Saturday, 15 August 2015

Postcards from Canada: 20 (the grand finale)

Today is our last full day in Canada so we chose to stay close to where we are staying on the University of British Columbia campus and walked over to the Museum of Anthropology. This is one of BC's most popular museums and houses many thousand artefacts from the First Nations and is built on ancestral land belonging to the First Nations.

The size of some of the totems that were on display were staggering and the weaving of the baskets and fabric were very intricate. In the grounds outside some examples of family houses have been built and they are also very impressive. It would have been nice to be able to go inside them but they were locked but you could get some sense of the interiors if you could find a knot in the wood and then squint through it.

We left when the museum was getting very busy and began walking back to our apartment. Then we saw a signpost to Wreck Beach and took off down the path to find it. We enjoyed a stunning walk through the forest and then came across the beach which is clothing-optional. We opted to keep our clothes on because it was quite chilly and there were very few people on the beach. If we'd visited yesterday when the temperature was a lot higher it might have been a different story.

Friday, 14 August 2015

Postcards from Canada: 19

I have finally got the right paper to work with my watercolour paints just days before we are due home! I made this sketch yesterday afternoon after we had got home from Granville Island in Downtown Vancouver. Granville Island is an arty district with fresh food markets, busking musicians and designer clothes. It is reminiscent of Covent Garden in London before it was ruined by Venture Capitalists.

We enjoyed our lunch outside with hundreds of others and then took a 40 minute cruise around the harbour in a ferry run by False Creek Ferrries. These are tiny craft that seat about 12 passengers and look like bathtubs with roofs on. At $11 each it was a big improvement on the $200 each we could have paid to go on a Whale Watch tour.

Once we had regained our balance after we had got off the boat we visited the covered market again to buy some fish and vegetables for our evening meal which was quite a treat after not having cooked for ourselves for the last few weeks.

Postcards from Canada: 18

One small sketchbook completed and a slightly larger one begun

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Postcards from Canada: 17

Lions Gate Bridge, Stanley Park, Vancouver 
We walked around Stanley Park yesterday following the Seawall path. We took all afternoon to cover the 8.8 kilometres stopping frequently to have drinks, eat ice cream and watch the world go by. Cyclists and skateboarders have to use a different path from the pedestrians so you might have hoped we would be safe from lunatic skateboarders but sadly we nearly got run over by one of them.

I did this quick sketch of the bridge that runs north from the park when we stopped for a brief rest. It dominates the skyline and more-or-less marks the half way point on the walk. We saw a blue heron on the sea shore and some raccoons inside the park which was a first for me. We looked briefly at the totem park but didn't linger otherwise we wouldn't have completed the walk.

Sunday, 9 August 2015

Postcards from Canada: 16

Big Hill Springs Provincial Park, Alberta 07.08.15
We enjoyed a walk through this memorial park a couple of days ago. It combined woodland, a rushing stream and spectacular views.

Friday, 7 August 2015

Postcards from Canada: 15

It was cold and rainy yesterday so I made this sketch of the umbrella out on the deck from the safety of indoors.

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Postcards from Canada: 14

Pandora's Boox and Tea, Olds Alberta

The Botanical gardens at Olds Agricultural College

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Postcards from Canada: 13

Pilot Pond in Hillsdale Slide, Alberta
We went on a family outing yesterday and our goal was to visit Moraine Lake which, we were informed, is quite beautiful. Once we'd reached the turn off for Lake Louise the traffic was nose to tail and moving at snail's pace. This was put down to the fact we were travelling in the middle of the August long weekend. So instead of turning left onto the highway we turned right to avoid the traffic congestion and changed our destination to Johnston Canyon.

The traffic was just as bad there so we pressed on looking for somewhere to stop and have lunch. We'd been sitting in the car for several hours by now and we're getting increasingly hungry and fed up. But then a lay by appeared and there was a notice board announcing that Pilot Pond in Hillsdale Slide was was just down the hill. So we slid down the hill and found a log to sit on and have our picnic. I made this sketch very quickly and added some notes to it and I might develop it into a painting when we get home.

The steep walk back up the hill made my heart work so hard I thought it was going to stop working by the side of the road. It soon recovered its equilibrium and I was able to enjoy the fantastic views of the Rockies as we made our way home.

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Postcards from Canada: 12

Kathy's watering system, 2 August 2015

Monday, 3 August 2015

Sunday, 2 August 2015

Postcards from Canada: 10

We've moved to Calgary and this is the current sitting room