CANADA 2019

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Photos © Ruud Leeuw

Not the first time I travelled these parts of Canada, British Colombia and Alberta, but pleasant memories of (a.o.) 2007 and 2010 made me return.
It would again be a mix of planes and other interests, but quite a bit did not work out this time.
The weather was a handicap most days, by far more rainy days than sunny days or even dry spells, but we have to take that as it comes.
Starting date was Sep.25th, with daylight fading in Vancouver upon landing at YVR. We crossed the Rocky Mountains to attend a rodeo and meet up with some people at various locations in Alberta.
We circled back along scenic routes for a visit to Vancouver Island, which was included in the planning (a.o.) for a Bear Tour - but while we visited VI the tour did not come to pass.
The 18-day trip ended, after a few days in the Vancouver area, with a flight out of Vancouver-YVR on Oct. 12th.
I hope you'll enjoy my report.

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Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
Bald Eagle viewed from the birdwatching platform at 2500 Comox Road.

Many times we were told there were 'tons of bald eagles' in certain locations, but not during our stay. It was
actually rather frustrating when people spoke out with 100% certainty and when we got there: nothing, zip, nada, niente!
Twice I visited the birdwatching platform on 2500 Comox Road. The 2nd time there was this lonesome bald eagle. The fact that something negative was the matter with the salmon run, it made bears and bald eagles go hungry, an item that featured several times on tv-news. Probably also because tourism was effected.

So the wildlife aspect of this trip did not much work out for me: no bisons, only 1 bear scurrying up the embankment beside the road (too fast for me to snap a picture), a meagre 2 bald eagles (saw another one flying, but it quickly went out of sight) and no salmon to speak of. Maybe next time. (Note to myself: I should not raise my expectations by the posts on Facebook!)

On to Rosewall Creek. Driving south we'd cross these rails a number of times. Nice autumn colours.

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
From Wikipedia: 'The park features a mixture of coniferous trees interspersed with striking broad leaf maple trees.
One of the best times to visit this park is in the fall when the color of the maple leaves makes an attractive
backdrop for photographers'.

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta


Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
In Duncan we stayed in a Best Western motel, out of town but fortunately there was a restaurant next door, entrance
through the lobby and good for dinner as well as breakfast. During this trip we also stayed at a Howard Johnson, Econo Lodge, Ramada, Days Inn, Comfort Inn, Quality Inn, Listel Hotel, Walking Eagle Lodge and a privat B&B.

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
Fantastic art on the walls of this Best Western.

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
In the morning we looked outside and tried to make a plan for what looked like a predominantly rainy day.
We took our time for a sturdy breakfast, hoping the rain would stop. Hardly.

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
We left the motel much later than we normally do and we arrived at the Raptor Centre around 10:45am. But after
I took this photo of the Kookaburra we were told it was an hour later before they would open: 12:00.
We took a raincheck (pun intended).

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
Frontier humor.

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
Duncan was visited for the Totem Poles. It is nicknamed 'Totem Pole City'.
The Cowichan Valley Museum, on the right here, was closed (since Oct.1st limited opening times).

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
An alley opposite the museum is lined with historic photos and information. Don't miss it!

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
A gathering of Totem Poles next to the Cowichan Valley Museum.
On the other side of the railway tracks is a nice bookshop ('Ten Old Books') and a popular Coffee & Bakery shop.

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
Station Street has a good selection of Totem Poles lining the street.

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
A small park with a fantastic mural is on the corner of Station Street and Craig Street.

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta

Duncan's Chinatown:
In the morning we looked outside and tried to make a plan

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
This alley near the junction of Station St. and Government Street has the history of Duncan's Chinatown.

 

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
Rain was predominant on this trip and we'd 'enjoyed' snow and hail earlier, but the coastal fog here was new to us.

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
Something that did work out for me this trip were the seaplanes. That report is HERE..

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
View from the Spitfire Grill, overlooking Victoria Int'l Airport

 

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
Day 14. The crossing from Swartz Bay to Tsawwassen was a sunny one, albeit with a cold wind blowing.

