Queen Charlotte Islands (Haida Gwaii), British Columbia, Canada

Queen Charlotte City (seen here in the rain) is a main city (population 4,800) on the south coast of Graham Island, the largest of the 150 islands making up Queen Charlotte Islands (now

Queen Charlotte City (seen here in the rain) is a main city (population 4,800) on the south coast of Graham Island, the largest of the 150 islands making up Queen Charlotte Islands (now officially know as Haida Gwaii), British Columbia, Canada

 

Queen Charlotte Islands, now formally known as Haida Gwaii, is an archipelago off British Columbia’s west coast, in Canada.  Haida Gwaii means “Islands of the People.”  Approximately half of the islands’ population is of the Haida people.  Haida Gwaii consists of two main islands: Graham Island in the north and Moresby Island in the south, along with approximately 150 smaller islands.  Haida Gwaii is considered by archaeologists as an option for a Pacific coastal route taken by the first humans migrating to the Americas from the Bering Strait.  It is unclear how people arrived on Haida Gwaii, but archaeological sites have established human habitation on the islands as far back as 13,000 years ago.  Wildlife-rich Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site include remote islands and temperate rainforest.

 

Our ship at anchor in the harbor of Queen Charlotte City, Graham Island, Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia, Canada

Our ship at anchor in the harbor of Queen Charlotte City, Graham Island, Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia, Canada

 

The de Havilland Beaver floatplane that flew us to Skedans Bay and the long-abandoned native Haida village of K_uuna Llnagaay on Louise Island, Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbi

The de Havilland Beaver floatplane that flew us to Skedans Bay and the long-abandoned native Haida village of K’uuna Llnagaay on Louise Island, Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia, Canada

 

We chartered a de Havilland Beaver floatplane and flew about 30 minutes south of Queen Charlotte City to a long-abandoned Haida village on Louise Island that is part of the Haida Heritage Site.  Once one of the largest native Haida enclaves in the region, K’uuna Llnagaay was built on a peninsula at Skedans Bay, overlooked by a rocky cliff.  We toured the old village with a native Haida guide who lives in a small house on the island and, with her husband, serve as watchmen over the historic site.  Virtually all of the old Haida village houses, massive carved totem poles, memorial poles and mortuary poles (reserved for the remains of chieftans) have slowly eroded, collapsing and returning to the earth from which they came, just as Haida custom intended.  On some of the poles, despite their weathered, moss-covered appearance, evidence of the decorative carving remains visible.

 

Louise Island seen from the beach of K_uuna Llnagaay in Skedans Bay, Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia, Canada

Louise Island seen from the beach of K’uuna Llnagaay in Skedans Bay, Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia, Canada

 

Driftwood logs on the beach of K_uuna Llnagaay in Skedans Bay, Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia, Canada

Driftwood logs on the beach of K’uuna Llnagaay in Skedans Bay, Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia, Canada

 

“The Haida, a North American native culture, settled in the Canadian Queen Charlotte Islands and Alaska area over 8,000 years ago.  The rugged terrain, abundant wildlife, cedar forests and proximity to the sea were elements that enabled the Haida to survive for centuries.  Their continued survival depended on good stewardship of the land and the Haida culture is one of respect for the earth and its inhabitants.  At least 14,000 native people have lived in the 126 known villages in the area.  The numbers dropped dramatically upon the arrival of European settlers until in 1911 only 589 native people lived in Old Masset and Skidegate.

 

The remains of a major Haida chief_s house that was 50 feet (15 meters) long with a 40 foot (12 meters) high roof in K_uuna Llnagaay (Skedans), Queen Charlotte Islands, British Colum

The remains of a major Haida chief’s house that was 50 feet (15 meters) long with a 40 foot (12 meters) high roof in K’uuna Llnagaay (Skedans), Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia, Canada; a totem pole graced the front entrance

 

“Of all peoples of the North West coast the Haida were the best carvers, painters, and canoe and house builders, and they still earn considerable money by selling carved objects of wood and slate to traders and tourists.  Standing in the tribe depended more on the possession of property so that interchange of goods took place and the people became sharp traders.

