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Interior Designer's Home in Victoria, Canada for 2016/2017 exchange(s)
Explore the spectacular West Coast of Canada, and the rest of Beautiful British Columbia all in one trip! The wild beauty of Canada's West Coast, the world-class City of Vancouver, BC's Okanagan Valley Wine Country, & the awe-inspiring Rocky Mountains, with Banff, Lake Louise, & Jasper, in their National Park settings are all within reach. Stay in our elegant home in the city of Victoria, BC, on the southern tip of Vancouver Island. Fly direct to Vancouver Intl. Airport with easy connections to Victoria by ferry or air.
Our elegant totally renovated home in Victoria, British Columbia, offers comfort & luxury with modern amenities, beautiful furnishings and art throughout. Perfect for city & nature lovers alike, it is an ideal location from which to explore the Pacific Coastal areas of Western Canada. and enjoys a year round semi-arid Mediterranean climate. A comfortable modern hybrid vehicle & 2 bicycles are available for your use.
LOCATION: We are located about 15 minutes northeast of Downtown Victoria by car, (25 minutes by bus), and about 1 mile from the University of Victoria. If you will be arriving at Victoria International airport and catching a taxi or renting a car, our home is about 25 minutes’ drive from the airport. Our recently totally renovated home is located on a tree lined street in a quiet suburb of Greater Victoria, about 2 Km North of the University of Victoria campus. There is a community park with tennis court across the street; more tennis courts are about ten minutes’ walk, or two minutes by car, where you will also find the community recreation centre with swimming pool and exercise facilities. There is a public beach access at the end of our street; a sandy swimming beach is about 3 kilometres away, at Cadboro Bay. Our street is linked to a network of (miles) of regional bicycle trails. One can cycle to the downtown area in about 30 minutes, and bikes can also be carried on any transit bus (limit 2 bikes per bus.) Greater Victoria has numerous public and private golf courses for all levels of players. There are public and private sports clubs throughout the city.
ACCOMMODATION: Tucked away behind a 60 ft high wall of evergreen trees, the very private front entrance is approached through a beautiful woodland garden. Enter through our unique front door with its hand carved, sandblasted glass panels depicting an arbutus tree, created by local artists, into the spacious tiled entry hall. To your left is an elegant living room, featuring an inviting gas fireplace, contemporary and comfortable furnishings, and original local art & sculptures. A glass cabinet conceals a concert quality stereo system, with a large, varied collection of over 350 music CD’s for your listening pleasure. There is also a digital piano available for your use.
Beyond the living room, is the spacious elegant dining room with its glass table and 6 comfortable leather chairs, should you wish to entertain guests, or enjoy elegant dinners for two. In both these areas, as throughout our home, are a variety of light sources, all with high quality dimmer switches, enabling a wonderful ambiance in the evenings. Direct access to the kitchen is through a sliding pocket door, with another custom carved & sandblasted glass panel depicting sea grass.
Our contemporary, well-equipped kitchen and family room area is also accessed from the entrance foyer. This space is actually comprised of 3 separate adjacent living areas: the kitchen; an all-glass sunroom extending into the rear garden; and a cozy sunken family room with gas fireplace, 42” new HD television/video equipment, with Bose sound system, and comfortable L-shaped sectional seating. The spacious kitchen with its warm cork flooring, white lacquered cabinetry, quartz countertops, stainless steel refrigerator/freezer, dishwasher and gas cookstove, is fully equipped with every kind of cookware and tableware you could wish for. The adjoining solarium has a convenient matching quartz breakfast bar with comfortable leather stools, two pumpkin-coloured velvet chairs to sink into while you enjoy your morning coffee, and Italian-tiled floor. Floor lamps for night time reading, access to the spacious wooden deck and rear garden through a sliding glass door, and ivory roller blinds giving added privacy when using this room at night, complete this attractive space. The sun’s heat is moderated by our recent installation of sunscreen window film ensuring year round comfort.
All three rooms are further enhanced with contemporary art and sculpture from local artists, and overlook the spacious, professionally landscaped rear garden, with its 600 sq ft deck, extensive lawn, mature shrubs and perennials, and grape arbour.
Ascending the single flight of stairs, the guest bedroom is on the right, and features an elegant custom made maple bed with glass headboard, matching night tables with drawers, and a soft yet supportive mattress, high-end linens and hypoallergenic duvet and pillows. A spacious fitted closet with mirrored doors, suitcase racks, and a large window looking out onto the evergreen trees, completes this space. Two luxurious white towelling bathrobes are provided for our guests comfort.
Two steps across the hall is the elegantly appointed bathroom. Italian tiled heated floor, soaker tub with shower, granite countertop and basin, luscious soft fluffy towels, and oodles of piping hot water give a spa-like feel to this space.
We are just 10 minutes stroll to a quiet seaside cove, 20 minutes walk to a sandy beach and village shopping area, and 5 minutes drive or cycle to Mt Douglas Park with its extensive beach, and forested trails or paved road to take you to the summit 213 meters above the ocean where the panoramic 360 degree views will amaze you.
We are happy to provide you with many books about the local hiking and cycling trails, local birdlife, and the forest and ocean worlds that surround our beautiful island home.
TRANSPORTATION: We offer a 2008 Ford Escape Hybrid SUV, Automatic, with heated leather seats and many other luxury features - a beautiful & fuel efficient car. We also have 2 bicycles for guests to use on the many cycling trails and quiet roads of the Victoria area. Victoria is a very bike-friendly city and the heart of downtown is an easy 10 Km ride away. Helmets are provided. There is also a city bus stop only steps from our front door, with 1/2 hourly service giving access to the entire region. These buses can carry 2 bicycles on the front, so if you ride downtown and are too tired to cycle home ... just hop on the bus!
