Victoria III: Beacon Hill

Victoria has a selection of self-guided walks around the city, available from the Tourist Information Office on the Waterfront, they are a good way to explore the city at your own pace.

After our hour or so of culture we needed some exercise so made our way via Thunderbird Park and the totem poles through to Beacon Hill Park, spotting a great blue heron at the top of a tree near the lake and several peacocks –we couldn’t persuade a single one to open its tail, but managed to get pretty close – before arriving at the lookout where you have wonderful views (on a clear day) across the Juan de Fuca Straits.

We shared a bench with an elderly gentleman – yes, even older than us – who proceeded to entertain us with stories of the area and of the people who once lived here such as the fact that the seemingly random rocks on the hill were in fact burial markers and it wasn’t until a load of them had been moved that this fact came to light – too late then to put them back where they belonged.

Aboriginal burial cairns were often located on prominent hillsides and above defensive sites. Beacon Hill fits that pattern. Finlayson Point, directly below the hill, was the location of a small native village and defensive site. The presence of human graves on Beacon Hill and evidence found at the Point–including house remains, a defensive trench and midden contents indicates the village was “a more permanent settlement rather than a short-term camp.” “People lived in a village on Finlayson Point beginning about 800 or 900 years before the founding of Fort Victoria.” (Grant Keddie, Curator of Archaeology at the Royal B. C. Museum)

I love it when we meet people like him who have so many tales to tell, it’s a shame it happens less frequently when you travel as a couple.

View to Mount Olympus Washington
View to Mount Olympus Washington

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I have lived in the UK for most of my life, but when young I definitely had wanderlust and even ended up living in South Africa for several years which was a wonderful experience. I now look forward to a long and leisurely retirement doing what I like most - gardening, photography, walking and travelling.

5 thoughts on “Victoria III: Beacon Hill”

  1. Loving the totem poles, and the encounters with old residents. Still bringing it all to life Jude! Well done. regards as ever, Pete. X

    1. The totem poles are wonderful, and the stories are even more wonderful. I’ll post some tales from our first trip at the end of this one about this fascinating history. I’m glad you are enjoying the journey Pete 🙂

  2. Fascinating and love the pics Jude. I remember the totem poles from our visit to Vancouver. Is that a heron? Looks like the ones we saw on the Norfolk Broads! I know you don’t really ‘do’ awards but I wanted to send the Inner Peace Award your way just as a thank you, and don’t worry, no work required! You can do whatever you want with it 🙂

    1. Thank you Sherri – Inner Peace sounds just what I need right now 🙂
      Oh, and if you click on the photos I usually add some information about them in the description.

      1. You are very welcome Jude, and yes, I know just what you mean! I just clicked on your photos and see what you mean so thanks for that! I thought it was a heron! xx

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