In September 2010 Ada and I made a trip of two weeks in the Greater Vancouver area and on Vancouver Island. We gratefully accepted the hospitality of Don McDonald and Dirk Septer, which added a dimension to this trip.
We visited various cultural- and touristic sites; the aviation part of this trip is documented elsewhere on this website. Other ingredients were rest and bookreading (we actually bought more than we read).


Vancouver 2010
We found pleasant accommodation in 'The Comfort Inn & Suites' on Capilano Road, North Vancouver.

Cultus Lake
I love the easy convenience of cars and motels in North America.
We found snacks across the road at the Shell gasstation and food at a Denny's restaurant around the corner.

Vancouver 2010

The motel offered a free breakfast to their guests and it is a good way to stay away from a 'full restaurant breakfast', which would allow for an intake of many more calories.
Having said that, areas such as these, in motels, may be cramped when too many guests show up at the same time and for this reason we diverted to Denny's occasionally.


Shopping Mall
We broke out our shopping lists and headed for the Park Royal Mall nearby. We bought a discounted Garmin GPS to facilitate our driving.

Like what you see?
Click these images to allow for a larger photo.

Been buying books!!!
We bought a shitload of books at the IndiGo/Chapters store.
And some sunglasses (I am sure we will loose these too).
Chilled with 'Large Latte' in the adjacent coffeeshop.
Life is sweet...


Driving Vancouver going downtown


Vancouver's Museum of Anthropoly (MoA) was on top of my list; we'd been here in 1999 too and that visit left a tremendous impression on me.

MoA - Museum of Anthropology - Vancouver
Totem pole galore...

On the Ramp large scale sculptures from the Northwest Coast are grouped by general culture area. Works from Coast Salish communities - including Musqueam, Saanich, Tsartlip - are located on both sides at the top of the Ramp and ends in in the adjacent Great Hall, in this bright, spacious area. Be impressed!

MoA - Museum of Anthropology - Vancouver
Back home the political choice of the public mainstream is to severely cut subsidies of museums. While large museums may be able to attract sponsorships, small or privat ones will disappear. It occurred to me that all that remains of a civilization in the end are the art and other cultural expressions produced and saved. The odd pyramid and foundations such a Machu Pucchu excepted, and I don't think we are building to that quality either at the moment.
So why treat a visit to a museum, an interest in history, anthropology, etc as some sort of leftist hobby?

MoA - Museum of Anthropology - Vancouver
The MoA is a place of extraordinary beauty for its collected art and preserved culture. Fruits of continued research appear on display as well as exhibitions of all shapes and forms.
It is like with an excellent restaurant, one has to return many times to be able to
taste and appreciate the full menu. Take it slow.

MoA - Museum of Anthropology - Vancouver


MoA - Museum of Anthropoly Vancouver
MoA - Museum of Anthropology, Vancouver

MoA- Museum of Anthropology, Vancouver

MoA - Museum of Anthropology, Vancouver

Haida artist Bill Reid's acclaimed sculpture, The Raven and the First Men, is displayed in this gallery, alongside four exhibit cases featuring a selection of Reid's smaller masterworks in gold, silver, argillite, and wood. With the assistance of several other artists, Reid created his massive sculpture out of a giant block of laminated yellow cedar. Depicted is a moment in the ancestral past of the Haida people when Raven, a wise and powerful yet mischievous trickster, has just found the first humans in a clam shell on the beach, and is coaxing them out of it.
The Raven and the First Men was commissioned by Walter and Marianne Koerner, and unveiled by HRH the Prince of Wales in 1980. Members of the Haida Nation were also present to celebrate the work, bringing the sand at the base of the sculpture from the beach where Raven is said to have made his discovery.
During his lifetime (1920-1998), Reid drew much from the traditions of his predecessors, including Charles Edenshaw (ca. 1839-1920), becoming internationally renowned for his extraordinary imagination and technical skill. He continues to inspire new generations of Northwest Coast artists - including Robert Davidson and Jim Hart - who are now masters in their own right.






