Friday, July 15, 2005

Roman German Holiday

If you live in Germany you can make staying home for the summer holidays seem like a vacation by saying "Dieses Jahr verbringen wir unseren Urlaub auf Balkonien." - "This year we'll be vacationing on Balkonien." And just what is this mysterious Balkonien, you might ask? Why, it's your very own balcony, or terrace or patio or wherever it is that you plunk down your deck chairs and your ice tea when it gets warm enough to sit outside.

We can only swing one big holiday every two years, so Balkonien is where you'll find us sipping our cool drinks this summer. Last summer at this time we had already landed in Vancouver and were headed out for a week in Tofino on the West Coast of Vancouver Island (another picture here). I had been to Tofino frequently as a child, but this time we stayed on a beach that was unfamiliar to me and has to be one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen in my life. This house was our accommodation for the week and it was truly wonderful.

my babies on the beach

miles of solitude

a storm brewing

we call this one "Canadian Tire" - a joke only Canadians will get

When we rented the house we were told there was a tenant in the basement who lived there year round. We caught sight of him once or twice in the first couple of days and wrote him off as just another long-haired hippy, typical of a lot of Tofino's population, especially in the summer. Boy were we wrong. The guy turned out to have more brains in his little finger than all of us combined. My mum got talking to him one day and he told her he was a biologist, a veterinarian and a naturalist and that he had just finished a book he'd been working on for the past seven years. It sounded so interesting that we all rushed off to the book store to get a couple of copies. Well, we weren't disappointed. His book, Chasing Clayoquot: A Wilderness Almanac, turned out to be a fascinating read. I don't know that it will ever be a best seller, but it certainly got a lot of attention locally and has made many people more aware of what's happening to the West Coast environment.

So that made our holiday very special. I even got to fold the guy's Fruit of the Looms one day when they came out of the dryer in the basement while I was
doing our own laundry. Hey, it's not every day you get to touch a famous person's underwear!


At July 15, 2005 3:51 p.m., Blogger SwissTwist said...

Those pictures are stunning, just makes you want to be there.

When I was young and we'd ask where we were going, Mom would say 'We're going to Romainia' (Remain here) At least I can laugh back at it now, back then it just got sulks!

At July 16, 2005 9:11 a.m., Blogger J said...

There's no way in hell I'd spend my holiday time in Germany, especially with cheap airlines like Ryan Air and Germanwings out there.

One month and three days til Croatia :)

At July 17, 2005 12:22 a.m., Blogger PractiGal said...

Beautiful photos!!

My sister lived in a small town near Nuremburg (sp?) years ago... beautiful!

I'm here via Michele's today. You have a lovely blog!

At July 17, 2005 12:24 a.m., Blogger Nic said...

Looks wonderful! Hi from Michele's.

At July 18, 2005 2:05 p.m., Anonymous JCS said...

Ms M,
Thanks for ruining my enthusiasm for work today by posting these lovely pictures.
One of my regrets is that during my seven-year stint in Boston I never got around to visit the Seattle and Vancouver area.
I was an MSc and PhD student then and as we all know "Lehrjahre sind keine Herrenjahre".
Btw, As far as I know HLX flies out of Hannover. Usually they are pretty cheap from what I hear. Maybe a long weekend in Stockholm or Italy?

At July 18, 2005 3:05 p.m., Blogger Pieces of Me said...

Here from MIchele's! Wow that looks like an awesome place to visit! I guess you can't judge a book by its cover ;-) TTYL

At July 21, 2005 1:41 a.m., Anonymous E said...

Thanks for visiting earlier...those beach pictures sure are inviting! Beautiful!


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