, , , , , ,

I know, I know, I still haven’t posted all I want to share of Cuba. There’s one more post to come about Havana; about the street art, and an extraordinary restaurant we went to, but . . .

What I’m juiced about right now

is the Festival of Lights at Vancouver’s VanDusen Botanical Garden.

A 55-acre oasis in the heart of Vancouver with over 7500 plant species, the garden is worth a visit at any time of the year, but for about a month every Christmas season something truly magical happens.

VanDusen is transformed into a numinous experience of light and colour and sound. No longer a garden but a dreamlike enchanted land that belongs in a child’s fairy tale, a transcendent land that the child in everyone is transfixed and delighted by. One million Christmas lights! Dancing to music!

Don and I were lucky enough to be given a couple of tickets and even though we’d been to the festival in previous years it still had the power to astonish us. Our jaws dropped even as we approached the entrance.

And it got better and better from there. Everywhere we walked we were treated to vista upon vista of shining sparkling colour. Trees were no longer trees. They had become ghost beings dripping with ethereal light and we were transported into another world full of joy and smiles and surprise.

Every half hour music would suddenly boom out and the lights, intensified by being reflected in the lake, would dance in time to the beat. There were thousands of lights flicking on and off, changing colour, some in time to the beat, some following the melody, some following the great crescendos. We were spellbound. It was as if the music had come to life in technicolor. Don made a video. I’m disappointed that we can’t upload it because apparently “Joy to the World” is copyrighted! Who knew?

Finally, what better way to end our visit than with a ride on the carousel?

And away we go!

Next post: Hmmmmm, maybe Havana, maybe Montreal, maybe my ten favourite travel photos of people. Or wildlife. Or landscapes.

Happy Holidays everyone!

All words and images by Alison Louise Armstrong unless otherwise noted
© Alison Louise Armstrong and Adventures in Wonderland – a pilgrimage of the heart, 2010-2017.