Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Perfect Weather Enhances Victoria, B.C. Trip With Long-Time Friends

It isn't often you get to visit a real castle.  But we did so last weekend on a trip to Victoria, B.C. with our long-time friends, Dwight and Lynnette Klassen, from discovery Bay, California.  Dwight and I have been friends for over 50 years, first meeting as incoming freshmen at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California.  That's Craigdarroch Castle above, located in the heart of Victoria.  Completed in 1908, the castle was primarily the home of coal barron Robert Dunsmuir (the namesake of the city of Dunsmuir, California) and his wife, Joan, and several children and grandchildren.  It has also served as a military hospital, a college and a music school.

Above are Dwight, Lynnette and Kay Lynne at the entrance to the castle.  Below is the "everyday" dining room of the Dunsmuirs, reflecting the opulence in which the very rich lived at the beginning of the 20th century.

The formal dining room used when there were guests was even more elaborate.

We arrived in Canada on Friday evening and made our way to Brentwood Bay, where Kay Lynne and I had first visited about 40 years ago.  Then it was called Brentwood Inn and was a small motel with a coffee shop.  Now it is Brentwood Bay Lodge and Pub with hundreds of waterfront rooms and a dock and marina at water's edge.  That's the four old friends above, Lynnette, Dwight, Kay Lynne and moi.

On Saturday, we visited the Royal Canadian Museum, also in downtown Victoria, known for its exhbits of pre-historic creatures and its re-creation of Victoria streets as they looked about 100 years ago.   Above photo is a reconstruction of one of the dinosaur skeletons.

Saturday morning we spent down at the harbor.  Above pic was taken from a harbor dock looking toward the famous Empress Hotel.  We passed on afternoon tea this time.

We enjoyed absolutely fabulous weather for the entire weekend -- an unusual occurrence in Victoria.  On the way back to the ferry dock in Sydney for the return trip home, we stopped and had lunch at the Rum Runner Pub, a delightful eatery.  Above is the view from the restaurant looking back toward Anacortes and Mt. Baker, which you can make out in the distant mountain range just to the right of center.  You can click on any photo for a larger view of it.  The ferry ride back through the San Juan Islands was the perfect ending to a wonderful weekend.


Ed Wall said...

Looks like a fun trip.

Fun to watch.
If you follow the drive from where the cruise ships dock and go away from downtown you go by some beautiful yacht harbors and multi-million dollar homes.

Were there many float planes taking off and landing?

Roger Koskela said...

We took that exact drive on the way back to Sydney. Sure are some spectacular homes and settings. We thoroughly enjoyed Victoria -- may go back this fall. Lots of float planes flying in & out all the time.