Friday, July 03, 2009

island hopping

another flying trip to the island, this time to victoria to check out the treasures exhibition at the musuem. i took my bike and did the 30k from the ferry terminal down to the city of victoria. it was a beautiful ride, very flat and well signposted, through bush, farmland, suburb and seascape. the sun was shining, there were bald eagles circling lazily in the blue sky, and cute deer eating other people's gardens:

the exhibit was pretty good. they'd got a bunch of stuff from the british museum, and it was arranged chronologically and by continent. there was an egyptian mummy and some roman sculptures, and neat cuneiform tablets. the oceania section was very small, and didn't have any papua new guinean artifacts from my childhood. boo!

i enjoyed remembering the history i've learnt, and thinking about my trip to italy. i'd forgotten what bastards the british museum are about returning aboriginal bodies and so forth, though, and the colonial politics of the exhibition were disturbing. all civilisations were gradually working towards western culture?

you can find out more about the exhibition here:

i also checked out more of the permanent exhibits. the indigenous totem poles were unexpectedly confronting. they're so big and intimidating? threatening? something like that. beautiful, as well, but in an uneasy way. i suppose that's what they were intended to do - draw you in, but point out how small you are. welcome to my village!

and with some humans, for scale:

there's also a sweet fossil exhibit. this mastodon tooth was found on vancouver island. can you imagine an animal this big stomping round here? (um, the tooth was about a foot long.)

it was the first time i'd spent canada day in the province's capital. there were a bazillion tourists everywhere, mostly loud americans wearing maple leaf tattoos on their cheeks, complaining about not being able to use US money in cafes.

to celebrate canada day i experienced the parliament buildings (vis. lay under a tree and read):

and got to know some of the locals:


(grizzly bear hiding up the back)

actually, i realised that i'd bought clothes from local designers and books by local authors, and was eating some denman island chocolate, not so much from patriotic reasons, but ecological and ethical. but still!

it was a very pleasant few days pottering around, enjoying the sunshine and not doing much. i visited my favourite gumtree, sat underneath it and read.

i forgot how messy gumtrees are! also that smell. oh, i miss eucalyptus forests.

then i biked back up to the ferry and began the long trip home.

(i am my father's daughter . . . )


nimmersatt said...

Nice post!

grot said...


Anonymous said...

Indeed you are !!