Apparently, the Milky Way (our galaxy) spins once every 240million years, and that discovery was made near here, on Vancouver Island, at the Dominion Observatory. Built in 1918 as a modern marvel, it has nearly always been open every month on a Saturday night to allow the masses a glimpse of the cosmos. So, given we’ve had clear skies constantly for two weeks, and the observatory is so close we confidently booked our tickets well in advance and awaited ‘the wonder’ of the night skies to be opened up to us…
… so somewhat predictably it clouded over. But we did get to see the observatory in ‘action’ and looked through a few smaller scopes at the moon and Saturn. It was an enjoyable and unusual way to spend an evening on top of a small mountain.
Aside from the sudden clouding over it has been a beautiful week. Mid-twenties, slight breeze, and a mere suggestion of cloud, so we took a long drive along the coast to take advantage. Vancouver Island’s southern coast is known for such things as big trees, beaches and surfing and was recommended to us. We had one of those memorable days drifting along the scenic highway stopping off to have the odd short walk through a rainforest to the secluded beaches. The beaches were stunning. Shrouded in receding fog, with huge white stained driftwoods strewn for miles, it was very ‘other worldly’. In one beach, at low tide, there were some large rock-pools. Mrs K and I had a child-like time peeking at this small underwater world. I’m not sure the other tourists on the beach quite knew what to make of us..
The Islands location is also significant militarily, and so the Canadian Pacific fleet is stationed near Victoria. I decided to head down to the naval museum to give Mrs K some peace for a few hours. The museum is well inside the naval base, so the drive in itself is quite an interesting view into military life. The museum was, as you’d expect, beautifully laid out. Housed in the old hospital with videos, models, and photos describing tails of bravery and tragedy it deserved it’s 5* google rating.
I think next week it’s more of the same. We’d like to visit the Museum of British Columbia, take another coastal drive, and start some more detailed planning for the travels ‘after Canada’ (our initial stay is restricted to 6 months).