Cultus Lake, B.C.
We had been invited by Don McDonald to visit him and since it was Labor Day weekend, we were invited to join him and his friends at his house on Cultus Lake. The weather turned quickly from blue skies and sunny to overcast and rain, but we sat back with our books. We talked, read, and enjoyed the view. Very peaceful.
Cultus Lake, B.C.

Cultus Lake, B.C.
The first day the rain hadn't started yet and Don took us out for a bushwalk and showed us around town

Cultus Lake, B.C.

Cultus Lake, B.C.
Is there a J.S.Bach Pizza somewhere too?

Cultus Lake, B.C.
Cultus Lake, B.C.
Cultus Lake, B.C.
Cultus Lake, B.C.



Fort Langley - Historic Site
Time to step back in history: a visit to the Fort Langley Historic Site.
Visiting sites such as these mean so much more if one realizes that centuries ago Europe traded with locations such as these, ships travelling against great risk around Cape Horn, transporting furs and other goods.

Fort Langley is a Parks Canada National Historic Site, a former trading post of the Hudson's Bay Company, now located in the village of Fort Langley, British Columbia.
It is commonly referred to as "the birthplace of British Columbia." [Wikipedia]

Fort Langley - Historic Site
Getting the fire started..

Fort Langley - Historic Site
All prepared for tourists from far and wide.


Fort Langley - Historic Site
Fort Langley - Historic Site
Fort Langley - Historic Site
Fort Langley - Historic Site
Fort Langley - Historic Site
Fort Langley - Historic Site

After John Jacob Astor's Pacific Fur Company sold its assets in the Oregon Country to the North West Company following the War of 1812, Astor's Fort Astoria was renamed Fort George and became the main depot for Pacific interior trade. Pelts collected in the northern New Caledonia district travelled south along the Fraser River to Fort Alexandria, then overland via a route known as the Brigade Trail to Fort Okanagan then along the Columbia River to Fort George on the coast.

Chief Trader James McMillan was sent to explore the region, and McMillan proposed an area near the Salmon River suitable to agriculture, and where fish were plentiful.
In 1827 construction of Fort Langley began (named for Thomas Langley, a prominent HBC director) 50 kilometres (30 miles) from the mouth of the Fraser River. This site was not the same as today's fort, but 4 km to the northwest at what was later called Old Fort Langley and then renamed Derby in 1858 (now only farmland).

During the first few years, trade in furs with the Stó:lō, the indigenous people (Fraser River) was surprisingly poor from the HBC point of view. Firstly, traders from Boston controlled most of the Maritime Fur Trade, travelling along the coast by boat. Such strong competition kept the price of pelts very high, much higher than Hudson's Bay was paying elsewhere. McMillan was advised by his superiors to intentionally undersell Americans in order to force them out of the region...
Also a disappointment to the HBC, was Simpson's discovery that the Fraser was not as navigable as he had imagined. Travel down the Fraser was relatively easy until it forked with the Thompson River, after which the powerful rapids and sheer cliffs the passage could mean 'certain death'.
As part of its plan to rid itself of American competition, the HBC sought to corner the market in Alaska by securing a monopoly on trade with the Russian American Company in 1839 and the fort's farming activity was expanded. The location of the fort was moved 4 kilometres upstream in 1839 and changed its focus to farming, fish, and cranberry harvesting, rather than the fur trade.
Due to its strategic location on the northern boundary of the Oregon Territory of the U.S. and in the path of the Fraser Canyon Gold Rush, Fort Langley grew dramatically.

Old Fort Langley was the location of the proclamation of the Crown Colony of British Columbia in 1858 by James Douglas, the colony's first governor.

The decline of the fort over the next 30 years was attributed to three factors. First, the advent of paddle wheelers on the Fraser meant that river traffic was extended to Fort Hope and Fort Yale. Second, the capital of the colony was established at New Westminster, British Columbia and later moved to Victoria. Finally, competition for goods and services undercut the monopoly the Hudson's Bay Company had formerly enjoyed. In 1886, Fort Langley ceased to be a company post.
[Wikipedia, more..]


