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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

On The Buses

No, I’m not talking about that hilarious British comedy from years ago,  but it was a day of on the buses for us. We bought a day pass for the bus and left early this morning to just spend the day doing whatever came to mind. We have double decker buses as well as hybrid and the regular ones, but we got the double decker into Victoria. We sat at the top right at the front so we could enjoy the view. We were like little kids. The first stop was breakfast, always a treat at one of our BC mainstays, The White Spot. Always a guarantee of good food. Next stop was Chinatown. I’m not sure how other cities in Canada stack up in size or history, but this one is the oldest Chinatown in Canada, established in 1858 when immigrants flooded into BC for the gold rush. These are gates to the town, they are called the Gates of Harmonious Interest. Chinatown also extends to the left of this picture another block to the east.

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Hubby had never seen Fan Tan Alley before. There is a little alley way that unless you know where to look, you’ll miss it. It contains some wonderful little shops. You wouldn’t think they do a good business so tucked away in there, but when we came back later in the day, there were people all over this alley and in all the shops. There is a lot of history related to both Chinatown and Fan Tan Alley. There are still parts of the history below the city streets where many things went on that weren’t legal, but doesn’t every village, town and city have those places, and Fan Tan Alley is said to be haunted as are many many places around Victoria. There are no lack of ghost stories and tours to take to learn about all the stories behind them.

A little of the history of Chinatown here…… and Fan Tan Alley here (scroll to the bottom of the page)

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From Chinatown we headed over to Market Square. Everywhere was very quiet for 10 am, but things got busy later in the day. Probably great for us so we weren’t having to get through the crowds. Market Square is a series of interesting shops of all kinds. From a Vegetarian Restaurant, to a bead shop, metaphysical interests and much more. The courtyard is usually pretty busy, but as luck would have it, I was able to snap a couple of pictures without having to weave in and out of people. The gingerbread house was set up by a local organization The Mustard Seed, who take donations of food for the food bank. And of course, how could I not help to keep Beadworld in business with my small offerings.

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The next stop was one of my favourite places. Christmas lovers would overdose in here. You have to walk with your shoulders tight and move slowly. Don’t touch anything that you don’t intend to buy and prepare to be taken away to your childhood. The is “The Christmas Village”. I wasn’t permitted to take pictures inside, you’ll just have to come and see it for yourself… (hint hint, Colleen)… No pressure though…. It’s truly a wonderland, it would take me days to to see it all. There is Christmas there from all parts of the world.

The most special things in here that take me back to my childhood, are the hand blown glass ornaments and the collection of Authentic Nutcrackers. I have a small collection of non authentic ones, I can’t afford the real thing, but I can certainly go and enjoy them every Christmas at the Village. One of things I have always added to my Christmas tree each year, are birds. It’s traditional in Europe to have birds on your tree for good luck, so I keep that tradition alive.

I’ll post the rest of our day tomorrow, so stay tuned…

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1 comment:

  1. I saw that hint. mmmm...Christmas shops. Love them.

    ReplyDelete

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