Well, alright, gentle readers. I admit that my tendency to not travel on my own very often, and my lack of travelling outside of my home province before last year — and the fact that I’ve never been on a long trip by aeroplane before now — all these have tended to make me respond only the slightest bit more enthusiastically than I ought to my adventures today. I may have done too too much in a short time. two flights of more than an hour? Viewing four provinces? In a single day? On my own? (And, yes, I’m aware that including seeing Manitoba and Saskatchewan in my accounts of “viewing four provinces” is cheating a little, given that I only saw them from the air. But I still viewed them. And found them fascinating. Just let me have it, won’t you?)
In an effort to counteract the excessive travel stimulationt hat had clearly been overwhelming my sense of reason, I boarded my second plane intending that I should pretend to some world-weariness, and wholly expected my fellow travellers to be Sincerely Unimpressed with the mountain ranges I prepared myself to be secretly and quietly delighted with.
I failed to be quietly delighted. This day has been thoroughly sunny (utterly destroying a perfectly good west coast cliché, but I was happy to see it fail). And mostly cloudless. We had a perfect view of the mountain range, with all the snow and differently coloured lakes. They were stupendously beautiful. I had thought the Great Lakes were impressive for the length of time it took us to pass over, and their sometimes-seeming endlessness. But the mountains…
The mountains won.
When right overtop of them, they stretch beyond all visible boundaries.The effect is impressive. But, nearly non-communicable. All my intentions of reserving my marvellous attitudes were dashed, and I think I sat openly smiling for much of the ride. But I peered at my aero-fellows and was satisfied at the sight of most others’ reactions to the sight: leaning over to view out of the cabin windows, transfixed.
Mountains: you can’t not be impressed by them.
The ocean is equally impressive, for the same reasons. (It also smells amazing. And salty.) And Victoria is between the two: mountains in the background, and surrounded by briny water. The province also has, like Ontario, a lot of trees (which are just as colourful in autumn). The effect is all Very Pretty. The environment seems to have seeped into me, as I now find everything I do here Terribly Exciting and cause for Great Pronouncements: I walked about on my own! I went bookshopping! I sat by the harbour! I admired the statue of James Cook! I found various stores that could supply me with basic things I forgot at home, like umbrellas and toothpaste! I found a place to eat!
I’m aware that none of these things is cause for great excitement. Nevertheless, doing them has made me quite cheery.
Also, my hotel balcony overlooks the harbour (see above), and the hotel has a resident dog (he’s a lab puppy).
And tomorrow I’m going shopping with my supervisor. We may purchase proper handbags to carry home the books we intend to buy from Alice Munro’s former husband‘s bookshop. And what a pretty bookshop it is!
Forsooth, I like this place.[i]
20 october 2010 ~ Victoria
[i] I like this place. Tho’ I can’t figure out why Victoria feels the need to outline its government building with white lights at night time. Or why they didn’t light the outline of their enormous statue of Queen Victoria also.