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta

 

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
We stayed in Vancouver three nights, our motel was in North Vancouver for the prices in Vancouver are horrific.
Our first item on my program was the Polygon Gallery ('Without a Word'), which had an excellent exhibition (photos
included those of W. Eugene Smith, Berenice Abbott, Robert Doisneau, Walker Evans, Phillip Jones Griffith, Marc
Ribaud and many others), but their bookshop was closed due lack of staff. Pity.

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
Next we explored the area: the Shipyards and Burrard Dry Dock Pier.

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
The weather was sunny, day 15 and our 3rd day of sun (but still fairly cold, temperature around 6 Celsius).

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
On the pier preparations were in progress for filming, shooting for 'DC's Legends of Tomorrow'.
I also recommend a visit to nearby Booklovers Used Books in Lower Lonsdale; carpark around back.

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta


Vancouver, BC
Even for non-aviation enthusiasts this is a nice place to watch seaplanes arrive and depart.
Park at Burrard Landing, at the Vancouver Convention Centre West.

Vancouver, BC
The Pannekoeken House is one of the restaurants at this seaplane base. Enjoy lunch and watch the planes!


STANLEY PARK

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
Stanley Park has an excellent collection of Totem Poles. On previous visits to Vancouver I did not find
the time to explore this park and this time we only walked the part along the Seawall Path to the Totem Poles and circled
back to Vancouver Aquarium. Next time I think we'll look for bicycles to rent and explore a larger part of Stanley Park.

en.wikipedia.org:_Stanley_Park
en.wikipedia.org:_List_of_attractions_and_monuments_in_Stanley_Park

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
Totem poles at Brockton Point. This is the most visited tourist attraction in British Columbia!
Many of the original poles were moved to museums in order to preserve them. Several replicas were commissioned
or loaned to the park board between 1986 and 1992.

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
There are various Totem Pole variations: tall, short, frontal, greet figure, house board and mortuary.

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta

The First Peoples of the Pacific Coast recorded their history and preserved their legends and stories on spectacularly carved totem poles. There was no religious aspect here, but missionaries misunderstood and convinced the First Peoples that they had to get rid off those totem poles or otherwise could not join Christianity.
Those missionaries got a lot to answer for!

Ethnographers commonly accept totemism as a type of social organization that defines lines of kinship for posterity.
Under totemic rules, there are definitions about whom one may or may not marry, based on who has or who has not the right to claim association with certain totem figures.
A totem animal or supernatural figure is variously regarded as the bloodline parent of the group.

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
Mortuary Poles (far right) can be recognised by the large panel on top, which is said to have fronted a
three-dimensional box, said to have contained the bleached remains of a high-ranking person.

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
The Totem Poles also served as a housepost indoors to support the huge roof beams.

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta

During 1970 and 1940 there were several isolated preservation efforts. Between 1945 - 1965 a revival
of 'the old ways' became evident and artists such as Charley James (1867-1938) and Ellen Neel (1916-1966)
found recognition for their work as artists as well as the cultural importance of their work.

Totem Poles appear painted, natural or with feathering technique (had to distinguish from a distance).
One can discern figures for story telling purposes (e.g. a heroic event) or for heraldic purposes (e.g. a crest).
Totem figures include: Bear-Mother (story), Bear, Beaver, Birds, Thunderbird, Raven, Frog, Dzunkwa ('Cannibal Woman' a.k.a. Dzunuḵ̓wa, Tsonoqua, Tsonokwa, Basket Ogress; a figure in Kwakwaka'wakw mythology and Nuu-chah-nulth mythology), Mountain Goat, Human, Salmon, Whales, Sun and Moon and Wolf.
There are distinct tribal styles, e.g.: Haida, Coast Salish, Nuxälk, Kwakiut and Tsimshian.
In 1909 anthropologist John Reed Swanton identified and catalogued 62 Haida heraldic crests.
In 1916 Franz Boas, a collector and ethnogrpaher, reported on 99 different Tsimshian heraldic crests.
Plenty variety!
I found the concise booklet 'Totem Poles' by Pat Kramer very informative and useful for some basic understanding.

