Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Canadian Rockies – September/October 2017
Seattle to Banff – Part One
A great time to visit Canada is in early September so I was almost a bit too late in arriving.  Flew into Seattle and took the lite rail into downtown and a bus to Ballard Inn where I spent the night.  It is a great little neighborhood but a bit far from downtown.  Took the bus back in and had lunch at Mamnoon on Melrose/Pike, a cute little Middle Eastern restaurant with great food, i.e. falafel with cabbage salad and hummus with pita bread. 

Walked up to the Fyre Museum which had a very interesting exhibition on people who are “different”…Walked around Pike Market, down to Olympic Park and into the Sculpture Gardens near the waterfront.  Later took the bus to Lloyd Martin for a delicious dinner, i.e. ravioli filled with epoisse cheese and foie gras and chocolate cremeux. 

Found a nice little pastry shop for breakfast and then walked to the Ballard Locks and was able to see a boat come through.  You can also see the salmon migration through windows below the locks.  Picked up my rental car about 2 p.m. and drove to Vancouver.  Stayed in an Airbnb near Chinatown and walked to Blue Water Café for dinner, i.e. delicious tuna carpaccio nicoise and warm chocolate cake sitting on the patio outside.

In the morning I spent a couple hours at the Bill Reid Gallery which focuses on his Haida origins.   It highlights his beautiful gold and silver jewelry, totems, etc.  Really a must see.  Walked over the Granville bridge to the Granville Market where I had a tuna sandwich and cookie and then took the bus to the Museum of Anthropology to see the totems and Haida houses.  I had been there before so just wanted to see Bill Reid’s “raven” and a few others things I loved.  Dinner at Wildebeest, i.e. tomato and plum salad with burrata cheese and arugula and chocolate cake with toasted pineapple and rum raisin ice cream.

Drove up to Tsawwassen in the morning to catch the 10 a.m. ferry to Victoria Island.  It was a beautiful day so I stood outside and enjoyed the scenery.  Arrived about 12:00 p.m. in Swarz Bay and stopped in Sidney nearby to wander around.  Found a nice little café called Beacon where I had an egg salad sandwich and ginger cookie and then drove to Victoria.  Checked into my airbnb and on my way to the Royal Columbian Museum stopped at Emily Carr’s house.  None of her artwork was there so didn’t spend too much time looking around.  The RC Museum is fantastic and filled with information on the First Peoples including enormous totems, their artwork, life style, etc.  Also an extensive exhibit of life in Canada in the 1900’s.  Really well done. 

Later I walked across the Johnson bridge and along the waterfront and back to Saveur where I had dinner, i.e. beet terrine with goat cheese and pistachios and flourless chocolate cake.

After a delicious muffin at Liberty I drove up to the Butchart Gardens and spent about three hours wandering through the sunken garden, rose garden, Italian garden, etc. until it started to rain.  There were so many flowers in blow so it was gorgeous.  Went into the lovely dining room and had lunch overlooking the gardens, i.e. farro salad with smoked trout and apple and crème brulee.

Drove back into Victoria to the Gallery of Art to see some of Emily Carr’s original landscapes and then walked up the hill to the Craigdarroch Castle with its 4 floors and 39 rooms.  It was constructed in the late 1800s as a family residence for coal baron Robert Dunsmuir.  Its history and intrigue made the visit even more interesting.

Later in the evening I walked to the Empress Hotel where you can have tea in the afternoon and down Government Street to Chinatown where I had dinner at Olo Restauarant.  Great food!!!  I had cornbread with buckwheat butter, grilled octopus with roasted pepper hummus, chickpea panisse and cucumbers and chocolate cake with marshmallow cream for dessert.

In the morning I walked the inner harbor to fisherman’s wharf and saw the 33 floathouses moored along the river.  They reminded me of the house boats in Amsterdam except much smaller and with a lot more personality.  Walked to Beacon Park and to the “O” kilometer where the trans-canadian highway starts.

About 12 p.m. I drove back to Sidney for another delicious egg salad sandwich and ginger cookie and caught the 2 p.m. ferry back to Vancouver.  Lots of traffic from the port so didn’t arrive to my airbnb until about 5 p.m.  It was also near Chinatown so it was quite a walk into downtown.  Walked to Water Street and the clock tower and finally to Nightingale where I had dinner which was excellent.  Started with watermelon salad with watercress, mini cucumbers and macadamia nut feta, next came the grilled octopus with chickpeas and garlic aioli and finished with salted caramel pot of cream. 

Drove to Whistler in the morning and visited the Squamish-Lil’wat center which was fabulous.  It is set in a large concrete, fir and cedar structure and explains the tradition of these two people.  Walked to the village Square nearby and had lunch at Ingrid’s, found Araxi where I would have dinner and then walked the lost trail around the lake.  Just as I was finishing the walk it started to rain so drove to my airbnb where was really nice.  I had my own private studio.  Later in the evening I drove back to town and enjoyed a beet salad with burrata cheese and fondant chocolate flourless cake at Araxi sitting peacefully by the window.

In the morning had a delicious muffin in a cute little café at the bottom of the hill before heading to Revelstoke a long way away!!!  Stopped in Kamploops about halfway and wandered around the town, stopped in a café for egg salad sandwich and continued on the Salmon Run where I stopped at the famous Shuswap Pie Company for raspberry rhubarb pie and ice cream.  Cute little town as well.  Found my airbnb and then took a walk into town to stretch my legs.  Pretty cold out!!!

Decided to dine at Quartermaster, a new restaurant in town, and was not disappointed.  Had a steak salad with blue cheese, crispy shoestring potatoes and greens and lava cake – all perfectly done and great atmosphere. 

Walked up to La Baguette for breakfast in the morning and then spent about an hour at the Railway Museum which presents the history of the Canadian Pacific Railway in the Columbia mountains with dining cars, old trains, videos, etc.  Fabulous!  Drove up to the Meadows in the Sky and walked up to the Summit where there were patches of snow on the ground.  Back down to La Baguette for salad with goat cheese and dried cherries and chipotle yam soup before driving through Revelstoke National Park where I walked the Skunk Cabbage Boardwalk trail and then drove into Glacier National Park which was gorgeous.  Wanted to do another hike but the time was one hour ahead when I reached Golden so I kept going. 

Stayed the night in Field at the Truffle Pig in the center of the Yoho National Park which was a delightful inn.  Drove across the bridge to Cathedral Lodge for a very enjoyable dinner in peaceful surroundings.  I had tuna tartar with cucumbers and fingerling chips and a s’mores dessert which was wonderful, i.e. crisp graham crackers topped with chocolate and mountains of meringue caramelized on top served with caramel sauce.  Even had a glass of wine which I felt I deserved after a very busy day.  The next day I headed for Banff.

No comments:

Post a Comment