wine tasting and bought the Say Yes wine. They also sold some food at the winery, so we enjoyed a spinach dip with crackers on the patio.
Here and here are two lists of the top things to do in Summerland, if you ever do decide to visit.
We continued on to Hope, BC for the night. We rented a tiny cabin at Hope Valley RV & Campground. It was a simple room with beds and a picnic table outside, but it was nice not having to bother with a tent. The campground had very tall trees. It was basically like camping out in a forest. It also had a pool, which would be great for hot summer days. We only made use of it the following morning though, and it was SO COLD! It definitely woke us up, and made taking a warm shower right after feel like pure bliss.
We had the privilege of spending time with my uncle and aunt and some of my cousins while in BC. I had not seen one of my cousins for over 10 years, so we had a lot to catch up on. They took us to a beautiful lake, and we got to enjoy the evening there. The guys went in for a short swim. We also got to enjoy a lot of delicious food, and great company. These are the perks of having family all over the place!
Thank you for reading along! And don’t give up! I’m sure some of you are waiting to see pictures from Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. I haven’t forgotten about these, but I have some more West Coast pictures to show you first. 🙂
The scenery changed dramatically driving towards Kelowna, BC. The tall green mountains were replaced with flatter mountains and hills, covered in tall grass. There were lakes in the valleys, and we saw more agriculture, particularly apple orchards, corn fields, and of course, vineyards.
We had a difficult time finding good campgrounds in Kelowna, which is why we decided to drive back half an hour outside the town to Wood Lake Terrace RV & Campground. The view was beautiful here, overlooking a lake in the valley. There were also some cherry trees right close to our campsite. I don’t recall eating from them, as they probably planted for selling.
Our campsite wasn’t particularly great. As you can tell our campsite was quite steep, and our car had to work really hard to get up there, haha. However, after a leftovers Alfredo and salad dinner, I got to enjoy sitting wrapped up in my blanket, looking at the flickering lights across the water, while being serenaded by the crickets.
The next morning, after packing up and reorganizing our food bins (which included wiping off a lot of sticky honey that had spilled in one of the bins!), we stopped at a local fruit market and bought some apricots, yellow plums, cherries, apricot jam, green peppers, and even a purple pepper! I always think the odd colored vegetables are so beautiful. The people at the market were even kind enough to give me some paper fruit baskets that I intend to use as props for food photography.
Some of the vegetables came from a garden that was planted right next to the market. I wish I could have fresh vegetables straight from the garden all year round!
One of the most popular things to do in Kelowna is to visit wineries. The first winery we visited was called House of Rose Winery.
We got to see their different kinds of grape vines, and then got to taste test the different kinds of wine that they make there. Our favorite wine from this winery was called “Grapes with Benefits”. We enjoyed a small picnic outside on the yard.
The second winery we went to was called The Vibrant Vine. What made this place unique was that all the art on the walls, including the wine bottles, was 3D. We picked up 3D glasses on our way in, and got to enjoy all the colorful art!
Our favorite wine here was called The Woops. The label on this bottle was upside-down. How this came to be was that one of their workers was put in charge of shrink wrapping a large amount of bottles, when the owners of the business left for a while. She accidentally put the label on upside-down. And here is the story of how this particular wine ended up gaining a lot of fame, and turned out to be one of their best wines.
After leaving Kelowna, we made a brief, but relaxing stop in Peachland. We drove down to Beach Avenue and rested under a large tree, next to the water, before driving to Summerland. More on that next time though!