Saturday, June 12, 2010

Au Revoir, Canada

We spent our last morning on Victoria touring the British Columbia Museum of Natural History.

It is a spectacular place, with one floor devoted to the flora and fauna of the place (including a great wooly mammoth from earlier days). This includes some remarkably stuffed animals, making me think that the long gray winters of British Columbia give people plenty of time to tinker with dead carcasses.

The other floor is divided into two parts dealing with the humans who have lived here.

The first section of that floor is devoted to the aboriginal tribes and features some impressive totem poles and ornate, beautiful masks. It also how these people lived their lives and especially how they made use of the environment in which they live.

I now know, for example, that you can make a waterproof overcoat out of the inner bark of a spruce tree. Surprisingly, there were none for sale in the gift shop. Otherwise, I am quite sure LK may have been tempted to purchase one.

The other half of the "people" floor dealt with British Columbia after the Europeans settled there. There was a picture of a striking-looking man steering a fishing boat, and I included it at the top of this post so you could get a sense of the rugged and handsome people that lived here a century ago. The fact that Robert and Jaki ran up to me saying, "You've got to see this picture - he looks exactly like you!" had nothing to do with me including it.

Because of my problem forgetting the camera charger, all the pictures had to be small and - mostly - grainy taken by my mobile phone. Nonetheless, here are a bunch to give you a sense of that great place.

The Critters:

The Aboriginal Artefacts (and by the way, according to the information below it the "experts" are not sure if that first statue is of a woman holding a baby or a man holding his phallus "or perhaps both". I will let each of you make up your own wisecracks about that one):

After the museum, we had time for a drink and a snack on the waterfront. Then we collected our luggage and went to the ferry to return to Port Angeles. From there, we drove to Bremerton and today we move on to Seattle.

But one final picture - obviously our walk around the museum must have been just a wee bit tiring. With LK dozing next to me, I went to talk to Jaki and Robert. This is what I found:

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