Canada
Halkett Head

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56 travelers at this place:

  • Day6

    Victoria

    June 15, 2019 in Canada ⋅ ☀️ 15 °C

    Heute sind wir in Victoria, 20min mit dem Auto von unserem Campground. Es ist strahlend blauer Himmel und Sonnenschein und die Stadt ist einfach schön. So viele Blumen und alles so liebevoll und detailliert geschmückt. Definitiv ein großes Highlight bisher!

  • Day36

    Chinatown

    September 10, 2019 in Canada ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

    Nach einer, durch andere Wecker und quietschenden Betten, unruhigen Nacht, stand ich gegen halb 9 auf und machte mich für das Jobinterview für das Big White ski resort frisch. Das Interview lief gut und ich stehe auf der Warteliste für eine staff accommodation. Anschließend ging ich zu einem kleinen Laden und kaufte ein paar Lebensmittel. Im Hostel machte ich mir erst einmal Rührei, aß eine Banane und schlürfte Kaffee, den es hier den ganzen Tag über kostenlos gibt.
    Dann lief ich los.
    Immer der Nase nach, wo’s mich grade hinzog. In enge Gassen und vollgestopfte Läden mit allmöglichem Kleinzeugs. Durch Chinatown zum Hafen, wo ich mich in einen kleinen Park legte und ca eine Stunde döste. Anschließend ging ich wieder ins Hostel, um mir mein freies Abendessen zu holen. Da ich mich aber um 2 Stunden verschätzt hatte, klärte ich noch was mit der Bank und schaute meine Serie weiter.
    Zum Abendessen gab es dann Nudeln mit Chili Con Carne. Peter, Emmelie und Jannet, die 3 von gestern, gesellten sich mit Alina, einer Sozialhelferin aus Frankfurt zu Simon und mir. Nachdem wir gegessen und noch ein Bier getrunken hatten, gingen wir zur Big Bad Johns Bar, die uns Simon zeigte. Ne Country Bar mit bekritzelten und beklebten Wänden, an denen BHs hängen. Freie Erdnüsse und hauseigenes Bier, führten zu einem entspannten Abend.
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  • Day22

    Victoria

    July 22, 2019 in Canada ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    Nach einer eineinhalbstündigen Überfahrt mit der Fähre „Coastal Celebration“ sind wir nun in Victoria und somit auf der Vancouver Island angelangt.

    Kaum in der Stadt, demolierte uns ein Pickup-Truck den hinteren Teil unseres Mietwagens, als wir an einem Rotlicht standen. Der Fahrer hinter uns wollte mit einem U-Turn die wartende Schlange verlassen, hatte aber den Radius falsch bemessen und rammte uns. Wir hielten nach der Kreuzung an, aber der Täter war verschwunden. Nun ging‘s zur Polizei, dann zum Autovermieter. Das brauchte alles seine Zeit, und somit lernten wir die Hauptstadt von British Columbia erst in der Dämmerung so richtig kennen.

    1849 ernannte Grossbritannien Vancouver Island zur Kolonie. 1868 wurde die damals einzig richtige Stadt in der Gegend dann Hauptort der zusammengelegten Kolonien Vancouver Island und British Columbia. Victoria blieb Hauptstadt, auch als 1871 British Columbia als Provinz in den Dominion of Canada integriert wurde. In der Folge sollte ihr allerdings Vancouver aufgrund der Fertigstellung der transkanadischen Eisenbahn den Rang ablaufen.

    Den Namen erhielt die Stadt natürlich wegen Queen Victoria, während derer Regentschaft 1843 am gleichen Ort das Fort Victoria als Stützpunkt der Kolonialmacht Grossbritannien gebaut wurde. Heute ist dieser Name beinahe auch Programm des Ortes: viel britische Architektur und englisches Flair charakterisieren diesen schmucken Ort mit seinen 85‘000 Einwohnenden.