 

Totem poles near the ruins of the chief_s house at K_uuna Llnagaay (Skedans), Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia, Canada; the foreground totem pole was carved in the Haida chi

Totem poles near the ruins of the chief’s house at K’uuna Llnagaay (Skedans), Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia, Canada; the foreground totem pole was carved in the Haida chief’s honor and the next one was carved when his son became chief

 

“The respect the Haida culture expresses for its surroundings have been represented throughout their history in their expression of art and literature.  Symbolism plays an important part in these displays.  The original Haida family structure divided the members into two groups, the Raven and the Eagle.  These groups were further divided into many clans.  The members of each group proudly displayed symbols and crests representing their membership.  Both symbols are well represented through Haida history.  Perhaps the most visible of the Haida art form is the totem pole.  Carved from giant cedar trees, the totem poles often depicted the animal life around them…

 

Two totem poles now decaying and returning to the earth from which they came, just as Haida custom intended, K_uuna Llnagaay (Skedans), Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia, Canad

Two totem poles now decaying and returning to the earth from which they came, just as Haida custom intended, K’uuna Llnagaay (Skedans), Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia, Canada

 

“Haida society is based in a matrilineal system of descent.  Property, titles, names, crests, masks, performances, and even songs are among the Haidas’ hereditary privileges.  These are passed from one generation to the next, through the mother’s side.  All families are also divided into one of two groups, Eagle and Raven.  Every Haida is either Eagle or Raven, following from the mother.  If one is born Raven, he or she must marry Eagle.

 

A lichen and moss-covered, decayed Wolf Horizontal Memorial with a sketch of what the original carving looked like before it began decaying, K_uuna Llnagaay (Skedans), Queen Charlotte

A lichen and moss-covered, decayed Wolf Horizontal Memorial with a sketch of what the original carving looked like before it began decaying, K’uuna Llnagaay (Skedans), Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia, Canada

 

“Canoes were to the people of this coast what the horse became to the [American] Plains Indians.  They were hollowed out of single logs of cedar, and were sometimes very large.  Houses were built of huge cedar beams and planks which were worked out with adzes and wedges made anciently of stone, and put together at great feasts called by the whites by the jargon word ‘potlatch’.  Each house ordinarily had a single carved pole in the middle of the gable, presented to the beach. Often the end posts in front were also carved and the whole house front painted.” – www.http://discoveringourstory.wisdomoftheelders.org

 

The eagle_s wing is still recognizable on this tilted totem pole – in a number of years it, too, will fall to the ground and further decay, K_uuna Llnagaay (Skedans), Queen Charlot

The eagle’s wing is still recognizable on this tilted totem pole – in a number of years it, too, will fall to the ground and further decay, K’uuna Llnagaay (Skedans), Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia, Canada

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2017 by Richard C. Edwards. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Prince Rupert, British Columbia, Canada

The waterfront harbor at Prince Rupert, the gateway to British Columbia, Canada, just 49 nautical miles south of the Alaska border on the Pacific Ocean

The waterfront harbor and shops in a repurposed fish processing plant at Prince Rupert, the gateway to British Columbia, Canada, just 49 nautical miles south of the Alaska border on the Pacific Ocean

 

Prince Rupert is the gateway to British Columbia, Canada’s untamed north coast.  Prince Rupert is the western terminus of the Trans-Canada highway, with the local section on Kaien Island built during World War II to connect to the mainland for the movement of men and materiel to the coast for fortifications and defense against a feared Japanese invasion (similar to the defensive fortifications work in Alaska, especially in Anchorage and the Aleutian Islands).  Alaska is just 49 nautical miles to the north of Prince Rupert.  Wildlife is plentiful, from majestic eagles and white Kermode or spirit bears to grizzlies and the largest concentration of humpback whales in North America.  Over ten thousand years ago, this region was home to one of the largest settlements north of Mexico — archaeological traces of the indigenous Tsimshian nation abound and some of their descendants still live in the Prince Rupert area.

