Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Visit to Vancouver Island

This week, my wife and I are going on an anniversary vacation to Seattle, Washington and Vancouver Island, Canada. We cannot wait to see all the great sites and just spend some time away from the rat race.

I went to Vancouver Island a few years ago to visit a good buddy and never got around to posting the photos. It's true that I've been busy, but this was just ridiculous. So, without further ado, here is my 2008 Canadian trip... I hope I can remember the details...

The trip started out early before sunrise in Atlanta, Georgia. I was halfway across the country when the sun came up in one of the most spectacular skies I have ever witnessed. The color is not enhanced and it reminds me of a 1960s abstract painting of just pure color.

We were flying way about the clouds and I wanted to fly through them... They looked so soft and bouncy.

I had breakfast at a layover in Denver... These bottles caught my eye because they were lit up like little jewels. I just realized that they were not full...

My layover airport's tram has a glass wall that allows you to watch the trains come right at you.

They also had an arcade, which reminded me of blowing stacks of quarters in the days before XBox and PlayStations. It was time to get going again... Next destination: Vancouver.

After landing in Vancouver, I took a bus to a seaport where a small seaplane was waiting to take me to Vancouver Island shown above. The birds seemed to all be on the same wavelength.

Below is a landing seaplane against a large cruise liner. The scale of the ship is hard to believe.

This trip took 2 cars, 2 trains, 1 bus, 2 jets, and 1 sea plane just to get to my friend's house.

When I landed in Naimo, I had some time to kill before my friend could pick me up. There was lots to see. The town is on a beautiful bay surrounded by mountains.

I talked to some of the local native artists who would sit outside carving sculptures for tourists.

I started walking and shooting whatever caught my eye.

I believe this was an old bank or courthouse.

The window below belongs to a church.

The homes were stacked on each other and had unique features.

The color of some of the trees was brilliant enough to light the inside of a parking deck with lime green light!

Even the ivey was colorful...

From the top of a hill, I could see the most of the city.

Naimo is a mixture of old and new. Some buildings are brand new and some have a bit more "character".

Speaking of characters, I ran into a few of them on the street. Could the man below be a modern day prophet? He has a halo above him...

This other fellow was walking his cat... something that I do not think works very well.

At least everyone I met was friendly. Even passing by, people would greet you.

There are plenty of high rise buildings in Naimo too.

 That means the window washer man should have year long business.

Finally  my buddy, Ken, picked me up and we went to his house in Duncan.

Duncan has totems lining the streets. Some of these were quite old.

I am a huge fan of Native America carvings. It was a real treat to see these master works.

I could not resist taking pictures of the neighbor's garden... especially the enormous sunflowers.

Ken gave me an fantastic tour of the local mountains, harbors and rain forests. I don't have photos of the rain forest because I was mountain biking down steep slopes and praying that I did not impale myself on the broken stumps pointing straight at me. I think a mountain goat would have been more at home there.

The climate was surprisingly mild for being that far north. Most of the structures have a beautiful patina.

Eventually I ended up back at Naimo waiting for the seaplane flight back to the mainland.

I spent my last hour on the island people watching... in this case people watching themselves.

I called "shotgun" on the plane ride back and was treated to an otherworldly skyscape. What planet was I on? It did not matter because soon, I was back in an American airport surrounded by obese, loud talking people eating junk food and watching football. Welcome home to the good 'ole USA!