I drove to Langford, just north of Victoria to have some work done to my car, today. Langford is not a place I get along with well, and had I not been so ignorant about the language around “Greater” Victoria, I never would have called this auto service. However, by the time I found out the shop was in Langford, I had an estimate I liked, as well as a good feeling from speaking to the people there.
Langford has grown rapidly over the past few years, and, in my opinion, the planners have not done a good job with roads and traffic. I drive in strange places a lot. Much more than most. I am rarely truly lost. I’ve been to Langford three times now, and not once have I NOT been lost. The second and third time, I was armed with a GPS and printed map. One of the problems, according to the auto people, is that they change the street names often. That certainly explains some of my confusion, but not all. Shortage of signs, including street signs is another factor, but there is something else, too. Suffice it to say that my brain does not work in the same way as the brains of the planners.
It’s made me not like the town. Really not like the town. Any interaction I have had with people has been fine — they are as friendly and welcoming as anywhere else in BC. The town is pretty. You must ignore the big-box store sections, but that is hardly unique to one town. Yet … try spending 3/4 of your time lost in any place, and see how you feel about it.
I had some time to kill while the car was repaired, and I found a wonderful trail. In fact, we ended up doing quite a bit of walking today — 9.4km, over 5.5 miles. (Actually, we probably hit 10km, since I spent some time and quite a few steps … ready for it … finding my way.) My trail search started off with a whimper, me disappointed, and facing a long time walking on streets. But one corner made all the difference. From a tiny park, I turned the corner to a magnificent trail. See the images.
In the end, I was thrilled with the car end of the day, delighted with the trail and the time we spent in stunning landscape. In the very end, though, it took me two tries to get out of the damned place. Guess which impression is lodged in my mind? Poor Langford.
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