Saying goodbyes
We said our goodbyes to Don after having enjoyed his warm hospitality. The sun was out again too!



Ferry from Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay
We took the ferry from Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay.
The recent rains left me with a cold and I gratefully took in the warm sun.
Among the relaxed crowd I came across 'El Salvador', Johan Cruijff.

Ghosts on the railing
Ghosts in the water

Home away from Home
Like I said, I love doing roadtrips in North America: the car & easily found motels, a restaurant nearby.
We got an excellent rate here at the Western 66 Motor Inn at Saanichton; I was still hemorrhaging from the reates we suffered in Norway this summer!



Butchart Gardens
The Butchart Gardens.
In 1888, near his birthplace, Owen Sound, Ontario, the former dry goods merchant, Robert Pim Butchart, began manufacturing Portland cement. By the turn of the century he had become a highly successful pioneer in this burgeoning North American industry. Attracted to the West Coast of Canada by rich limestone deposits vital for cement production, he built a factory at Tod Inlet, on Vancouver Island. There, in 1904, he and his family established their home.

As Mr. Butchart exhausted the limestone in the quarry near their house, his enterprising wife, Jennie, conceived an unprecedented plan for refurbishing the bleak pit. From farmland nearby she requisitioned tons of top soil, had it brought to Tod Inlet by horse and cart, and used it to line the floor of the abandoned quarry. Little by little, under Jennie Butchart's supervision, the abandoned quarry blossomed into the spectacular Sunken Garden.
By 1908, reflecting their world travels, the Butcharts had created a Japanese Garden on the sea-side of their home. Later an Italian Garden was created on the site of their former tennis court, and a fine Rose Garden replaced a large kitchen vegetable patch in 1929.

The renown of Mrs. Butchart's gardening quickly spread. By the 1920s more than 50.000 people came each year to see her creation. It has remained popular ever since.

Butchart Gardens
Butchart Gardens
Butchart Gardens
Butchart Gardens
Butchart Gardens
Butchart Gardens



Victoria - Inner Harbor
The good weather continued when we arrived in Victoria, B.C.
This is what is called the Inner Harbor, the harbor is actually shared with a Seaplane base.

Quick meal at the Flying Otter Restaurant
Where else should an aviation enthusiast have lunch except at the 'Flying Otter Grill & Restaurant'?

Whale watching - boarding cards
Soon we were on our way for some whale watching..

Out at sea


Whale watching from Victoria
Nearby the San Juan Islands a large pod of Orca's were spotted. Did you know that the so-called 'Residents' only eat fish, while the 'Transients' are the real Killer Whales, eating Otters, Dolphins, etc?!

Whale watching from Victoria
I have pasted in those two yellow boats to show some of the different vessels in use for whale watching.
Both are faster than the one we were on (similar to the one in the background) and can probably cover distances faster, but they have two drawbacks: contact with the water is much harder and offer lower vantage points.

Whale watching from Victoria, BC

Boats and ships...




The Empress in Victoria
The Empress Hotel in Victoria was recommended to us for coffee or 'High Tea', but we were uncomfortable with its poshness. But nice to have a quick look inside, stroll out the backdoor..


Street musician
Dave Harris Streetmusician Victoria
Meet Dave Harris!

Dave Harris is a long time musician, playing blues and other music, largely as a one man band. He also plays in a band, Slim & The Deuces.



Hudson bay Company - The Bay
I rather like reading about the history of the HBC better, than actually do shopping in 'The Bay / La Baie'. HBC on Wikipedia

Take it easy
Take a deep breath and..


Live Eye: just a nice internet application or are we getting closer and closer to George Orwell's world of 1984...


Chinatown Victoria
Chinatown. Besides this gate, and the mural, I didn't see so much Chinese identity. And the streets lacked the hustle and bustle one sees in most Chinese towns; at least on our thursday afternoon visit in september.


Art in the street
Art in the street, I like it!


Well deserved dinner and a pint
We had a good meal at 'The Sticky Widget'; the pint of Guinness was exactly what the doctor ordered.