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
A magnificent collection, worthy tribute to coastal cultures

 

VANCOUVER AQUARIUM

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
Fantastic sculpture at the entrance and I thought this Stellar sea lion also looked like a sculpture.

The Vancouver Public Aquarium Association was formed in 1950 by UBC fisheries and oceanography professors Murray Newman, Carl Lietze and Wilbert Clemens. After receiving the help of timber baron H.R. MacMillan, alderman and businessman George Cunningham and $100,000 from each of the three levels of government. (City of Vancouver, Province of British Columbia, Federal Government of Canada), it opened on June 15, 1956

In addition to being a major tourist attraction for Vancouver, the aquarium is a centre for marine research, conservation and marine animal rehabilitation.
The Vancouver Aquarium was one of the first facilities to incorporate professional naturalists into the galleries to interpret animal behaviours. [Wikipedia]


Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
Excellent catchers of their reward after each demontration. Very informative and respectful speech.

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
Beautific!

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
vanaqua.org

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
Can't remember where I saw these, was there a butterfly house?

 

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
Maersk Transporter: 'The Ocean Cleanup'.
Viewed from Stanley Park, passing under Lions Gate Bridge, heading out to sea.
The Ocean Cleanup is a non-government engineering environmental organization based in the Netherlands.
It that develops technology to extract plastic pollution from the oceans. After a couple of years of various tests
they deployed their first full scale prototype. It ran into difficulty after two months and was towed to Hawaii for inspection and repair. In June 2019, their second prototype system was deployed. [Wikipedia]

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
Took this photo while waiting for a traffic light, shortly after exiting Stanley Park on the south side.
Not sure where this was exactly, but the statues ring a bell I can't place. The artist? EMAIL

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
The 2nd day in Vancouver saw a visit to Chinatown.

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
First a visit to Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Park

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
Entry is free to the Sun Yat-Sen Park, but there is an admission fee to enter the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical
Chinese Garden and for the above on display you'll have to buy a ticket...

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
Right in the middle of Western culture and architecture is this Chinese treasure.
It reminded me of the gardens we've visited in Suzhou, China many years ago.

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
A walkabout in Chinatown, a rather stark neighbourhood.

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
Days running up to the 2019 Canadian federal election (formally the 43rd Canadian general election), which
was held on October 21st, 2019. The Liberal Party, led by incumbent Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, won
157 seats to form a minority government and lost the majority they had won in the 2015 election.

 

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
What better to visit on a sunny day than a botanical garden: the VanDusen Botanical Garden.

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta

The Botanical Garden opened to the public on August 30th, 1975 and remains jointly managed by the Vancouver Park Board and the Vancouver Botanical Gardens Association (VBGA), similar to the operation of nearby Bloedel Conservatory.
The Garden covers 22 hectares (55 acres). In addition to displays of plants from all over the world, there is an extensive collection of native British Columbia (Northwest Coast) plants. VanDusen's volunteers have a 45-year history in the garden. [Wikipedia]

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta

Since VanDusen Botanical Garden opened to the public in 1975, the Vancouver Botanical Gardens Association (VBGA) has offered educational programs and tours to connect people to plants. Our Mission is to inspire understanding of the vital importance of plants to all life through the excellence of our botanical collections, programs and practices.
Each year, the VBGA delivers over 150 education and outreach programs to thousands of participants at VanDusen Garden and Bloedel Conservatory. [www.vandusengarden.org]

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
Gitksan Totem Pole

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
I was advised this is a Belted kingfisher. I was very pleased to catch this bird, overlooking a pond, on camera.

 

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
A late afternoon visit and hike in Lighthouse Park, among old-growth trees.

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta

 

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
The day before our flight home was, in terms of weather, probably the best! Sunny and warm, look at those colours!

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
A walk along Fraser River, logs parked for further travel. Mt. Baker in the distance.

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
After Mount Rainier, Mount Baker is the most heavily glaciated of the Cascade Range volcanoes.

 

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
Someone went over the top, preparing for Halloween!

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta

 

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta

- + -

We talked about travelling by Motor Home, but than we'd be giving up on this:
Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta

THE END

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