 

The Mariner_s Statue in the city park by the Cruise Terminal-pier in Prince Rupert, British Columbia, Canada, with our ship at dock

The Mariner’s Statue in the city park by the Cruise Terminal/pier in Prince Rupert, British Columbia, Canada, with our ship at dock

 

The Eagle Bluff B&B (bed and breakfast) is part of the colorful waterfront in Prince Rupert, British Columbia, Canada

The Eagle Bluff B&B (bed and breakfast) is part of the colorful waterfront in Prince Rupert, British Columbia, Canada

 

Cow Bay includes the shops along the waterfront in the first photograph of this blog post, Prince Rupert, British Columbia, Canada; we had a very enjoyable dinner at Opa Sushi and an Ita

Cow Bay includes the shops along the waterfront in the first photograph of this blog post, Prince Rupert, British Columbia, Canada; we had a very enjoyable dinner at Opa Sushi and an Italian-style lunch at Cow Bay Café, both in the neighborhood

 

Also in Cow Bay is Dolly_s seafood restaurant and the company_s large fish processing plant in the back (with the mural of whales on the end of the building), Prince Rupert, British

Also in Cow Bay is Dolly’s seafood restaurant and the company’s large fish processing plant in the back (with the mural of whales on the end of the building), Prince Rupert, British Columbia, Canada

 

We had several good meals in Prince Rupert and enjoyed browsing and shopping in the local stores (with many works of art from local artists).  During the one respite from the incessant fog and rain (sometimes quite heavy) we did a 3.3 mile/5.4 kilometer hike on the Butze Rapids Interpretative Trail, in a park northeast of town on the edge of Kaien Island.  We were very fortunate to have as our guide a local resident, Jared Paolinelli, who founded the non-profit organization that has upgraded the trail and provided maintenance and guides for the past few years.  He did an excellent job of introducing us to many plants and trees and the geology of the lush ecosystem that comprises the Butze Rapids section of the world’s largest temperate rainforest, along with some of the history of the local native Canadians (Tsimshian First Nation) and their culture.

 

The Butze Rapids Interpretative Trail was built in 1992 and traverses a coastal rain forest ecosystem through old growth forest, across bogs, wetlands and swamps carpeted with sphagnum m

The Butze Rapids Interpretative Trail was built in 1992 and traverses a coastal rain forest ecosystem through old growth forest, across bogs, wetlands and swamps carpeted with sphagnum moss and stunted growth pines, Prince Rupert, British Columbia, Canada

 

The Tsimshian tribe of Canadian native peoples mastered the art of peeling long strips of cedar tree bark that they then turned into ropes (pictured) and baskets tight enough to hold wat

The Tsimshian tribe of Canadian native peoples mastered the art of peeling long strips of cedar tree bark that they then turned into ropes (pictured) and baskets tight enough to hold water; Butze Rapids Interpretative Trail, Prince Rupert, British Columbia, Canada

 

Gooseberries on the Butze Rapids Interpretative Trail, Prince Rupert, British Columbia, Canada

Gooseberries on the Butze Rapids Interpretative Trail, Prince Rupert, British Columbia, Canada

 

One of many sections of the Butze Rapids Interpretative Trail, Prince Rupert, British Columbia, Canada, that crossed “muskeg”, a North American swamp or bog consisting of a mixture o

One of many sections of the Butze Rapids Interpretative Trail, Prince Rupert, British Columbia, Canada, that crossed “muskeg”, a North American swamp or bog consisting of a mixture of water and partly dead vegetation, frequently covered by a layer of sphagnum or other mosses

 

A series of seven trees have grown out of a “native log” (a fallen, dead tree) that serves as a root “anchor” in this section of muskeg along the Butze Rapids Interpretative Trai

A series of seven trees have grown out of a “native log” (a fallen, dead tree) that serves as a root “anchor” in this section of muskeg along the Butze Rapids Interpretative Trail, Prince Rupert, British Columbia, Canada