    Blickfang in der Ortsmitte ist das Gebäude der „Provincial Legislature“, also dem Capitol Building von British Columbia. Beim Eindämmern werden dessen Konturen durch zahllose Glühbirnen markiert, was dem Gebäude einen märchenhaften Charakter gibt. Nebenan steht das erste Haus am Platz, das Hotel „The Empress“. Das vorletzte Bild zeigt die erst einjährige Johnson Street Bridge, die für den Durchlass hoher Schiffe wie ein Sackmesser aufgeklappt werden kann.
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  • Day26

    Victoria

    August 29, 2018 in Canada ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    In Vicoria han ich weder nor guet 2 Täg gha aber das esch au ganz okey für das chliine Städtli.

    Wo ich acho bi esch min ersti Gedanke gsii: Ich bi im Europapark 😍. Es esch dunkel gsii und überall heds schön belüchteti Gebäude gha, Strossemusiker händ so Europaparkmusig gspielt, es sind Kutsche ume gfahre und es send fröhlichi Mänsche ume gloffe. De Gedanke hed sich am nöchste Morge nur bestätiged. Ich bi vom Hostel los zum chli durs Städtli laufe und ha uf ehm Wäg spontan ehn Whale watching Tour für de Nomitag buecht. Denn bin ich no zum Fishermans Warft gloffe. Die kitschige Böötli und die eiradfahrend Strossekünstler händ s Europaparkfeeling no verstärkt. Am Nomitag bini denn go Wal beobachte. Mer händ ganzi drüü Familiene gseh wo teilwiis extrem nöch ahs Boot cho sind - das esch sehr sehr beidruckend gsii. Nach dem Ihdrückliche Tag han ich mich is Zimmer zrug zoge zum chli mit minne Zimmergnosse rede und ha denn Znacht gmacht.

    Höt bini is Royal Museum of Britisch Columbia. Es riesigs Museum. Ich ha gfonde ich chieng Kanada ka chum verloh ohni wenigstens es bizli öbbis drüber glehrt zha. Im Museum heds drü Ustellige gha: Ägypter, Tier vo de Umgäbig und Uriwohner so wie d Entstehig vo dere Region. Es esch sehr guet gmacht mit Videos und Nochebildige und so...aber au chli gnueg Gschicht für ei Tag. De Nomitag hani denn i mini wiiteri Reiseplani investiert...

    Ich cha verkünde dass ich Kanada morn verloh zum mit de Fähri us Seattle z reise. Det hani aber leider nur ehn Nacht weil übermorn min Flug uf Hawaii god 😄. Ich bi scho mega ufgregt und freu mich werklich.
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  • Day25

    Victoria, Kanada

    June 13, 2016 in Canada ⋅ ⛅ 11 °C

    An unserem zweiten Day-Off haben wir den unteren Teil von Victoria erkundet. Wir haben eine Tour durch das Gouvernment Bildung gemacht, sind dann am James Bay lang zum Fisherman's Wharf und weiter bis zum Beacon Hill Park gegangen. In dem Park war sogar ein kleiner niedlicher Streichelzoo :)

  • Day20

    Victoria

    June 8, 2016 in Canada ⋅ ⛅ 13 °C

    Heute hatten wir unseren "Day-Off" und sind nach Victoria gefahren. Zu erst sind wir in das "Empress" Hotel gegangen und ein Mitarbeiter hat uns super Insider Tips gegeben, was wir Downtown alles machen sollten. Wir haben nicht alles geschafft aber machen den Rest auf jeden Fall am nächsten Day-Off. Es ist eine super schöne Stadt direkt am Meer mit toller Architektur und vielen Sehenswürdigkeiten :)Read more

  • Day17

    FAIRBANKS TO VICTORIA

    June 10, 2018 in Canada ⋅ ⛅ 9 °C

    Early morning start today, the airport shuttle picked us up at 3.30 am for 6.00 am flight to Victoria via Seattle. Needless to say it wasn't a good night's sleep, not only because of the short duration but the usual waking up several times, concerned that we might oversleep. On the plus side, waking up what seemed hourly was a good opportunity to check just how dark it gets this far north and I can personally witness that it doesn't. The sun might slip down to the horizon and slide out of sight briefly before popping up again but in that time it stays light. Imagine how light it is half an hour before dawn or after the sun sets at home and that's probably darker than it ever gets here in Alaska in summer.

