№ 20 — Fisgard Lighthouse, British Columbia, Canada

Of all the light­hous­es I’ve ever vis­it­ed, Fis­gard Light­house in British Colum­bia is my most favourite one to date. When I think of a light­house I would like to live in, an image of this light­house would appear in my mind. There is some­thing very appeal­ing and, dare I say, very roman­tic about it.

His­tor­i­cal­ly, Fis­gard Light­house is the first light­house on the west coast of Cana­da. It was built in 1860 on Fis­gard Island out of mate­ri­als shipped from Britain. In 1950–51, a cause­way was built out to Fis­gard Island from the shore of Van­cou­ver Island at Fort Rodd Hill by the Cana­di­an Army.

We saw a deer at the park­ing lot of Fort Rodd Hill! You have to walk through the fortress to get to the light­house. The fortress was also pret­ty inter­est­ing. We learned a bit more about Cana­di­an his­to­ry there. It was a love­ly spot that seemed to be under-appre­ci­at­ed, but maybe it was only because we were there on a week day.

№ 19 — Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada

Rebec­ca and I had been online friends for, like, ever. As in more than 10 years. Maybe 13 years? She lives in Aus­tralia. She went to Cana­da sev­er­al years ago but was in the wrong part of the coun­try so we didn’t get to meet. She was final­ly in the right part of the coun­try last year in Octo­ber so I made a point to meet up with her. Even booked a hotel room so we could spend as much time as we could.

It was dark out when we final­ly met, but I would rec­og­nize her any­where, what with her blue hair and all. When I saw her, she was tak­ing pic­tures of the falls. I tapped her back and an awk­ward moment ensued. But then we hugged, had our pic­ture tak­en by my hus­band, and it wasn’t so awk­ward any­more. We had din­ner togeth­er that night.

The next day, first thing in the morn­ing, the four us (Rebec­ca, her friend Grace, my hus­band, and I) head­ed down to the Nia­gara Riv­er to take a voy­age under the falls on the Maid of the Mist. The Maid of the Mist boat tour was one of the items on my buck­et list so I was super excit­ed about being able to final­ly scratch it off the list, and even more so when I learned that we would be on one of the last voy­ages of the icon­ic Maid of the Mist from the Cana­di­an side. They’re replac­ing it with a mod­ern cata­ma­ran-type boat this year and you’ll only be able to take the Maid of the Mist from the Amer­i­can side. 

The boat tour was just as amaz­ing as I’d imag­ined it to be. I was expect­ing it to be a lit­tle bit scary, but it wasn’t at all. But even with a rain­coat on, I still got soaked from the mist. I was a lit­tle wor­ried that the mist would kill my cam­era because I just couldn’t stop tak­ing pic­tures and videos of the falls, but sur­pris­ing­ly it sur­vived! The pic­ture above was tak­en from the boat. I have many oth­er, bet­ter pic­tures of the falls but I just had to post this one just for the fact that it was tak­en from the Maid of the Mist. It was such a great expe­ri­ence and I’m so glad that I got to scratch some­thing off my buck­et list with my old pal Rebec­ca!

№ 18 — Seljalandfoss, Iceland

We went to Sel­ja­land­foss before tak­ing a fer­ry to Heimaey in the West­man Islands/Vestmannaeyjar in the morn­ing. We got there before tour bus­es from Reyk­javik start­ed to arrive, which was a plus because we had the falls all to our­selves. The minus was we couldn’t spend a lot of time there because we had a fer­ry to catch. I also didn’t want my clothes to be all wet and my boots all mud­dy on the fer­ry ride so I didn’t do the walk behind the falls. My hus­band did, though. But then again, he’s always been more adven­tur­ous than me. Sel­ja­land­foss is love­ly and all but it’s not real­ly one of my favourites in Ice­land.

I was unable to take pic­tures of so many Ice­landic attrac­tions in all their glo­ry due to the lack of wide-angle lens (the widest I could get with my micro 4/3 cam­era was around 40mm) and it was quite frus­trat­ing for me at times. For those going to Ice­land, if you own a wide-angle lens, don’t for­get to pack it. If you don’t own one, buy or bor­row one from some­one! You won’t regret it. The next time we go there, I am so tak­ing my DSLR with an ultra-wide angle lens. Sure it would be heav­ier to car­ry but it’s not like we’ll have to go on a long hike or any­thing. Most Ice­land attrac­tions are locat­ed right by the side of the road! Just one of the rea­sons I love Ice­land, being a wimpy hik­er and all. :-)

№ 17 — St. Lunaire-Griquet, Newfoundland, Canada

St. Lunaire-Gri­quet is a town near the north­ern­most tip of New­found­land. I took a pic­ture of this lit­tle ice­berg when we were on our way up to L’Anse aux Mead­ows, an ancient Viking set­tle­ment. Though it might seem lit­tle, you’ll nev­er know how big it is actu­aly under­neath. Such is the thing with ice­bergs. This ice­berg was not the only ice­berg we saw while we were in Newfoundland’s North­ern Penin­su­la. There were at least half a dozen more in dif­fer­ent shapes and sizes. The North­ern Penin­su­la is part of the so-called Ice­berg Alley. It’s more fun than a tor­na­do alley for sure.