 

Skunk cabbage (typically found in swampy soils) along the Butze Rapids Interpretative Trail, Prince Rupert, British Columbia, Canada; the Tsimshian First Nation people wrapped freshly ca

Skunk cabbage (typically found in swampy soils) along the Butze Rapids Interpretative Trail, Prince Rupert, British Columbia, Canada; the Tsimshian First Nation people wrapped freshly caught salmon in the leaves to cook it

 

The abundance of lichen on trees and fallen logs is very typical in the rain forest on the Butze Rapids Interpretative Trail, Prince Rupert, British Columbia, Canada

The abundance of lichen on trees and fallen logs is very typical in the rain forest on the Butze Rapids Interpretative Trail, Prince Rupert, British Columbia, Canada

 

The Butze Rapids Interpretative Trail, Prince Rupert, British Columbia, Canada, runs along the shore for some distance, coming parallel to the Butze Rapids

The Butze Rapids Interpretative Trail, Prince Rupert, British Columbia, Canada, runs along the shore for some distance, coming parallel to the Butze Rapids

 

Butze (Reversing Tidal) Rapids were named by the local Tsimshian native Canadians in 1907 after Mr. A. Butze who was a purchasing agent for the Grand Trunk Pacfic Railway.  The reversing tidal rapids are a natural feature caused by the ebb and flow of the tide through Fern Passage around Kaien Island.  The phenomenon of the reversing tidal rapids is most dramatic when there are extreme tide ranges and during peak flows between high and low water.  This is one of only two reversing tidal rapids in North America – the other is the Bay of Fundy, Canada.  The island’s name, “Kaien”, comes from Sm’algyax for “foaming waters” caused by the reversing rapids in Fern Passage.  The area is part of the traditional area of the Tsimshian First Nation and is the Tribal Territory of the Gitwilgyoot (People of the Kelp).

 

Kelp accumulating on the rocks along the shore of the Butze Rapids Interpretative Trail, Prince Rupert, British Columbia, Canada, just below the Butze Rapids

Kelp accumulating on the rocks along the shore of the Butze Rapids Interpretative Trail, Prince Rupert, British Columbia, Canada, just below the Butze Rapids

 

Butze (Reversing Tidal) Rapids are a natural feature caused by the ebb and flow of the tide through Fern Passage around Kaien Island, Butze Rapids Interpretative Trail, Prince Rupert, Br

Butze (Reversing Tidal) Rapids are a natural feature caused by the ebb and flow of the tide through Fern Passage around Kaien Island, Butze Rapids Interpretative Trail, Prince Rupert, British Columbia, Canada

 

A colorful wild mushroom, Butze Rapids Interpretative Trail, Prince Rupert, British Columbia, Canada

A colorful wild mushroom, Butze Rapids Interpretative Trail, Prince Rupert, British Columbia, Canada

 

This Pacific Silver Fir tree is estimated to be over 700 years old – seen on the Butze Rapids Interpretative Trail, Prince Rupert, British Columbia, Canada

This Pacific Silver Fir tree is estimated to be over 700 years old – seen on the Butze Rapids Interpretative Trail, Prince Rupert, British Columbia, Canada

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2017 by Richard C. Edwards. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Fjordlands (along the Inside Passage), British Columbia, Canada and Alaska, USA

A lighthouse and camp, Fjordlands, British Columbia, Canada

A lighthouse and camp, Fjordlands, British Columbia, Canada

 

While it had been twenty-five years since we first sailed on a cruise through the Inside Passage along the fjords of British Columbia and into the panhandle of Alaska, it remains a very exciting three-day trip north from Vancouver to Ketchikan (“Alaska’s First City”).  The scenery is very reminiscent of some sections of the coast of Maine, USA, as well as Norway and Chilean Patagonia.  The evergreen forests are magnificent and even in mid-summer there remains snow on the coastal mountaintops.  Whether on the forward top deck on our ship or sitting on our verandah, we easily passed hours watching the scenery change as we zigged and zagged through the fjords, sometimes almost squeezing through narrows (some not even 0.5 miles/0.8 kilometers wide) so close to the shore that you wanted to reach out and touch the shoreline trees.