On the road again, to Nanaimo




Coombs Old Country Market

In 1973 it started with a fruit stand beside the highway. One year later hamburgers were also sold to travelers en route to the west coast.
Two years after that a marketplace was built. And that’s how the story began.
The original market was created by Kristian Graaten. Kris and his wife, Solveig, emigrated with their children to Vancouver Island from Norway in the 1950s.
Kris, who grew up in the small community of Lillehammer, was inspired to include a sod roof in his design of the market. Many Norwegian homes and farm structures are built directly into the hillside with the sod roof becoming an extension of the hillside. With the help of his sons Svein and Andy, and son-in-law Larry, Kris began to build what would become perhaps the most famous sod-roof building in the world

Goats on the Roof !

'Goats-on-Roof' has become one of the top tourist destinations in British Columbia, At the weekend of the Coombs Fall Fair, while the grass on the roof was getting rather long (legend has it that..) after a few glasses of wine, Larry suggested that they 'borrow' some goats to ‘mow’ the grass and perhaps provide some entertainment for passing cars!
We now know that the goats became permanent tenants of the Coombs market and have been there for more than 30 years. Each spring, a family of goats makes their home on the roof, entertaining both locals and visitors from all over the world.
The Old Country Market is now owned and operated by Larry and Lene Geekie and their family.

The shop is closed during winter.

Inside the Coombs supermarket

Coombs Supermarket

Bill Clint at his regular spot
Bill Clint, singer/songwriter in his own right, sits at his regular spot at Coombs' Old Country Market

Clear statement




Schooner Motel, Tofino
Schooner Motel at Tofino

Tofino, B.C.

Schooner motel - Tofino, B.C.
It was a good thing the room came with a kitchenette, as Tofino's restaurants were quite expensive. We had been looking for a sort of 'end-of-the-road-edge-of-the-world type of town but Tofino was way too arty for us.
Right across the street was a Co-op Supermarket, it had everything in terms of food and drink we could wish for.

Supermarket in Tofino
Supermarket in Tofino
The world becomes very small
Our world was increasingly becoming smaller, the low hanging clouds were more and more obscuring the mountains in the distance. And it kept raining...
We were holed up in Tofino (and quite liked it).
Scenes from Tofino
Scenes from Tofino
Scenes from Tofino B.C.
Scenes from Tofino B.C.
Scenes from Tofino B.C.

Scenes from Tofino B.C.
It was too wet to our taste to go for a bear watching trip, so in between showers we had short walks around this small town and I noticed plenty of photo opportunities. I admit to have strengthened the colours in this photo a bit, but it was actually quite striking and gave meaning to 'a plane in the wide blue yonder..'

Scenes from Tofino B.C.
The gallery with work by Roy Henry Vickers did a brisk business with a busload of German tourists.


Kennedy Lake



Cathedral Cove
This is a remarkable place: Cathedral Grove. Both sides of the road have a trail and the gigantic trees ooze pre-historic times, you'd half expect to come across a Dinosaur!
Remembering our visit and walk in 1999, this time we did our walk on the other side of the road. Unfortunately a part of the Living Forest Trail was closed due to significant damage done by a fallen tree, but I found that quite irritating: you can be too safety conscious too and I found that very much the case here.
Cathedral Cove, Vancouver Island
Cathedral Cove, Vancouver Island
Cathedral Cove, Vancouver Island
Cathedral Cove, Vancouver Island
Cathedral Cove, Vancouver Island



Qualicum Trading Post




Campbell River, B.C.
We had been invited by my friend Dirk Septer, a avid aviation writer among his many qualities, to visit him in Campbell River. The photos show something of this town; it's a coastal city on the east coast of Vancouver Island at the south end of Discovery Passage, which lies along the important coastal Inside Passage shipping route. Campbell River claims a population (2006 census) of 32,000 and has long been touted as 'the Salmon Capital of the World'. [Wikipedia, more..]

Local Art, Campbell River, B.C.

