Vancouver & Victoria, BC
a quick trip

We made a quick trip to Vancouver, BC and then over to Victoria in mid August, 2002.  On the way we stopped by the historical museum in Bellingham.  The primary focus of the trip was to be the final weekend of the Celebration of Light fireworks competition on English Bay.  This turned out to be a horrible and nearly disasterous experience.  Way too many people and not enough space.  The news reports of the next day indicated in excess of 350,000 people jammed a two mile section of beach with 40 or more arrests.  The crush of the crowd following the event was just a little more than I was prepared for.  It was an experience I'll not repeat.  We did manage to squeeze in a trip in a water taxi with a nice view of the city.  A quick trip to the Stanley Park Aquarium allowed us to be among the first visitors to see the new baby beluga whale .  As of this writing, the baby still did not have a name.  Check the aquarium web site for more details.  Vancouver, famous for its electric busses, also has, as a result of those electric busses, one of the most cluttered streetside images I can think of.  I think we need to come up with a plan that embraces both ecology and aesthetics.

Sunday morning we went over to Victoria on the ferry after waiting in line for what seemed like forever. (Actually, we had reservations and only waited a half hour.)  You need those funny red and blue glasses to get the full impact of this 3d image.  Victoria is most famous for its inner harbor bordered by Parliament and the Empress Hotel.  We'll get to that soon enough.  At sunset from our 16th floor hotel balcony I took a picture of a highrise apartment building and a couple of church steeples that I thought were rather  picturesque.  These were at quite some distance and I took them with a 500mm telephoto lens.  Evening along the waterfront is spectacular as the water reflects the lights of the city.  Here, the Empress Hotel on the left frames the mast of a private yacht moored for the night.  Because of its orientation, the only opportunity to take a picture of the Parliament Buildings illuminated from the front is to get up rather early in the morning.  It's worth the effort!    There were almost no people anywhere to get in the way of my picture taking, either!   .  We also visited Buchart Gardens, the Butterfly Gardens, and the Centre of the Universe.  

We left Victoria early in the morning and stopped by Hurricane Ridge National Park on our way home.    The really spectacular wildflower display is much earlier in the season, but there were a few flowers still out.