 

The Inside Passage weaves along thousands of Pacific Coast islands that are heavily forested, with the Coastal Mountains visible to the east, Fjordlands, British Columbia, Canada

The Inside Passage weaves along thousands of Pacific Coast islands that are heavily forested, with the Coastal Mountains visible to the east, Fjordlands, British Columbia, Canada

 

The fir forests are magnificent and even in mid-summer there remains snow on the coastal mountaintops, Fjordlands, British Columbia, Canada

The evergreen forests are magnificent and even in mid-summer there remains snow on the coastal mountaintops, Fjordlands, British Columbia, Canada

 

“The Inside Passage is a coastal route for oceangoing vessels along a network of passages which weave through the islands on the Pacific Coast of North America.  The route extends from southeastern Alaska, in the United States, through western British Columbia, in Canada, to northwestern Washington state, in the United States.  Ships using the route can avoid some of the bad weather in the open ocean and may visit some of the many isolated communities along the route.  The Inside Passage is heavily traveled by cruise ships, freighters, tugs with tows, fishing craft and ships of the Alaska Marine Highway, BC Ferries, and Washington State Ferries systems.” — Wikipedia

 

Some of the islands are quite small, Fjordlands, British Columbia, Canada

Some of the islands are quite small, Fjordlands, British Columbia, Canada

 

Most of the Inside Passage is uninhabited, as there are very few bridges and roads connecting the islands to the mainland, Fjordlands, British Columbia, Canada – thus it was a nice sur

Most of the Inside Passage is uninhabited, as there are very few bridges and roads connecting the islands to the mainland, Fjordlands, British Columbia, Canada – thus it was a nice surprise to come across a small sailboat

 

Sometimes our ship squeezed through narrows (some not even 0.5 miles-0.8 kilometers wide) so close to the shore that we wanted to reach out and touch the shoreline trees, Fjordlands, Bri

Sometimes our ship squeezed through narrows (some not even 0.5 miles/0.8 kilometers wide) so close to the shore that we wanted to reach out and touch the shoreline trees, Fjordlands, British Columbia, Canada

 

A small camp with three totem poles by the left hand structure, Fjordlands, British Columbia, Canada

A small camp with three totem poles by the left hand structure, Fjordlands, British Columbia, Canada

 

This Fjordlands island was nicely backlit as we approached Ketchikan, Alaska, USA

This Fjordlands island was nicely backlit as we approached Ketchikan, Alaska, USA

 

As our local guide explained, there are three ways to be on an island in the Fjordlands- by ship, by seaplane (pictured here) and by birth canal; Ketchikan, Alaska, USA

As our local guide explained, there are three ways to be on an island in the Fjordlands: by ship, by seaplane (pictured here) and by birth canal; Ketchikan, Alaska, USA

 

Some of the coastal islands had good sized hills, seen here in the Fjordlands, approaching Ketchikan, Alaska, USA

Some of the coastal islands had good sized hills, seen here in the Fjordlands, approaching Ketchikan, Alaska, USA

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2017 by Richard C. Edwards. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, Canada

Sailing is very popular in Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, Canada, with a number of marinas around the main port town of Ganges Village (pictured)

Sailing is very popular in Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, Canada, with a number of marinas around the main port town of Ganges Village (pictured)

 

Largest of British Columbia’s Gulf Islands, Salt Spring Island is located between mainland British Columbia (e.g., Vancouver) and Vancouver Island (home of Victoria, Nanaimo, etc.).  We anchored in the bay outside of Ganges Village for a day, before returning to Vancouver to pick up adventurers headed north to the Alaskan Inside Passage and then on to the Alaskan Peninsula and Aleutian Islands.  The Saturday market was quite crowded with hundreds of vendors, mainly island artists and local farmers and a number of stalls selling food, coffee and other edibles.  The island is very popular for a variety of sports, ranging from hiking, biking, and fishing to kayaking and sailing.

