Squamish - the Stawamus Chief

Most people who visit Victoria feel the need to visit Vancouver. If you get there, take the highway north towards Whistler. It is a beautiful drive with so much spectacular scenery. One of the amazing things you will see along the way is the Stawamus Chief, the larges single slab of granite anywhere. It is a very popular climbing rock, probably the most famous in North America - as you will see in the pictures. Not far away is the beautiful Shannon Falls. You can see Black Tusk Mountain along the route. It is spectacular to say the least.

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Artichokes in Blume

We recently went to a special event at the Glendale Gardens and Woodlands in Victoria. During our walk through the Japanese Garden we discovered these beautiful looking plants. They really are artichokes in bloom. Pretty amazing! So is the Glendale Gardens and Woodlands. You might want to give it a visit when you are in Victoria next time.

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Amazing Park-Parksville's Top Bridge Park

If you go to Parksville, you need to check out one of my all time favourite places to go walking is Top Bridge Regional Park off Chattel Road in Parksville. The newly installed 81 metre suspension bridge now links Englishman River Park with Top Bridge Park adding more special trails and more chances for exploring. The suspension bridge crosses a small narrow gorge that has beautifully sculpted rocks. Although no young people were swimming in the river the day we were there, I suspect this might be a hot spot for locals and tourists that find this park. Check it out.

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Sand Sculptures in Parksville

Just a bit less than 2 hours north of Victoria is the picturesque community of Parksville. For years now they have been holding sand sculpture competitions. This years competition is over and the art work is now on display until September. If you are in Victoria and looking for something unusual to do check out the sand sculptures in Parksville. There are many talent people who have done work on these artworks. If you are travelling north on the Island, be sure to take it in. It is just a bit north of Nanaimo. There are a lot more like this. The theme this year was the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver and Whistler.

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Live Like a Local - Swap Meet Western Speedway

When you come to Victoria, if you are looking for that something really different to take home, why not do what many locals do, go to a SWAP MEET. Every Sunday in Langford on the edge of Victoria, at the Western Speedway, hundreds of people converge on the Swap Meet. It starts at 7:00 am and those looking for the really good deals get there early. If you want to try something really different, give a swap meet a try.

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Unique Island Experience - Air Tour

If you are looking for a really exciting experience why not consider an air tour of the area around Victoria BC. Harbour Air is just one of the companies that provide this service. They are an excellent company with a great reputation. Their ISLANDS EXTRAVAGANZA TOUR is departing Victoria on Sundays at 11:00 am. Take this tour and you will depart from Victoria's Inner Harbour and enjoy a meandering flight over the Canadian Gulf Islands and the American San Juan Islands. View picturesque villages and farms, sailboats anchored by tiny coves, and cottages perched by the water’s edge. Orca whales, sea lions, and bald eagles are common sights on this tour.

You have not seen whales until you have seen them from the air. What a spectacular sight that will be. Seeing all of the above from the air gives you a totally new perspective of this beautiful country. Give it a try.

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Vancouver Island Kayaking - Ladysmith Harbour

There are lots of good places on Vancouver Island to Kayak. This long weekend we decided to kayak in Ladysmith Harbour with our good friends Darrel and Edith Martin from St. Albert. There is a kayak rental outfit right on Transfer Beach. That makes for a pretty easy entry. Fairly early in our trip we spotted a huge bald eagle looking like the captain of the boat shown. What we found out when we got closer that he had his eye on some otters that were under a nearby dock. Seals were also in the vicinity. Ladysmith harbour is full of oyster, especially in the shallows. Word is that they are contaminated...too bad! There was lots to see and do on this trip. We just had a short carry from the parking lot with out kayaks. The park was busy when we got out of the water as it was Ladysmith Days. It is always a good day on the water!
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