Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Wet Coast

As I mentioned in an earlier post the West coast of Vancouver Island gets lots of rain and everything is lush and green with growth. Here are a few photos to show you.
Central Vancouver Island Logging Country

A typical wet meadow habitat where Black Bear and Elk frolic, drink and browse. A blurry photo shot through the moving coach's window

Moss Cottage, Sooke.
We were fortunate to have as our guide a well-informed gentleman called Gregg who knew the rain forest inside out; he was a logger, naturalist, and historian; knew all about black bears,(he had shot two), elk, and trees, and everything in between. We actually were able to see a fine elk which was near the road browsing on the grass on the verges. It is amazing how the forest is so full of all kinds of life, from microbes, insects, invertebrates, salamanders; birds, and large mammals, and so on; a cascade of life, each layer of life feeding on or dependent on the next.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Sooke Harbour House

Sooke Harbour House Restaurant

Our table by the windows

Interesting displays and flowers by the door

Killer Whale Carving in the garden, Sooke Harbour House behind
Last Monday amongst other treats we were taken to Sooke Harbour House for a special luncheon. The restaurant there is utterly and purely gourmet, probably the best food to be had anywhere is found there, and film stars fly in from Hollywood just for their evening meal! We had, get this," Pan Fried Ling Cod with a grilled scallop salsa; pearl onion and potato croquettes; swiss chard and baby carrots, tiny halved tomatoes; crab and stinging nettle veloute ( a sauce) and leek oil. It was decorated with geranium petals and a sprig of unidentified herb. For dessert we had carrot cake, with walnuts and icing, decorated with marigold petals and raspberry swirls; Hanne had artistically cut up apples. Special coffee to finish." The cooking and flavours were out of this world. As you can see, the surroundings are spectacular as it is set in beautiful gardens right on the seashore, (see link above) with salmon swimming along the edges of the gravel paths even! Each room in the hotel has its own unique decor, for instance it could represent the ocean floor with crabs and seaweed and starfish everywhere, also each room has its own hot pool out on the deck overlooking the sea, prices vary from $190 to $350 a night! Lucky we didn't have to stay overnight!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Marble Halls

Ocean Front Patio; The "Best Western Premium Prestige Ocean Front Resort", Sooke BC

Foyer with Hanne and Added Cushions, Candelabra, etc

Ionic Capital, 2011 ( Concrete ) Interpretations welcome!

View from our Balcony, Third Floor.
We are safely returned to Penticton, in spite of snow on the road at higher elevations, and here are a few photos of the hotel we stayed at in Sooke BC. The marble columns outside seemed to be made of concrete, but looked stately enough. The marble-tiled floors were real. In the foyer there was a wooden floor with what looked like deer footprints patterned on each segment; quite effective. The staff seemed to be all about sixteen years old, but maybe I'm just getting older. It was all very comfortable and jolly, and we stayed for three nights. My knowledge of ionic capitals is somewhat deficient, but I'm sure there's someone out there who can interpret their meaning, even though they are dated 2011. More about our trip tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Vancouver Island Trip

Well today sees the end of our trip to the BC coast as we are packing up to go on our luxury coach to the ferry at Swartz Bay at 8.30 a.m. The rest of the day we will be driving across the Coastal Mountains back to Penticton. We have learnt a lot of new things about our beloved Vancouver Island, especially here on the " Wet Coast " as our friends call it, not without good reason as in Port Renfrew they have about 12 feet of rain per year. The vegetation is lush and green, festooned with moss and lichen, full of all kinds of animals, birds, and insects, apparently causing "green blindness " in tourists from Texas. Enough for now, more reports with photos when we return. Thanks for your comments Alan.... Hope you got your appointment !

Michael and Hanne