LOCAL ATTRACTIONS OF VICTORIA & VANCOUVER ISLAND: One of the first places you may wish to visit during your stay is Mount Douglas Park, a nature preserve located about 10 minutes’ drive from our home. Churchill Drive, (open to vehicles every day after noon, and to pedestrians at all times) takes you to the top of Mount Douglas, where you will enjoy breathtaking views of Victoria and its surroundings, the Olympic mountains in Washington state (U.S.), the Canadian gulf islands and U.S. San Juan islands, and even distant Mount Baker.
In Downtown Victoria you will find lots to see and do. Plan to spend a few hours at the Royal British Columbia Museum; take a tour of the Parliament Buildings; stroll through the famous Empress Hotel; see ocean creatures up close at the Undersea Gardens; have a picnic lunch in Beacon Hill Park; visit historic Craigdarroch Castle and/or Emily Carr house (home of the famous Victoria artist); stroll around the beautiful grounds of Government House (free!) or Abkhazi Gardens (admission charge). Enjoy a creamy café latte and a fresh pastry in one of our many cozy cafes; check out the many buskers (street entertainers) on the Lower Causeway of the Inner Harbour (in front of the Empress Hotel; wander through the shopping districts of Downtown – lower Government Street, Bastion Square, Market Square, Chinatown, and the Design District. Quench your thirst (and enjoy delicious food!) at one of our many local brewpubs: Swan’s, Spinnaker’s, Canoe, to name but a few.
No visit to Victoria is complete without a stop at the world famous Butchart Gardens. The Gardens are located about twenty minutes’ drive north west of our home, and are well served by both private tour buses and public transit, year-round. The Butchart Gardens are open year-round, and are fully lighted for evening viewing. There is a fine dining restaurant as well as informal dining options. On Saturday evenings in July and August, a musical fireworks display is included with your admission. During December, the Gardens are decorated with hundreds of thousands of coloured lights, there are carollers and bands playing holiday music, and even an outdoor skating rink!
Victoria is located at the southern tip of Vancouver Island, and there are many wonderful places you can visit, all less than a day’s drive from our house. If you enjoy day hiking, check out Goldstream Park and Mount Finlayson, Thetis Lake Park or East Sooke Park; cycle the Galloping Goose trail to Sooke Potholes or Matheson lake; or the Lochside trail to Mattick’s Farm, and the charming town of Sidney by the Sea; drive the winding country roads of the Cowichan Valley and stop for a sample at the many wineries; then make your way down to Cowichan Bay for some award-winning cheeses and artisan breads.
Further north are the warm sandy beaches of Parksville and Qualicum Beach; a few kilometres west of Parksville is the village of Coombs, featuring the Old Country Market, an amazing shopping experience with live goats on the roof! About 4 ½ hours’ drive from Victoria, on the rugged west coast of Vancouver Island, is Long Beach, in Pacific Rim National Park. You can camp, stay at a Bed & Breakfast or motel, or enjoy luxury accommodation at one of the oceanfront resorts. Walk in the rainforest or on the seemingly endless beach; go whale watching, sport fishing, or kayaking. Brave souls may wish to try surfing, but be warned: the water is VERY COLD! Alternatively, heading north toward Courtenay, about 3 hours from Victoria, will take you to mile-high Mount Washington and some of the best skiing in North America.
Half an hour’s drive north of our home is the Swartz Bay ferry terminal, where BC Ferries operates numerous sailings daily to the mainland of British Columbia, as well as sailings to several of the Gulf Islands. Other ferries serve destinations in Washington State: Washington State Ferries sails from just south of Sidney, BC to Anacortes, Washington (and the American San Juan Islands); Black Ball Ferries’ MV Coho sails from Victoria’s Inner Harbour to Port Angeles, Washington, some 20 miles south of Victoria on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula. All of these ferries take vehicles as well as foot passengers.
Also sailing from the Inner Harbour are the Victoria Clipper passenger-only ferries. These high-speed catamaran ferries will take you to downtown Seattle, Washington, in about 2 ½ hours. Seattle, and Vancouver, BC, may also be reached from the Inner Harbour by Harbour Air floatplanes or by Helijet.
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Vorstellungstext über sich bzw. Ihre Familie
When we met in 2011, we were delighted to find that we shared a longing to travel, with an almost identical "wish-list" of destinations! We are fit, active semi-retirees who enjoy music, art, interior design, reading, travel, and being out in nature. Our house is filled with original art, a large personal library, a deluxe stereo system with hundreds of CD's, and for those who enjoy playing an instrument, we have an electronic piano, a cello, an acoustic guitar, and a selection of sheet music, for your enjoyment. We are loving our Intervac membership, and since 2012, have had delightful exchanges to Provence in the Sth of France, London, Holland & Austria.
We enjoy sharing new experiences, visiting new places (especially larger cities in Europe), and making new friends. We enjoy outdoor pursuits such as walking, hiking, and cycling; Victoria is known as the "cycling capital of Canada" and we leave our car at home whenever possible. We prefer mild climates like the one we live in; hot, muggy, places are NOT for us! We prefer to travel in May, & June, and/or in September & October. We will also consider warmer climates between December & April. We are open to non-simultaneous exchanges from mid-May to mid-June and from early September to early October, as these are times we can enjoy camping here in British Columbia.