    So, with a few other bleary eyed travellers we headed for the airport and be reunited with our luggage which had been collected a 11pm the night before (actually about 4 hours earlier) not sure why we couldn't just take the cases with us, the coach was big enough, but that's not how it's done. Stranger still because this way you don't see the people handling the luggage so there's nobody to tip (surprised these guys missed that opportunity) it just magically disappears from outside your room and appears in the next one, or in this case, on the pavement (sorry sidewalk) outside the terminal building. Fortunately the checking in staff didn't ask "could anyone have tampered with your luggage?" So I didn't have to "Well yes, anyone really".

    Tired and grumpy doesn't make for a good travelling day but, I have to say, it went pretty well like clockwork, we made the connection in Seattle and were reunited with our luggage again in Victoria, had a very pleasant immigration control man and then we were in Canada. A quick adjust of the luggage (getting some heavy stuff out of the hand luggage which was needed to scrape the checked luggage below the weight limit, as usual) and headed for the bus into town....it had just gone and, because it was Sunday, the next one wasn't for over an hour. The helpful information lady said "you've got wheels on the luggage it's just about a 10 - 15 minute walk to the hub where you can get the bus into town....yeah right!

    Eventually we found our way out of the airport after touring the car park, sheltering under a tree from a torrential hail storm, walking up a cycle track and having to turn down an invitation to a Jehovah's Witness party that a kind lady stopped her car to give us and there was the bus hub with not a bus in sight. We were just trying to work out which stop we needed when there was our bus going passed on the street by the side of the hub and at the top of some steps! But the bus driver spotted us and waited whilst we "ran" over and up the stairs.

    An hour later we "debarqued" the bus (well that's what they call it when you get off the ship!) and had a short walk, really this time, to our apartment, well almost to our apartment in Chinatown. The address looked correct but the man behind the desk said "what are talking about this is an art gallery!" Just in case you're wondering why we couldn't tell the difference between an apartment complex and an art gallery, our first hotel in Vancouver was an art gallery AND hotel it wouldn't be without precedence. Anyway, we finally found the back alley approach to our apartment, put in the code to the gate and we were in, the cleaner, who couldn't speak English, was just finishing up so Gill got to practice her Spanish. We got some washing on, found some basic supplies, cooked a meal and thankfully went to bed pooped to get ready for the bike ride tomorrow.
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  • Day34

    Crossing the Border

    August 1, 2017 in Canada ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

    The day began with my eagerly anticipated seaplane flight with Kenmore Air. It was a 30 minute tour over the city in a DeHavilland Turbo Otter and me being me naturally I snagged the best seat. The flight was worth every cent and I'm so glad I decided to take in the city this way. Oddly enough there was even another 'Beard' on the plane from Missouri - a long lost relative? The staff at the terminal were very accommodating and let me keep my luggage there whilst I sat in the adjacent park made calls home and generally watched the world go by on Lake Union.

    Eventually I grabbed an Uber to Pier 69 to catch my clipper to Victoria. This would be farewell to the US for the best part of two weeks. I met a lovely mother and young son, Chrissy and Noah, who kept me company and were kind enough to save me a good seat on a window table with them as they had priority boarding. Chrissy pretended I was the nanny. Despite the lovely company, the steady motion of the ferry quickly sent me to sleep and I napped for nearly two hours.

    On arrival into Victoria (Vancouver Island), I instantaneously loaded my uber app to find that there were no Ubers here. What on earth would I do now?! Obviously I got a cab and arrived at the hostel just in time to snag the last bowl of free dinner. I sat in the hostel lounge and spent a good few hours sifting through my Orca photos. There was no doubt about it. I had to see more whales.
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  • Day50

    First Nations and Last Destination

    October 17, 2017 in Canada ⋅ ⛅ 12 °C

    Our hostel for the night was the colourfully named 'Painted Turtle’, and the lady bus driver took one look at us and asked us if that was where we were headed. Slightly taken aback we asked how she knew, to which she pointed at our backpacks and told us it was the only hostel in town, and that she stopped right outside. A very friendly door to door service! The keys to our room had a cute turtle key ring, and the dorms were each given a letter, painted with something Canadian. We had 'N’ to ourselves, with the northern lights painted onto the door, and I hoped that this was a good omen!

