Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A Salt Spring Weekend

Salt Spring Island......the perfect weekend get-away for some relaxation and a good time. Our family ventured over to the island Friday morning on the 9:00 a.m. ferry from Swartz Bay to Fulford Harbour, it had been a busy few weeks at home and we were all looking forward to a change of scenery - all of us were excited about our three day get-away to bucolic Salt Spring. Our first priority before boarding the ferry was to purchase a cup of coffee to sip away while waiting in the parking lot - it was a good starter with the caffeine buzz. The sail over was smooth and upon arrival to Fulford Harbour we decided to have breakfast at the Rock Salt Restaurant and Cafe - I have no qualms about recommending this cafe - it is a busy little hub and has very good food. Note: Don't ask for French fries - you are now of the isle of 'healthy' eating and organics. Of course, you can order those unhealthy fried potatoes at other restaurants on the island. After breakfast, I ventured up the side road with my niece to explore a couple of charming and colourful shops along the way - what an enjoyable time that was! Not only did we find a treasure trove of goodies in the store next door to the Morningside Organic Bakery- I found the perfect purse - with tassles! Oh goodie - I now feel like I can blend in with the fun atmosphere of the island - a start to the 'new me' - what will I find next? My niece found some very colourful bracelets of assorted bright reds, pinks, purples, orange and blues - a rainbow of fun colours and sparkles.

bread making

bread oven

After we made our purchases we then headed off to our next destination - the Salt Spring Island Bread Company - listed on the studio tour map - the drive was very pretty and we enjoyed the sites along the way, a narrow one-way driveway led us up to a parking area where we were greeted by friendly pooch. We ambled up the pathway to a smallish building where the bread and pizza breads were baked in a wood burning oven. What a fun experience and the bread and pizzas were delicious! I recommend this for anyone who wants to visit the island. I will attach the link to the various places to visit on the 'studio tour' which also comes with a map and directions.


Now that we were loaded up with pizzas and bread it was time to head to Ganges - approximately twenty minutes drive from Fulford. We loaded up with food and supplies, a fishing license for our niece and then made our way to Mary's Lake where a log chalet, our home for the next three days, had previously been booked for our arrival. I had searched via the internet for places to stay and was fortunate to have found this very charming two-bedroom chalet which accommodated us very comfortably. The owner of the resort was friendly and easy-going and made us feel very welcome. The chalet was clean with radiant floor heating, a wood burning stove and full kitchen, the loft bedroom with a king-size bed and two twin beds in the second bedroom; also, the couch opened up to a double-size bed (for our daughter) - enough room for us all. After unpacking our goodies and making ourselves at home, we strolled our way down to the water's edge with our refreshments where we took in the view and atmosphere of St. Mary lake and enjoyed conversation with one another. There were not many people around - a couple of boys were playing ping-pong, a boat or two would silently glide past (with electric motors) and a canoe with a young fisherman was poised with graceful calm. The sunlight shimmered on the lake and fishing lines reflected like spiderwebs. A few hours must have passed by, it was time to think about dinner and the evening ahead. What a shame that this day was coming to an end......it was so beautiful! Oh well, we had tomorrow and the Saturday market in Ganges.

fishing on St. Mary's lake

After a restful sleep, we awoke early to the wonderful aroma of coffee brewing in the chalet - our dear sister snuck into the kitchen and prepared 'Barb's coffee' (from Barb's Buns Bakery and Cafe in Ganges). My husband and his sister strolled down to the water's edge for their second cup of coffee - a quiet still morning with not a soul in sight - a delightful start to the day. After breakfast my sister-in-law, my daughter and I headed for the Ganges market - it was a beautiful sunny and warm day. The ambiance was vibrant and cheerful with the various artisans, children running about with colourful balloons, musicians and food stalls - very pleasant and entertaining! We perused the area and slowly made our way through the various jewellery and art stalls, I bought my favourite lavender soap and was tempted to buy a pair of silver earrings (I resisted my temptation). We continued on through Ganges, visited Sabine's Fine Used Bookstore and a couple of galleries. It was time to visit Barb's Buns cafe for some nourishment - another highlight place to visit in Ganges. It was time to head back to our chalet and to the water's edge - it was another delightful evening.

Ganges market

local artisan

Sunday morning we arose again to the sweet aroma of coffee brewing - how delicious. After breakfast, we headed to Sunset Farm Studio (also on the studio tour map). This was one of the many highlights of our trip to the island - our niece enjoyed feeding grass to the two very friendly (and hungry!) goats and miniature horses - I need those goats to cut my lawn at home!!

feeding goats

The studio on site was a treasure trove of goodies - antiques, wool, sheepskin rugs, and many other odds and ends to buy - not to mention their meat supply of lamb nicely packaged and frozen. This is definitely a place that visitors will enjoy on Salt Spring - especially children! After a visit to the studio shop we jumped in the car and headed back to Ganges to buy a few more food supplies. The day came to an end too soon and for our last evening we had a wonderful dinner in our chalet and reminisced about our trip to the island. After another restful and comfortable sleep, Barb's coffee in the morning with conversation around the woodstove, it was time to pack up, clean up and head back to Vancouver Island. We did not get a chance to visit all the places we would have liked to on the studio tour map - but we will certainly return for another weekend visit. All in all, it was a wonderful relaxing time on the island and we want to thank everyone for being so hospitable and friendly. We left the island feeling rested and re-energised. I felt like a new person, different from when I first arrived -I swapped my old granny handbag for a new tassle hand-bag (to my daughter's delight), wrist bangles, tye-dyed scarf and........I did buy some new funky earrings! It's all about having fun, especially with the important people in our life - and we did!

farm studio

That's it for now........more stories to come. Thank you. Michelle


Canarybird said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful time! I LOVE the photo you took of the fishing boat on the lake. It really looks so tranquil and bucolic.
A well-written start to your West Coast Journal. Welcome to the world of blogging!
Hugs, from Canarybird xx.

Anonymous said...

Hi Michelle, here is Uwe from germany. Sharon have give me Your blog-adress. I was years before with Wolfram and Sharon of Vancouver island guest in Your house. Congratulation to Your nice blog, I love Vancouver island!
Kind regards to You from Uwe and Eduard from germany!

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