A Look at a Pretty Place : Salt Spring Island

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As mentioned in my previous posts about our trip out west last week, our next stop was one of Canada’s coastal islands, called Salt Spring Island.

With a population of 10,000 people, I have read that this island has always been inhabited by those seeking an alternative lifestyle, filling it with artistic and independent people. Since it is an island with inherent limited employment opportunities, most people are self-employed or retired.

The vibe on this island is very laid back. To me it has a very relaxed ‘beach-town’ feeling, much like what I experienced spending quite a few summer holidays at Sauble Beach, located north of Toronto, on Lake Huron. But differing from Sauble where the lake water was glorious to swim in, I don’t think anyone swims at any of the beaches that surround this island. That’s because it would involve dunking your body into the numbingly cold waters of the Pacific ocean, which this far north really never gets warm enough for comfortable swimming.

That said, there are plenty of ways to spend your time on Salt Spring Island. There are many gorgeous hiking trails with spectacular views, and a cute little main town called Ganges to visit. These photos were all taken in Ganges, where we went pretty well every day while we were on the island.

We drank delicious coffee, ate in some great restaurants, visited interesting shops, hung out in a small but beautiful park, and checked out the boats at the marina. We also went to the outdoor market on Saturday, which was so amazing and chock-full of photo ops, that it will get its own post.

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We had lots of laughs throughout our trip but what I was laughing at when Nick took this picture of me below in the local Ganges used bookstore stuck with me, and looking at the shot still makes me giggle. Firstly, check out the low door that Nick had to duck to get under. He’s tall at 6’3″ and is used to ducking though so there was no knocking of the noggin going on.

Being a really quick reader and having finished the entire thick book he had brought with him, called The Golden Compass, and seeking the next one in the series we checked for a copy in this store. (In the meantime I finally read the first Harry Potter book and haven’t even finished it yet. Funny and coincidental that we were both reading books aimed at young adults on this trip.)

He didn’t find what he was looking for but I found a cute niche with natural sunlight in which to take photos. So after I got the candid picture of Nick I asked him to take one of me in the niche. And to make the picture look more interesting I began to pretend like I was looking for a book on the shelves, with a serious inquisitive look on my face. That’s when he said ‘Oh ye bookish one.’ Haha, I do admit to repeating that line until it may have become annoying.

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I ate some terrific meals in town, including a wonderful grilled cheese sandwich with a side of Caesar Salad at Barb’s Buns one afternoon (below left), and a very nice dinner at a spot called Calvin’s one evening (right).

About Barb’s Buns … When I first heard the name of this place, I thought I was hearing ‘Bob’s Buns’, and my mind took a trip to inappropriate-humour-land. But either Barb’s or Bob’s, the name-chooser of the place had to know what they were doing by selecting this cheeky name. I mean, we’ve all heard about or done the exercise videos called ‘Buns of Steel’!

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While we’re on the subject of restaurants, I’ll skip ahead in the timeline and show you these next pictures that were taken during our last hours on the island. This place is called Rock Salt and is located at Fulford Harbour, on the southern tip of the island, where we would be catching the ferry that would take us back to Victoria, before spending one final night and then flying home. But as mentioned, that is getting ahead of myself and I still have some interesting parts of the trip to show you in upcoming posts.

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So, I knew we would be eating lunch at the harbour before getting on the ferry, but even after seeing the exterior of the restaurant, I was not prepared for what was inside. I think I may have gasped upon entering. The Rock Salt Restaurant and Cafe might just have been the prettiest casual restaurant I’ve ever been in. All that stained glass and colourful artwork, and the charming windows offering a view of the water … It was gorgeous.

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All that and the food was excellent too. I had always planned to have at least one serving of fish and chips while on this trip to the ocean. Sure, we can get that in Toronto, but I wanted to try it made with fresh recently caught fish. After perusing the tempting menu I saw that this was my chance to have it. And it was so good, but what I would write home about, is the Oriental Slaw Salad that accompanied my meal. Oh my goodness, delicious. This is a recipe I am going to try to recreate at home for sure!

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Since this spot caters to people getting on and off the ferry boat, they had a considerate sign on each table that pointed out that even if you could see your ferry arriving through the window (see ours coming in the picture of Nick), you still had 25 minutes until it would be ready to board and during which you could continue to enjoy your meal. I guess they had experienced more than a few panicked diners in the past.

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Thank you (as always) for checking out my post. Your time here is appreciated.
xo loulou

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