    In the morning we caught a bus back to the ferry port to catch yet another bus to the other side of the island. As it would happen, we had the pleasant company of another cheerful bus driver. After boarding, we confirmed that we were indeed from England, to which he replied 'right on’! He then went on to tell us about how he wished to visit the churches there and that some of his favourite preachers were from England. With an awkward pause and a noncommittal response, he clearly guessed that we didn't know who he was referring to, so then asked 'oh, are you Muslim?’. Haha. He commented that he now resided in the best place in Canada, Nanaimo, the town we were leaving. He informed us that on our next bus journey we would pass through Cathedral Grove, whereby the trees were so tall that you felt like an ant in the forest. He wished us a safe onward trip and we sat next to the ferry terminal for an hour and a half waiting for our Greyhound bus. Hugo wasn't too impressed, but better early than late! Plus a bald eagle swooped right overhead as I waited. A bus pulled into the stop and this time an unfriendly bus driver said 'not this one’ and sarcastically commented that it just might be the bus with 'tofinobus’ branding on it, before climbing aboard and shutting the doors. I'm not sure how we were supposed to know that the bus not marked greyhound was actually the one we needed to get. Naturally he ranked very low on our list of favourite Vancouver Island bus drivers.

    Now on the correct coach, we snaked our way through the Vancouver Island countryside, including the much recommended Cathedral Grove and a store with a grass roof and a casual couple of live goats grazing on it. We stopped briefly at a layby where we got a cinnamon bun from a nearby bakery. Once in Tofino, we discovered the other four backpackers were also going to the same hostel as us so we followed them. And what a hostel it was! Perched on the waterfront, with great ocean views from the comfy living area and a quaint little oyster shack at the end of the pier. We dumped our bags in lockers ready for our check in and headed out for a walk along the string of beaches that dotted the coast, all connected by forest walkways. We passed beautiful Tonquin beach and Mackenzie beach, oggling at the ocean view properties clinging to the cliff tops, before becoming peckish around half five. Having been recommended tacofino, a nearby taco truck, by an impossibly French hostel staff member, this was naturally our next stop. We turned up at the retro style food truck and placed an order for 2 fish and 2 beef tacos. Moving to the side to let the people behind us order, they were told by the server that they were now closed. Looking at our phones we found that it was 18:00 exactly. Talk about cutting it fine! Lucky for us we unwittingly made it in time because the tacos were fantastic. The fish ones were good, but the beef tacos were something else! Leaving satisfied but certain that we could have eaten twice as many beef tacos, we started our trek back to the hostel. Unfortunately we hadn’t accounted for the sun setting which made it much spookier than our leisurely walk down, especially having been warned of recent bear sightings in the area and the knowledge that they are most active at dusk! After returning to the hostel from a fairly brisk walk through the forest, we checked into our ‘suite’ - a family room big enough for 5 which was the last room available, even when booking some weeks ago. Relaxing in the common area, we got chatting to a German couple who were going on the same tour the following day, and found out that because the hostel was fully booked for the night, they were staying in the games room on fold out beds for a reduced rate! We both looked at each other in guilt as we jointly thought about our deluxe suite and the three empty beds. Thinking about multiple factors such as our inflated rate and the fact they had already paid and checked in, we decided to take this information to the grave and kept a poker face as they described their predicament. We had to double down later on as we spoke to a guy who was also slumming it next to the pool table for the night. We blame the swarm of school kids who had descended on the place for a school trip for taking all the beds!