 

John Quinn_s handmade vases in natural stone (“Cast in Stone”) are made on the island from both indigineous slate and stones and materials sourced from around the world, Salt Sprin

John Quinn’s handmade vases in natural stone (“Cast in Stone”) are made on the island from both indigineous slate and stones and materials sourced from around the world, Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, Canada

 

A small harbor behind the Saturday market in Ganges Village, Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, Canada

A small harbor behind the Saturday market in Ganges Village, Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, Canada

 

The clouds built up in the early afternoon over Ganges Village creating a striking skyscape, Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, Canada

The clouds built up in the early afternoon over Ganges Village creating a striking skyscape, Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, Canada

 

Our ship was anchored quite a ways from Ganges Village, Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, Canada – in the midst of many small Gulf Islands

Our ship was anchored quite a ways from Ganges Village, Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, Canada – in the midst of many small Gulf Islands

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2017 by Richard C. Edwards. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Gabriola Island, British Columbia, Canada

The Malaspina Galleries are spectacular sandstone spits carved by surf and frost at the western tip of Gabriola Island, British Columbia, Canada, British Columbia, Canada

The Malaspina Galleries are spectacular sandstone spits carved by surf and frost at the western tip of Gabriola Island, British Columbia, Canada, British Columbia, Canada

 

On our second day docked in Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada, we took a BC ferry for a 20-minute ride across the bay to Gabriola Island, British Columbia, Canada.  Gabriola Island is one of the Gulf Islands in the Strait of Georgia with a full time resident population of slightly more than 4,000.  Upon our arrival, we caught the local shuttle bus and headed west to a wooded trail to the beautiful coastal rock formations known as the Malaspina Galleries – spectacular sandstone spits carved by surf and frost; the formations were named after the 18th-century Spanish explorer Alejandro Malaspina.  We then walked uphill to the nearby town of Gabriola where we explored local artisan wares at several galleries and had lunch at the locals’ favorite “diner”, Robert’s Place.  The island is home to numerous artists and there are several art fairs each year including a studio tour across the island in October.

 

A small pool of sea water provided a nice reflection in the carved sandstone of the Malaspina Galleries, Gabriola Island, British Columbia, Canada, British Columbia, Canada

A small pool of sea water provided a nice reflection in the carved sandstone of the Malaspina Galleries, Gabriola Island, British Columbia, Canada, British Columbia, Canada

 

A small patch of wild grass was blowing in the ocean winds on the Malaspina Galleries with an ocean front home visible in the distance, Gabriola Island, British Columbia, Canada, British

A small patch of wild grass was blowing in the ocean winds on the Malaspina Galleries with an ocean front home visible in the distance, Gabriola Island, British Columbia, Canada, British Columbia, Canada

 

Many of the ocean front homes on Malaspina Drive near the Malaspina Galleries (typically occupied year round) were quite attractive, Gabriola Island, British Columbia, Canada, British Co

Many of the ocean front homes on Malaspina Drive near the Malaspina Galleries (typically occupied year round) were quite attractive, Gabriola Island, British Columbia, Canada, British Columbia, Canada

 

Gabriola Island, British Columbia, Canada, British Columbia, Canada, is heavily forested; this inlet was near the ferry terminal

Gabriola Island, British Columbia, Canada, British Columbia, Canada, is heavily forested; this inlet was near the ferry terminal

 

A view towards the ferry terminal on Gabriola Island, British Columbia, Canada, British Columbia, Canada

A view towards the ferry terminal on Gabriola Island, British Columbia, Canada, British Columbia, Canada

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2017 by Richard C. Edwards. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Panorama of Nanaimo Harbor, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Panorama of Nanaimo Harbour, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

 

Nanaimo, just across the Strait of Georgia from Vancouver, is British Columbia’s third-oldest settlement.  While the larger city of Victoria, on the southern tip of Vancouver Island may be more familiar, Nanaimo has a charm all its own.  Strolling along the waterfront, visitors find small shops and floating restaurants that have taken the place of rundown piers.  Victoria Crescent and Commercial Street are lined with old storefronts and bars — if not for the occasional car, walkers might believe they have stepped back in time to the early 1900s.  Nanaimo boasts a vibrant art and music scene and, like all of British Columbia, there is no shortage of outdoor recreation.

