At last, we begin our Canadian journey on the west coast in glorious British Columbia. First impressions of Vancouver?
From Kits Beach, we watched the sun go down over the bay. In the distance, the city skyline was etched against a parade of jagged mountains. Bathed by a warm golden glow, groups of young men played beach volleyball and energetic games of jumping one-legged up onto a picnic table. It was exhausting just watching them!
People walked their dogs, pushed prams or rode bikes. Family groups gathered around portable BBQs and rich aromas tantalised passers-by.
Next day, amidst some stunning domestic architecture, we walked to the Granville Island markets – a delight for foodies and lovers of all things artisanal! A path along the harbour’s edge took us past a flotilla of moored sailing boats to the Vancouver Museum which offered fascinating insights into the city’s past. WW2 saw the internment of thousands of Canadian-born Japanese and the confiscation of their property: a travesty which occurred in Australia as well with Italian migrants in my own region.
But it was much further back in Canada’s past, that I wanted to go.
And it was on Vancouver Island in the beautiful town of Victoria, the historical capital of British Columbia, that I found what I was seeking.
At Munro’s, an iconic independent bookstore, a helpful staff member directed me to a brilliant text, Kilts on The Coast, by local writer, Jan Peterson. Vancouver Island had a strong Scottish heritage which was alive and well today.
Canada’s past sprang to life and the Hudson Bay Company loomed large. I had struck literary gold!