Butchart Gardens And Vancouver

Posted: Saturday, September 12, 2009 at 12:00 am
By: Doug Lund
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Lord, my tootsies are tired. I haven’t walked this much since….well, I’ve never walked this much. But it’s not like I can’t use the exercise.
We’re having a wee of a time, though, and seeing some incredible things…including Butchart Gardens on the island of Victoria, BC. 
I admit that the idea of strolling around for three hours amongst fifty acres of flowers wasn’t high on my “must-do” list..but it was stunning and an unforgettable experience.
Butchart Gardens was started over 100 years ago by the wife of a wealthy Portland cement magnate. When a limestone quarry had been worked out, she embarked on her own reclamation project..accepting the challenge that nothing could be made to grow there. How wrong they were. Today, Butchart Gardens attracts over a million visitors a year.
I can’t remember how many thousands of plant and flower carpet the grounds.
There’s also a lot of statuary..including a bronze wart hog thingy. You’re supposed to rub it’s snout for good luck. Linda and I both did before we realized that snout is probably loaded with…isn’t this ironic?…swine flu germs. Suddenly, I feel a little fever coming on.
Nope..there, it’s gone..and so are we..across the Strait of Georgia aboard a humungous ferry ship..arriving in Vancouver Canada’s third largest city and home to a couple million people..many of them are filthy rich big wigs from Hong Kong who left 12 years ago ..scared about what would happen when the British Commonwealth turned the city back over to the Chinese. As a result, Vancouver’s skyline has changed dramatically as these wealthy refugees started building high rise condos everywhere. A lot of the locals hate the changes and I must agree that these tall dwellings all look pretty much the same..kind of like the projects in New York and Chicago except most of these sell for well over a million dollars a unit..twice that much if there’s a harbor view.
The views, though, are pretty spectacular and should impress all those who come here for the 2010 Winter Olympics in February.
Today, we visited another market district..more amazing aromas from all sorts of ethnic cafes and food stands.
After making the rounds, Linda and I found a nice little bar where we sat and sipped a couple of screwdrivers and people watched for an hour.  
I couldn’t resist snapping a photo of this white guy with long blond dreds trying to charm the young lady. Linda thought he might be a crack dealer. Why? I said.
Did you see the back of his pants?
My gosh..our trip is half over already.
Tomorrow..we board the train and just sit back and watch the Canadian Rockies pass by our big picture window.
No more walking and the rail car attendant will serve us a screwdriver right at our seat.

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