 

Boats tied up at Nanaimo Harbour, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Boats tied up at Nanaimo Harbour, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

 

A typical street with shops in the Old Quarter of Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

A typical street lined with shops in the Old Quarter of Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

 

A marijuana dispensary in Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada; citizens of BC can have up to 150 grams of dried marijuana for medical purposes if they get a document (lik

A marijuana dispensary in Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada; citizens of BC can have up to 150 grams of dried marijuana for medical purposes if they get a document (like a prescription) from a doctor

 

The late Victorian style St. Andrews United Church was built in 1893 (designed by American architect6 Warren H. Hayes), Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

The late Victorian style St. Andrews United Church was built in 1893 (designed by American architect Warren H. Hayes), Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada; the tall bell tower and steep roof make the church a prominent landmark on Nanaimo’s skyline

 

Nanaimo, like Victoria, has many beautiful hanging baskets full of colorful flowers along the city_s shopping streets, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Nanaimo, like Victoria, has many beautiful hanging baskets full of colorful flowers along the city’s shopping streets, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

 

We had a nice lunch with friends at Asteras Greek Taverna, a restaurant that has garnered several “Best of City” awards in Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

We had a nice lunch with friends at Asteras Greek Taverna, a restaurant that has garnered several “Best of City” awards in Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

 

“The Nanaimo bar is a dessert item of Canadian origin.  It is a bar dessert which requires no baking and is named after the city of Nanaimo, British Columbia on Vancouver Island.  It consists of a wafer crumb-based layer topped by a layer of custard flavoured butter icing which is covered with melted chocolate made from chocolate squares.  Many varieties exist, consisting of different types of crumb, different flavours of icing (e.g., mint, peanut butter, coconut, mocha), and different types of chocolate.” — Wikipedia

 

The Nanaimo bar is a dessert item of Canadian origin -- a bar dessert which requires no baking and is named after the city of Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

The Nanaimo bar is a dessert item of Canadian origin — a bar dessert which requires no baking and is named after the city of Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

 

The story behind Salish Spirit by Noel Brown of the Snuneymuxw First Nation:  “Long ago there were no divisions between humans, animals and spirits.  All things of the earth, sky and water were connected and all beings could pass freely between them.  The salmon people, the kindest of them all, would pass through our village each season and leave their bodies behind to feed the humans, birds and animal people.  They then would return to the oceans without their bodies and when they reached their homes their forms would look just like human beings, and their homes would look like the villages of our people.  We change forms to help one another.  To honour and respect this cycle we always return the bones and body parts back to the sea, to respect these salmon people.  We respect these swimming people because of their kindness, determination and courage.  They also bring the healing powers to the villages.  Eagles are a source of spiritual power and wisdom that bring help, peace of mind and heart to communities.  Long ago, elders sighted eagles soaring over the harbor and Jack’s Point.  This was a sign, telling the people of the village that salmon were coming to feed the people.  In our times of need, eagles would come forward to tell us to prepare for the coming of the salmon people.  It is extraordinary that these same eagles flew over and looked onto the ground-breaking of the cruise ship terminal, during the blessing by former Chief Viola Wyse in October 2008.  Together, eagles and salmon symbolize that we all are connected and dependent on one another.  If we come together, like the eagle and salmon, we too will have a deeper understanding that will help us build strong, healthy and prosperous futures.”

