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Monday, February 9, 2009

Deux Magnifiques Vieilles Dames

The title of this post is in French because it sounds better than "two lovely old ladies." The two are The Fairmont Empress Hotel and The North Star of Herschel Island. The Empress is the elder of the two and has occupied her commanding situation at the head of Victoria's Inner Harbour since 1908, making her just over 100 years old. However, millions of dollars have been poured into restorations over the years and she is now probably even more beautiful and hospitable than when she was first erected. If you come to Victoria, even if you don't stay in the Empress, do stop in for a visit. Relax in colonial splendor in the Bengal Bar or take afternoon tea in style in the glorious tea room. Some of Victoria's finest shops and galleries are also located in the Empress.

The second grand old lady is The North Star of Herschel Island. "North Star of Herschel Island is the last of the sailing Arctic cargo ships. She is the only fully rigged ship in Canada, meaning that she crosses square sails on each of her three masts." She was built in 1935 in San Francisco and then transported to the arctic circle to begin her life in the fur trade. She is no longer in commercial use and graces Victoria's waterways as the residence of her current owners. You can find out more about her fascinating history from the North Star website by clicking here.

13 comments:

MartinC said...

What a magnificent vessel! And the hotel looks so elegant, too. An interesting composition.

nanak said...

what a beautiful photo! it looks like a painting.

cieldequimper said...

Oui elles sont magnifiques, et la photo est très belle aussi !

Petrus said...

This is a really good photo - the composition of the scene is great ..

It would make a good picture for a jigsaw puzzle.

Virginia said...

Ben,
Thought it was an oil painting on the portal. This is stunning. I don't know which grand dame I like the best. Just a beautiful photograph all the way around.
V

MurciaDailyPhoto and www.asthes.tk said...

These are really a both lovely ladies. The hotel looks very expensive to rest in it, but I think that it is well worth visiting if only for a coffee.

Carolyn said...

What a wonderful photo.

The Empress is the Grand Dame of the old hotels in Canada! I have been blessed to stay in her gracious rooms twice...four poster beds with feather beds and down duvets and steps to get up into bed! A concierge who never forgets your name and is always looking out for you. And Afternoon Tea will take you back to those "good old days"!
Thank you for the link to the North Star her history is fascinating.
Smiles

Al said...

Beautiful HDR!

Jabba said...

High Tea is on my Top 10 list of things to try out in my new City.
Great, shot. A lot of history in this photo.

Michael said...

Turn down the HDR!

m_m said...

Wow! It is great!! It looks like a wonderful postcard!! Congratulations!

Mary Helen said...

Great Photo! It looks like art.
So beautiful!

Kris said...

Boats, boats, as far as the eye can see!