Woodcarving art at the Tyee Spit, Campbell River. The detail is amazing (look at that fish!).


Loading up...
Dirk arranged for me a flight with a deHavilland DHC-2 Beaver, which was doing a regular run to Knight Inlet, bringing in relief crew for a logging company, as well as all kind of equipment, personal goods and other things.

Ken Leigh, pilot of DHC-2 C-FIGF
Pilot Ken Leigh has the best office one can wish for: a window seat looking down on the world!
He was also very kind to point out various interesting geographic parts of British Columbia, facts about logging, salmon breeding, etc. He knew this area like the back of his hand.

DHC-2 flight to Knight Inlet

Woodcutting and scarring
The 'scarring' shows the logging roads where new growth has been formed.
The difference in colour of the water, blue (like below) and (milky) green, has to do with salt- and fresh water if I remember correctly.

Salmon factory

Beautiful scenery

Queen Charlotte Straight, perhaps..

De+ivering the goods and loading return cargo
As soon as the cargodoor opened the mosquitoes came in, big ones; you have to be a tough character to work in this environment and not something I'd be looking for I have to admit!
A guy, who flew with us on the return trip, told us how he had to take a gun with him when going fishing, as bears would be coming up to him 'to share'..

View from above
MAJESTIC, that's what it is!
Many thanks to Ken Leigh and Dirk Septer for making this flight possible for me.




Crossing on BC Ferires
Another form of transport: the BC Ferries, a very relaxing way to travel among the islands.


Crab fishing Fishing on the Pier


Nice car!
We crossed by BC Ferries from Comox to Powell River, setting foot on the Sunshine Coast. We had intended to drive to Lund and stay there for the night, another end-of-the-road type of place. But the area did not appeal to us very much, so instead we drove to Saltery Bay and took another ferry to Earls Cove.

We found restaurants in short supply around Saltery Bay, but since we had to wait a few hours for the ferry to earl Cove, we did not mind to retrace our route for a 30 minutes drive. After our arrival at Earls Cove we had trouble finding an affordable motel and were advised to go to the Bella Beach Motel in Sechelt; we found this to be not a bad place, but not very good either.

I found the whole Sunshine Coast a bit disappointing, to tell the truth, though I am quite pleased with the photo above. The photos of the people crab fishing on the pier I like too.

Dinner at the Waterfront, in the Pub, Sechelt
The Bella Beach Motel was out of town, on the road to Gibsons Landing (and North Vancouver); there was a restaurant at the motel, but they did not offer any discount to motel guests, so... The receptionist advised us to go to The Pub in Sechelt, which was extremely good advice.
And also allowed me to make the above photo, during sunset.


Visit to Salmon Hatchery
The Chapman Creek Hatchery operates year round with a full time hatchery manager, 2 technicians and a group of dedicated volunteers. We were shown around by the only person there at the moment and we learned all kind of interesting details on salmon and how a hatchery such as this one works. Volunteers play a vital role here!

Salmon Hatchery
Dead eggs are being removed by hand. Millions of eggs are examined this way. We had a truly interesting visit.




long tall Latte
After all that education on salmon, we treated us ourselves on a 'Two-shot Esspresso-Tall-Mocha, with hazalnut flavor'. With whipped cream? Yes Ma'am!



Molly's Lane, Gibson's Landing
Next was a lunch stop in Gibsons Landing.
Molly's Lane is worth a visit, but I did my buying in Main Street: two more books.

Lovely pint!, Gibson's Landing

Granma's Pub parking





Crossing with BC Ferries
The last ferry for us on this trip, to get us to (North) Vancouver, from Langdale to Horseshoe Bay.
The next day was our flight home.

BC Ferries


Final glance over the Straight of Georgia


The End


Museum of Anthropology website
MoA on Wikipedia
Fort Langley Historic Site
Butchart Gardens
Cathedral Grove / MacMillan Provincial Park
MacMillan Provincial Park & Cathedral Park

In CANADA 2019 I travelled much the same area!








Created: 26Oct09 - Updated: 29 November, 2020