Well Done, Canada
Traveling is one of my all time favorite things to do. I love exploring new cultures, learning about the history of cities, and experiencing life in a different place. There is so much knowledge to be learned from traveling. So much of what I know today is due to my experience in other cultures and places. I think it is important for everyone to travel and learn about different corners of the world.
Recently my family vacationed to Victoria, BC. And can I just start by saying, Canada is a beautiful place! I absolutely loved it. Our hotel was right on the water and the pool looked across the bay. The beauty overwhelmed me at times and had me repeatedly thanking God for creating such a beautiful earth to live on. But Canada has more than it's beauty to show for itself. Let's just say that there were several times I thought, "Portland could learn a thing or two from Canada." There were three things in particular that Canada one-uped Portland.
1. Large Parks (with Peacocks)
On our last night in Victoria we decided to take a walk through a park we had driven past everyday. The moment we got into the park we came across two peacocks roaming about. Thinking it was just a couple stray peacocks, we stopped and took pictures and watched as they continued on down the road a bit. Once we got further into the park we realized that the whole park was inhabited by peacocks. Every time we would turn our heads there would be another one. Besides the huge number of pretty peacocks, the park offered Pedicab rides, had large ponds and fountains, and small play grounds for children to play on. This park was gorgeous. Not to say Portland does not have great parks, but they could learn a few things and keep the parks more friendly to those looking for a nice stroll.
2. Blankets and Heaters for Outside Seating at Restaurants
At some of the restaurants with outdoor seating they put blankets on the back of chairs for people to use if it got a little chilly. Heaters were also close to most tables. This is something Portland could definitely learn from. So often, restaurants with outside seating lose business in the winter and spring months because of the cold weather that surrounds our city. This would be a great way to entice people to sit outside more in those months without getting cold.
3. Water Taxi's!
Victoria is located on a harbor and they have made great use of it. Water taxi's are a popular way to get around the area. It is not just a tourist trap, as many of the locals also use them as a form of transportation. I think Portland could really benefit from these. The city is right on a river and it would be a great way to create a fun Saturday activity or another way to get from one side of the city to the other. It would be really fun to see these make their way into Portland.
So with all that said, well done, Canada! You really know how to create a great tourist experience without being over the top. I will happily come back again. If you are thinking about taking a trip to Victoria, do it!