On our way back from L’Anse aux Mead­ows, we went to have lunch here at the Dai­ly Catch restau­rant. They served the best fish and chips I’ve ever had. I could tell that the fish was fresh. St. Lunaire-Gri­quet is an old fish­ing com­mu­ni­ty after all. The lady who served us brought us our drinks and men­tioned that it was not just ice in our drinks but pieces of ice­berg. We thought she was jok­ing so we laughed, but then she went back to the kitchen and came back with a plas­tic bag con­tain­ing a big chunk of ice­berg for us to take a look. She said her hus­band just brought it back from the sea this morn­ing. So it wasn’t a joke.

When I put a tiny piece of ice­berg in my mouth to melt, it didn’t melt very quick­ly. I’m guess­ing it was because ice­berg is much denser than reg­u­lar ice. Come to think of it, I might have had some microbes from hun­dreds of years ago in my body, thanks to those pieces of ice­berg in my iced tea! 

№ 16 — London, England

I guess I just wasn’t in the right frame of mind when I was there. My moth­er just died. She and I used to day­dream about going to Lon­don togeth­er some­day so being there with­out her was kind of depress­ing. I went to Lon­don by myself one day (I was stay­ing in Wim­ble­don with my aunt and uncle) and I was just walk­ing around aim­less­ly, feel­ing sad. Sat in the rain while star­ing at the Thames, being all emo. So yeah, not a good mem­o­ry.

The pic­ture above was tak­en from the Lon­don Eye. I met up with my sis­ter-in-law and her sis­ter one day and we did the touristy stuff around the city, includ­ing a ride on the Lon­don Eye. We got to the Lon­don Eye site ear­ly so the line up queue wasn’t super long yet. The secu­ri­ty had to check every passenger’s bag before the ride. When the secu­ri­ty guy found my stuffed duck Quack in my bag, he held it up, smiled, and said “quack!” Made me laugh. The Lon­don Eye ride was enjoy­able but way too short, espe­cial­ly for the price!

I was actu­al­ly in Lon­don twice that year before and after my first vis­it to Cana­da but real­ly didn’t get to see much. We’re plan­ning on doing a road trip around Great Britain for my husband’s 40th birth­day. Hope­ful­ly I’ll get to see more of Lon­don then.

Adden­dum: Poor qual­i­ty pho­to cour­tesy of a Kodak 2MP dig­i­tal cam­era a gen­er­ous read­er gave me just for the trip. It served me well. In 2004 when I took this trip, most dig­i­tal cam­eras only had 2–3MP pic­ture qual­i­ty.

№ 15 — Stanley Park, British Columbia, Canada

Actu­al­ly, I know exact­ly why. First of all, we always trav­el dur­ing the off sea­son. Sec­ond­ly, I always kind of wish for a lit­tle less than per­fect weath­er because it makes for more inter­est­ing pic­tures, but more often than not, Moth­er Nature’s inter­pre­ta­tion of a lit­tle less than per­fect weath­er is a lit­tle off. The weath­er is usu­al­ly worse than I’d like it to be. But eh, I always end up hav­ing fun any­way. When I’m grumpy while trav­el­ling, it’s nev­er because of the weath­er. It’s always because of some­thing else.

Any­way, Brock­ton Point Light­house (built in 1914) is the light­house in the fore­ground of the pho­to and in the back­ground is the city of Van­cou­ver. Brock­ton Point is the most east­er­ly part of Stan­ley Park. At 1,001 acres, Stan­ley Park is quite large (as a com­par­i­son, Cen­tral Park in New York City is 843 acres in size) and has a long his­to­ry. It has been des­ig­nat­ed a Nation­al His­toric Site of Cana­da.

I didn’t get to see much of Stan­ley Park so I don’t real­ly have much to say about it. It was just one of the quick stops we made while explor­ing Van­cou­ver. The views from along the water­front are quite amaz­ing and I would have loved to stick around for a while and walk some of the trails but alas, there were still so many oth­er places to see in our short time there. Maybe some oth­er time.