Friday, June 1, 2012

Day 7, Calgary to Nanaimo

I love my room at the Dorchester Best Western. We have a view of the waterfront, and the air conditioner chimes when we turn it on. I am dazzled by the bright splashes of colour from people-high rhodedendrons, azaleas, and roses.

Azaleas on the Waterfront

The old Court House, with a Rhodedendron in bloom
I think I saw a hydrangea, too, bowed down by massive blooms. The Dorchester hallways are a maze; after some puzzling I realize that it is really several buildings glommed all together. The rooms are done up very nicely, so it is easy to forgive that the stairways are narrow and illogical, and the hallways are creaky with surprising uneven spots. If we get a morning without rain, I will coax hubby to have breakfast on the third floor deck.

Sitting at the Vancouver airport for two hours watching our connecting flight towed off for repairs, wasn't fun. But we consoled ourselves it was better to have it towed away at the tarmac than to have it fail later. If you know what I mean.

The Plane that was towed away
The weather is cloudy with latent rain, and most people are in wind jackets. Me, it feels mild compared to the rugged weather back home.

We had dinner at Modern Cafe, and I had Tapas of fried chickpeas with curry.

We then took a stroll along the waterfront.

I was surprised to learn that Nanaimo is an old mining town!

They have gracefully morphed in to a resort and retirement community. The waterfront is people-friendly and welcoming. There is a lesson in here somewhere for Grande Cache.

There's an edge of defensiveness when I hint that Nanaimo is no metropolis. A plane mate, a young man with tattoos and headphones, proudly told me that Nanaimo has more square footage per capita than any other city. He advised us to go north for the night life. Our cab driver laughed at my exlamations over the greenery, obviously proud of his town. And my chosen hotel lists its amenities ad nauseum, (They have ice. And a fitness room. Did I mention they have ice?) as if in fear we would find them lacking. This hotel is a charmer and should make no apologies.