British Columbia has a lot going for it—a fabulous natural setting, a diverse population, a great climate, and friendly people. Today we take a closer look at this province at the Royal British Columbia Museum. The museum has two floors of BC’s natural and human history.
The museum is an easy walk from our hotel. I took a couple of pictures of what the Empress Hotel and the Parliament Building look like all lit up last night and here’s what they look like in the daylight.
We do a pretty thorough job looking at the exhibits. A lot has to do with climate change and the possible consequences from it. Interestingly when the ice age happened the sea level dropped a lot due to all the ice and the land bridge between Alaska and Asia was immense. Animals and people migrated across the land bridge. A lot of the animals died out once the ice age was over which is why we don’t have wooly elephants in North America. What will happen when the oceans rise from climate change?
Here’s a picture of John with a now extinct mammoth.
And here is a huge sea lion which did survive.
On the upper floor there is a lot of information about the First Peoples of Canada. I really enjoy hearing their stories about language. There are a lot of aboriginal languages in British Columbia. The story goes that the original people went to a Language House and received a language from their creator which they took back to their people. The Canadian government spent a lot of time and effort trying to stamp out the languages and customs of the First Peoples in the 19th and 20th centuries. Some groups have very few “speakers” left. It is sad what the immigrants to the new world did to the original inhabitants.
Lunchtime! My back is aching from all the walking around the museum and I tell John that I don’t want to walk far for lunch. We find a diner right next door and John says that a beer will fix me up. Okay.
John orders some samosas that are stuffed with lamb and goat cheese. He likes them a lot. I am less impressed. I order sliders which come out like hockey pucks. I am even more unimpressed with my dish.
Later in the afternoon we go see Miniature World. It is a museum of dioramas made to scale of history, fantasy and toys.
Last stop of the night is a bite to eat at the Empress Hotel. The Hotel is a landmark in Victoria. We checked it out to stay in and it costs A LOT! Plus the carpets in the public rooms are worn and the decor is ponderous. So I am glad that we stayed just around the corner in the less expensive but still nice and with a great location, the Hotel Grand Pacific. I recommend it. At the Q Bar we get a plate of vegetables with hummus and baba ganoush and have a glass of wine. It is enough for dinner.