Sunday the 9th was my and Dara’s day of downtime in Victoria, to give ourselves a bit of breathing space between the Saturday night symphony show and the trip northward to Cumberland. We spent the day on some exploration down to the Mile 0 marker and then along the rocks along the beach, and the evening went to giving Dara a chance to make some music of her own!
But before that happened, while Dara stayed at the room and practiced, I went out on a quest to find soy-based yogurt. Which is easier said than done right now, and I wound up going on quite the hike through downtown Victoria–hitting multiple markets, and eventually wandering several blocks south of our hotel. And given that I was trying to use Google Maps as a reference point without actually using any Internet, this was, shall we say, challenging.
I learned for my troubles that somewhere in the area there had to be a Safeway, since another walker passed me pushing a Safeway cart. I didn’t find that Safeway. And by the time I ducked into market #3, dubious about my chances, Dara finally texted me to ask if I wanted to go look at the Mile 0 marker with her. I said yes, came back to the hotel to meet up with her, and promptly went with her back over many of the same blocks I’d just walked as we headed down through Beacon Hill Park.
Which, it must be said, was quite lovely. There was a great big pond ringed by some flower-strewn slopes, and there was a grove of cherry trees along one stretch of the road we were following, too. There was even a guy out playing his bagpipes.
(Pictures and the rest of the day behind the fold!)
Partway through the park we found a statue of a guy named Terry Fox, and we stopped to look at that, since it seemed like an important statue to note. Turns out he was a cancer patient who’d overcome having his leg amputated to run across Canada, raising money for cancer research. Definitely an important statue to note.
Then we found Mile 0, which is the monument marker for the Trans-Canada highway! We weren’t the only tourists stopping to take pics, either.
Now, that’d been the main reason for our walk. But from there we realized that hey there’s a great big body of water over there, and there’s probably a beach, and we should probably explore it. So we did. Turned out there was quite the impressive stretch of rocky beach to clamber over, too. Lots of interesting variations of rocks shaped by geologic forces, lots of lovely vistas of gray and silver sky and sea. It was rather more rock-climbing than I’d originally planned for, and I was less nimble on the rocks than Dara–but I didn’t fall, and I didn’t slip, and we eventually called a halt before I got too tired and cranky from overexertion. Overall, it was a grand excursion. Both of us, however, were very confused by the Voltron grafitti we saw!
Also, we couldn’t stop singing the “Rocks” song from the fan-produced MST3K episode that riffed all over Star Trek 5. Which, if you’ve actually seen that, is hilarious and will explain immediately to you why we kept singing, “Rocks rocks rocks! My love affair with rocks! Society won’t understand and here comes Mr. Spock!”
More seriously, though, I also thought at the time that whoever the Warder of Victoria is, they have a hell of a beach serving as the boundary of their territory. And they probably get a lot of raw power from the congruence of sea and sky and stone there.
On the way back, going back through the cherry trees, I managed to follow Dara’s example pretty well for once and got me a couple close-up shots of cherry blossoms.
After that we went back to the hotel, to let Dara get her bouzouki so we could head over to the open stage event she wanted to go to. I waited for her in the lobby–at which point, to my surprise, I found fellow Le Vent du Nord fan Ginny was there, apparently to ask about the band, and pursuing rumors of dinner invitations! We exchanged greetings, and Ginny breezed off again, deciding she’d just text to make her arrangements.
At which point, in category “I am NOT STALKING THIS BAND, honest to God, I swear”, I then spotted Olivier Demers. Who’d just come out of the hotel lounge, apparently looking for Ginny! I hailed Olo, told him he’d just missed Ginny, and said something chirpy about having spent the afternoon climbing over rocks at the beach. Then I let the man get back to his drink, ’cause again, honest I swear, not trying to stalk this band here!
I did, however, immediately text Dara amusedly about discovering that the Le Vent boys were staying in our hotel. Because LOL.
Off then to dinner (at the noodle place near our hotel, on the grounds of I needed something soy-based in my system and they had tofu), and from there, we hoofed it quite a few blocks north to a place called Norway House, where the Victoria Folk Music Society has weekly open stage events.
This turned out to be rather folksier than we’d anticipated, but that was okay. They were happy to get Dara get up and play and sing, and Dara even got every in the room singing along with her on her version of “High Barbary”. AND on Paul and Storm’s “Ten-Fingered Johnny”. That’s my girl. <3
We left earlier than we might otherwise have done if we didn’t have to walk all the way back to the hotel–and get ready to leave in the morning. But it was a great closer to the day, and we had a relaxed walk all the way back to the Chateau Victoria.
Next post, we go to Cumberland!