2019 Sandy & Bill's West Coast Adventure travel blog

Front of Craigdarroch Castle with its porte-cochere

Mantle in front hallway of Craigdarroch Castle

White oak panelling in stairways and hallways

Library with Spanish mahogany woodwork

Part of Drawing Room

Dinning Room - with Sandy in right part of picture

Extensive woodwork in hallways & Stairways

Mrs. Dunsmuir's Sitting Room

Daughter Jessie's Bedroom

Hair art - made from female family members hair

Billiard Room

Part of the Dance Hall

Sandy at the piano in the Dance Hall

Smoking Room

McNeill Bay waterfront home

McNeill Bay with kayakers in a small cove

Gonzales Beach modern home

Victoria home

Good name for a butcher shop in Oak Bay

Oak Bay Fall colors in a garden center

Oak Bay home


In spite of the threat of rain, we sallied forth in search of adventure around Victoria, BC. Turned out that the weather cooperated and neither of us was in danger of melting!

Our first stop, and one I would highly recommend was Craigdarroch Castle, which is not a castle per se but a large mansion. Nonetheless, the place is impressive! Situated in a nice residential area just beyond downtown Victoria, the mansion was built for Robert Dunsmuir, who alas for him died just prior to completion of the house. Dunsmuir was a wealthy coal baron who spared "no expense" (to use a line from the Jurassic Park movie) to build and furnish his intended home. Intricate woodworks adorn the stairways, hallways, and different rooms (white oak, Spanish mahogany, and western red cedar). Stained glass was used in windows throughout the four different floors, and Victorian furnishings adorned the rooms. As with Hearst Castle in San Simeon, it is hard to describe the incredible detail of wood carvings, ceilings, walls, and furniture. Similarly, the manner in which his widow, Joan, and her children lived was opulent by standards in the late 1800s and early 1900s. However, I'm sure they thought their lifestyle was merely that of a wealthy family.

Pictures I included in this update are of the mansion's front entrance with its porte-cochere, the front hall mantle, the library with its Spanish mahogany woodwork, the Drawing Room, the Dinning Room, the Sitting Room (where Mrs. Dunsmuir ran the family business), Jessie's Bedroom, the Billiard Room, part of the Dance Hall, the Smoking Room, framed Hair art (hair from female family members and formed into art with adding beads), and Sandy sitting at the piano in the Dance Hall.

We decided to drive a bit aimlessly through some residential sections to see how Victoria residents live. What we encountered was a variety of different home styles lining sedate and lovely streets. Attached are a few of those photos. Unplanned, this part of our adventure was very nice, giving us different scenes of living here in BC's capital city. We would definitely recommend visiting here.

Tomorrow, we leave Canada for San Juan Island, which is in the U.S. We'll only be there one day before taking a ferry over to the Washington mainland and heading for the airport environ. Thanks for reading.

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