Saturday, February 12, 2011

Joan Crescent

When the crocuses start poking out of the ground it almost seems worth it to have gone through the dark days of winter. It always seems miraculous.
The grass and tree lined Joan Crescent is well-supplied with crocuses and makes a nice route to take to get to Government House when the bus drops you off on Fort Street. Built in the 1890's for the Dunsmuir family, Craigdarroch Castle perches at the crest of the hill where it once presided over its own pocket empire of 27 acres. It's grounds and interior are popular tourist stops. Below the castle along Rockland is Government House. The queen's representative to the province lives here. The Lieutenant Governorship is mainly a ceremonial position and the appointee is chosen by the provincial government. When the queen visits, Government House is her official residence.
I was there for a tea given for the Cancer Foundation. No, I wasn't one of the wealthy donors paying for the privilege of listening to the boring speeches. I was just one of the help and came in through the servant's entrance and was led through subterranean passages to get to my post in the ballroom. The British class system still survives at Government House.
The grounds are beautifully maintained and the views to the south are spectacular. I was surprised to see a rhododendron in full flower already. Someday I'm going to have to find out the story behind all the sequoias lining Rockland. They are easy to spot because of their great height and easy to identify because of their rounded tops. Up close in somebody's yard, they are massive, dwarfing the house.
For a visitor to Victoria, the loop along Joan Crescent to Government House and then via Rockland back to Cook Street for lunch would make for a pleasant morning walk.

Unfortunately, I missed the relaunching of The Quadra Queen II. By the time I looked out my window this morning it was already in the water.

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