    The next morning we embarked on a day trip to a natural hot springs via a powerboat. Our guide,Tim, had eagle eyes, spotting the various marine wildlife and steering towards them for us to get a good view. Along with the other 4 passengers, we enjoyed sightings of bald eagles, sea otters (sounds great in a French accent), steller sea lions, two grey whales and their huge tails, harbour porpoise, seals, and some jellyfish. We even saw some salmon leaping out of the water in a farm run by first nations locals. Tim commented that he used to be employed as a guard there as the boat fuel used to be regularly stolen. To get a better view of the coastline, we decided to stand at the back of the boat in the open air, which at the speed we were going was pretty exciting (and unfortunately pretty wet at times). We docked at the jetty at Maquinna national park and started up the boardwalk. This was a 30 minute journey through ancient stands of Cedar entwined by long vines and carpeted with thick green undergrowth, giving the impression that it hadn't been disturbed for thousands of years. We half expected a triceratops to plod out of the trees. The smell of sulphur indicated that we were nearing our destination. We changed into our swimwear and padded across the slippery rocks leading down to the springs. We squeezed in besides the other visitors and soaked in the hot water that cascaded over a rockface into several small pools and ran out to the open sea. Hugo stood under the small waterfall and tossed his head back, as if reinacting a herbal essences advert. Sufficiently warmed through, we towelled off and changed before retracing our steps back to the boat. As we waited for the rest of the group, three large fluffy dogs appeared. We guessed these were the local dogs we had read about on various signs, and our suspicions were confirmed when one tiddled on an unexpecting visitor. On the way back to Tofino we passed a village of colourful houses belonging to Tim's first nations tribe. In the evening a guy at the hostel invited people to club together for a BBQ. After considering our first option (some bland pasta dish no doubt), it didn't take much persuasion for us to head to the supermarket to pick up some BBQ meat. He directed the proceedings by ordering people about as if he was head chef of some Michelin starred restaurant, and we eventually sat down as a group of 16 around one large table. We did feel a bit like outsiders as we weren't quite 'cool’ enough, but we tucked into a pretty good meal all the same.

    On the morning of our seven year anniversary, I fetched us some freshly baked free muffins from the hostel kitchen, which we enjoyed in bed. We opted for a leisurely morning stroll through town to browse the shops, much to Hugo's delight (they do say relationships are a compromise, right). Hugo admired a hand carved bench and a cute bull dog, and then we entered the Eagle Aerie gallery of local and prestigious artist, Roy Henry Vickers. He was quite the man, with one of his paintings being gifted to the Queen by the province of BC in 1987, and him being a recipient of the Order of Canada and a Doctorate of Letters from York University. His works were displayed in the traditional longhouse gallery he built himself. In the late afternoon we revisited Tonquin beach, where we clambered up some rocks to face the ocean and watch the sunset. Hugo joked that we should check for free beach WiFi, but remarkably we were in reach of the unprotected WiFi from a beach house above us! We toasted the years with water (no alcohol in public places) and yet more muffins - who said romance is dead. The sunset was a beautiful one and we enjoyed the peaceful moment.

    In order to catch our bus, we were up at the crack of dawn to pack up and wearily drag ourselves to the bus station. Back pack on, we went to the kitchen to collect our food only to discover it was locked. Mission kitchen ensued as Hugo crept around the back and gained access through the fire door. Food retrieved, we walked through the darkness and waited for our greyhound bus, due in at 6.20am. After 30 minutes waiting, there was still no sign of a bus. The office opened at 7 and so as the staff member opened up we went in to ask where the bus was. Sadly, she informed us that the autumn bus timetable had started a few days before, meaning the 6.20 did not exist. Trying to remain calm, but inside furious that we had risen so early for no reason, I asked why we had not been informed of the change despite being allowed to book tickets weeks before. She was unable to answer and changed our tickets for the next bus at 10.30. This also meant that we would not have the few layby hours I had planned for in Nanaimo. Greyhound owe me a Nanaimo bar that I would not now get the chance to try. Back to the hostel we went, and we awkwardly asked whether we could check back in to our room until 10. They kindly let us and I took a nap whilst Hugo fetched me a morning muffin and read his book. At 10.30 we finally set off for Victoria, the capital of British Columbia. Our YHA was just across the road from the bus drop-off, so we swiftly checked in and made up our beds. We were in a room of 4 bunks, however there was not enough room to sit a cat, never mind swing one. Nevertheless we shared our limited space with two Japanese cyclists, who cleverly managed to hang their tent to dry. Setting out to explore for the evening, we heard the familiar sound of Irish music as we neared the town centre. We found The Irish Times, voted one of the top 10 Irish pubs outside of Ireland, and wandered in to find merry pub-goers clapping and dancing to a live band. We did a couple of circuits of the place trying to find some seats before admitting defeat and walking out. Unsure what could possibly top that we consulted Google and found the Churchill, a very long and narrow bar with high vaulted ceilings, complete with tall bottle shelves and sliding ladder. Painted on the walls were various Churchill quotes, completing the theme. There were over 50 beers and ciders on tap which made our choice a tough one. After a couple of drinks we decided on a very alliterative meal; pulled pork poutine and potato perogis. As Canadian as it gets! We decided Victoria had a nice vibe to it - it had a very old English town feel to it.

