Craigdarroch Castle, Victoria, British Columbia


Unlike Europe, Canada comes up a little lacking when it comes to castles.

Craigdarroch Castle, Vicoria, B.C.

Not intended as a castle, but as a manor house for coal baron Robert Dunsmuir. Completed in 1890, and situated on 28 acres, it boasts 4 floors, many glass windows and much intricate wood work. Sadly, Robert passed away before completion, leaving the manor to his wife Joan, 3 daughters and 2 grandchildren.

We were fortunate on our visit day. It was during the mid week and also a rainy day. This meant that not too may other people would be in the view finder.

The first sight to greet you is the magnificent staircase. The impressive woodwork for the most part was milled in Chicago and shipped on five rail cars.

The large salon-double style drawing room would have been the main entertaining area of the home.

Mrs. Dunsmuir sitting room.

One of the many stained glass windows. This one in the library.

The dining room, with seating for 14. The fireplace has a bent-flue to allow a stained glass window. This feature is also in the library and breakfast room.

Just one of the landings in the grand staircase.

The main hall and the beginning of the grand staircase.

Craigdarroch Castle stretches over 2,000 square metres and houses 39 rooms. It is believed to have cost around $500,000 when first built. The construction includes granite from British Columbia, tiles from San Francisco and an oak staircase that was imported from Chicago. While the castle is still dressed in 1800s’ Victoria-era furnishings, it is known for its stunning stained glass designs and intricate interior woodwork.

The castle’s name, Craigdarroch, means “a rocky oak place” in Gaelic and its design lives up to that name. The exterior is made of beautiful gray granite while the interior is given a warm atmosphere through the extensive use of wood. During the time period, it was thought that being surrounded by artistic beauty, such as the decor in the castle, would lead to a better development of personality in those that lived there. (Canadian Traveller).

I would like to visit the castle again. I could not get my camera to the right settings, hence, the hue is off in some, and a bit grainy in others. I had more success with my iPhone. More practice needed. Cheers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here, There and Everywhere…well nearly.


As part of our travels around Vancouver Island, we decided to take in some camping at a provincial park near Port Renfrew on the west coast, about 21/2 hours from Nanaimo. As put in their glossy by the Chamber of Commerce, “Port Renfrew is where the Pacific Ocean collides with the rugged west coast of North America, and massive trees earn it the Tall Tree Capitol of Canada. Home of the West Coast Trail, and Juan De Fuca Trail”. Many trails lead to the beaches along a 50k stretch of the coast. Being open to the Pacific Ocean, some of the beaches are very popular with surfers.

I love the water, but I will leave riding the waves to the younger bunch. No sharks, just lots of rocks. We spent 4 days there, so these pictures only take in our first day, at Mystic Beach.

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Always lots of drift wood along west coast beaches.

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Mystic falls is down to a trickle at this time of year. Next year we plan to visit in the spring.

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This could be a place to spend the night… but only at low tide!

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Too many pictures to include in one blog. I will post more on our journey up the beach in a couple of days. Cheers.

 

Rainy Days and Sunshine.


The weather the other day was a mixed bag of sun one minute followed by rain followed by sun followed…. well you get the picture.

Speaking of pictures, the poppies here on Vancouver Island are in full bloom. And with the raindrops clinging to the petals, the sun transformed them into tiny jewels. Luckily I noticed this. A photo op for sure.

Here are a couple of shots I got in just before it started to rain, again. Enjoy. cheers.

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“To Infinity and Beyond….”


Well, maybe not quite that far. But it is about 4000 kilometers far. All the way to the west coast of Canada. Just beyond the horizon. I know it is there because Maggie and I spent a month this past summer travelling the provinces of Alberta and British Columbia. I fell in love with B.C., and Maggie is from Vancouver Island. The decision to head the wagons west next summer seemed like the next chapter in our love for exploring the great outdoors.

Someone once said if you set your horizon to far out, it becomes unobtainable, too close, and you face disappointment when you get there. Well, we have both been there, and the place worked its magic. I know that we have made the right decision. We are going to have the opportunity to meet new people, hike new trails and to just immerse ourselves in a new New Horizon.

The pictures below are just a few of the thousands we took. Please enjoy.