Posted by: TomA | 20 February 2007

Victoria (cont.)

We walked past Emily Carr‘s birthplace. It was not the most exciting experience. (Though nor were her paintings…) Inside it’s all restored to how it would have been at the time of her birth, but apparently you can still park your SUV outside if the walk from the road to the door is too far…

There were plenty of other creepy looking houses around too. I’ve no idea who lives in the one below, but chain fences and an old brown Volvo seemed relatively exciting at the time. Honest.

Best part of Saturday: finding a pub that served real beer, pulled from real barrels with a real hand pump. I am such a geek/old man at heart. Not only that, it came in a real pint glass.

FYI, you can order a pint in North America, and get anything from a small 14oz, a more typical 16oz, a large pint might be 18oz, or god forbid, a real pint at 20oz.

After Sunday brunch we ventured to the oldest Chinatown in North America, to encounter most of Victoria in one block. Turned out we’d stumbled on the parade for Chinese New Year. No photos of the actual parade, but here’s one of a small girl climbing a tree instead:

We ventured into what is reputedly North America’s narrowest street, Fan Tan Alley. Less of a street, more of an alley.

It used to be full of opium dens and brothels, now sadly replaced by more conventional and rather dull shops.

Still, at least better than some of the shops downtown:

Beyond the numerous Christmas shops and the boutiques selling tartan, were endless Irish pubs, blasting out The Pogues 18 hours a day. Curious.

Plenty of old people about too. The saying goes “full of newly weds and nearly deads”. Seemed to be plenty of both.

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