Vancouver Island Canada
Over 360 million year ago, volcanic activity started the creation of what is now Vancouver Island. It is actually the top of an undersea mountain range. Petroglyphs and large stone figures gesturing toward the ocean have been found. It is estimated that the first migrating inhabitants arrived some 5000 years ago.
Captain Vancouver circumnavigated the island between 1792-1794 proving that it was actually an island. It was first named Quadra and Vancouver's Island since Vancouver and the Spanish Captain Quadra had met there several times.
The Spanish and English later fought to control the island with the English winning. There are still several Spanish named landmarks on the island.
In 1846, the Oregon Treaty established the border between Vancouver Island, Canada and the United States at the 49th parallel. Great Britain leased Vancouver Island to the Hudson's Bay Company after making it a Crown Colony in 1849.
It was not until 1866 that the mainland and Vancouver Island were merged together and known as the colony of British Columbia. Victoria was proclaimed as the capital of British Columbia, the sixth province, in 1871.
A sad story resulted from a sailing vessel called the Valencia bound for Victoria Island from San Francisco. The fog was so thick on that dark stormy night that the vessel drifted off course, unfortunately missing the entrance to Juan de Fuca Strait. It was wrecked just before midnight on the rocky coast. Only 37 out of 173 people survived.
The following year a lighthouse was constructed at the entrance to avoid further catastrophe. Several sightings of life boats reported to be found years later from the Valencia have attributed to numerous ghost stories.
There are 2,150 miles (3,440 kilometres) of coastline on Vancouver Island. Each little community along these shores has a unique character. Visitors to the island never run out of adventures on Vancouver Island.
On of the favorite events in Vancouver's Inner Harbour is called the Symphony Splash. Thousands of guests gather on the water to hear the orchestral performance which takes place on a huge barge.
Another attraction are Butchart's Sunken Gardens. The beautiful gardens were created by the Butchart family and cover a former limestone quarry. It receives more than a million visitors a year (picture above)
Another place worthy of a visit is the Goldstream Provincial Park only twelve miles from Victoria. There are 600 year-old evergreen tress and the Goldstream River Estuary which is a popular sight for bird-watchers.
The MacMillan Provincial Park boasts trees up to 200 feet tall. It truly looks like a photographer's paradise.
Skiiers love Vancouver for the cross-country ski trails (25 miles worth) on Mount Washington.
Fishermen swarm to the Campbell River. It offers salmon, trout, and many other types of fish.
Hikers can enjoy caves, arches, and waterfalls.