    We woke up the following day and walked to the Royal British Columbia Museum, a vast architectural building filled with exhibits on the history of BC and it's first nations heritage. After buying our tickets we walked over to the escalator where a security guard was standing. He stopped us and asked us to turn so he could see our bags. Casting his eyes over our bags, he was satisfied and let us continue. At the time it seemed as though this was some amazing superpower that he had to be able to view the contents of our bags with x-ray vision! It was only after reaching the top of the escalator we realised he was simply checking they were small enough not to knock over the exhibits. I was fascinated by the languages exhibit which covered the huge variety of first nations languages, and I brushed up on my phonetics, and Hugo spent his time reading about the naval history of BC. Hungry after all that learning, we found Red Fish Blue Fish, a seaside food truck famous for its fish and chips. Thankfully we made it just in time, second last in the queue! A lady tried to join the queue but was turned away by a staff member. At this point she brought out a moving story about her scattering her mother's ashes, but the staff stood strong - glad it wasn't me having to tell her! We tucked into a two piece salmon and chips which lived up to the reputation. Devine! To make the most of the late afternoon sunshine we walked along the David Foster harbour pathway, watching as the sea planes came in to land and passing a small group of colourful houses on the waterfront at Fisherman’s Wharf. A pier stretched out in to the ocean at Ogden Point making a good photo stop. Hugo tried out the sundial on the path but somehow concluded a time a few hours out. We reached the 'Mile 0’ sign marking the start of the Trans Canada highway, and read the plaque dedicated to the remarkable effort of Terry Fox, who after having a leg amputated due to cancer in 1980, attempted to run a 'Marathon for hope’ from East to West to raise money and awareness for cancer research. Unfortunately the cancer spread and after 143 days he had to stop, and died not long after. The following year in his memory the first 'Terry Fox run’ was held in his memory and 60 million people from over 60 countries  have since taken part in what is now the largest one day fund raiser for cancer research raising 650 million dollars in his name. Mulling over this profound achievement, we found ourselves at Beacon Hill, however unlike the Leicestershire hill of the same name, this one was marked by a Canadian flag. We strolled through the park, admiring the duck ponds and peacocks, and then walked along a road in town searching for an ATM without fees. A murmuration of starlings caught our attention over the high rise buildings and we posed for photos underneath signs for 'Abbott Street’ and 'Swift Street’.

    On our day of departure there was just enough time to walk along West Song Way to Spinnaker’s pub, the oldest brewpub in Canada, for a quick drink (even though it hadn't gone midday yet - we're on holiday) before catching a bus to the Swartz ferry terminal. A ferry to Tsawwassen, bus and skyrail train later and we were at Vancouver airport.  
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  • Day16

    Tofino - Victoria, Vancouver Island

    August 20, 2017 in Canada ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

    Heute die letzte größere Strecke mit dem Wagen zurückgelegt. Aufgrund diverser Zwischenstopps sind wir relativ spät in Victoria angekommen und haben gerade so noch etwas zu Essen bekommen...

    Morgen früh dann Sonnenfinsternis und dann mal Whalewatching organisieren...

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