 

Salish Spirit by Noel Brown of the Snuneymuxw First Nation, displayed at the Nanaimo Cruise Terminal, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Salish Spirit by Noel Brown of the Snuneymuxw First Nation, displayed at the Nanaimo Cruise Terminal, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2017 by Richard C. Edwards. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Stanley Park, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Stanley Park is one of the city's main tourist destinations, attracting approximately 8 million visitors each year, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Stanley Park is one of the city’s main tourist destinations, attracting approximately 8 million visitors each year, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; this panorama of some of downtown’s residential high rises was photographed from the Seawall east of the Vancouver Rowing Club on Coal Harbour

 

“Ideally situated on a peninsula at the northwestern edge of downtown Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, Stanley Park is one of the city’s main tourist destinations, attracting approximately 8 million visitors each year.  Featuring lovely beaches, miles of well-maintained paved and dirt trails, Canada’s largest aquarium and an array of can’t-miss kid-friendly spots (including a pool, water park, miniature railway and more), this 400-hectare (1,000-acre) haven is recognized as one of the greatest urban parks in the world.   As Vancouver’s first park, with its ever-blooming gardens, pristine coastal areas and roughly 500,000 cedar, fir and hemlock trees, Stanley Park has continued to live up to its “greenspace” designation for almost 130 years.  For these reasons and more, this tranquil oasis is the perfect city escape.” – http://www.tourismvancouver.com

 

Sailboats and yachts in the marina at Coal Harbour east of the Vancouver Rowing Club, Stanley Park, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Sailboats and yachts in the marina at Coal Harbour east of the Vancouver Rowing Club, Stanley Park, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

 

The nine totem poles at Brockton Point are BC's most visited tourist attraction, Stanley Park, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

The nine totem poles at Brockton Point are BC’s most visited tourist attraction, Stanley Park, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

 

A seaplane is visible flying toward North Vancouver from our vantage point on the Seawall walk on the east side of Stanley Park, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

A seaplane is visible flying toward North Vancouver from our vantage point on the Seawall walk on the east side of Stanley Park, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

 

“Stanley Park is consistently ranked number 1 in the world!  And the spectacular 9 kilometer (5.6 miles) Seawall – the city’s most popular recreation spot – is a huge part of that: stunning views of downtown’s skyline, Lions Gate Bridge, English Bay, sandy beaches and lush, old-growth forest.  Paved and mainly flat, the Seawall is divided for your safety: one side for pedestrians, the other for cyclists/roller bladers.” – Official Map + Guide to Vancouver’s Stanley Park

 

The Lions Gate Bridge with West Vancouver visible in the background, viewed from the Seawall walk on the middle of the east side of Stanley Park, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

The Lions Gate Bridge with West Vancouver visible in the background, viewed from the Seawall walk on the middle of the east side of Stanley Park, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

 

Colorful mudflats at low tide visible from the Seawall walk along Stanley Park, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Colorful mudflats at low tide visible from the Seawall walk along Stanley Park, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

 

The industrial area on the north shore of English Bay between North Vancouver and West Vancouver is slated for redevelopment in the coming decades (to become residential), seen from the

The industrial area on the north shore of English Bay between North Vancouver and West Vancouver is slated for redevelopment in the coming decades (to become residential), seen from the Seawall walk along Stanley Park, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; the yellow material is sulfur destined for export

 

The Lions Gate Bridge viewed from the Seawall walk along Stanley Park, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

The Lions Gate Bridge viewed from the Seawall walk along Stanley Park, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

 

Everyone reaching Prospect Point at the northern tip of Stanley Park, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, is surprised to find the tree growing out of the top of the rock column

Everyone reaching Prospect Point at the northern tip of Stanley Park, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, is surprised to find the tree growing out of the top of the rock column

 

We had an excellent luncheon of local seafood at the Teahouse (Restaurant), Stanley Park, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, that was originally built as a garrison and officer_s mes

We had an excellent luncheon of local seafood at the Teahouse (Restaurant), Stanley Park, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, that was originally built as a garrison and officer’s mess during the Second World War when Ferguson Point was a military installation

 

The ducks in Lost Lagoon in Stanley Park, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, were oblivious to the many visitors hiking along the North Lagoon Trail through the park

The ducks in Lost Lagoon in Stanley Park, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, were oblivious to the many visitors hiking along the North Lagoon Trail through the park

 

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