“Make a wish” at the “Candle Shrine”/Scottish Shelter at VanDusen Garden's “Festival of Lights”

Today, I told my friends and work colleagues about my fantastic evening snow date at the VanDusen Gardens' “Festival of Lights.”

But did you know that there is a real Scottish presence at the VanDusen

I didn't know what a Scottish Shelter was. But it was supposed to be the site of the “Candle Shrine” where you could light a candle and make a wish – and contribute a donation to the Make A Wish Foundation.

But being known as Toddish McWong – of course I had to check out the “Scottish Shelter.”

2008_Dec 049 – photo Deb Martin

Was this the Scottish Shelter?  A sheltered rock grotto covered by tree branches would surely give some protection from the elements.  Afterall, Scots are known for being thrifty and efficient and creative people.

Nope…. no sign saying “Scottish Shelter” or “Candle Shrine.”

But on the other side of the grotto, we followed the path to the Lover's Lookout, where we crammed out of the cold with 8 other people.  I guess it was a “Swinger's Lookout.”

Then we saw a sign saying “Candle Shrine.” and we continued down the path.

2008_Dec 051 – photo Todd Wong

We found a small hut, brightly  lith with Christmas lights on the outside.  But on the inside it was lit entirely by candle light and looked warm and inviting.  My girlfriend Deb remarked to the volunteers inside that they must be in the warmest place at the event (after we visited shivering hot dog vendors, waffle vendors, and security people standing beside propane heaters).

2008_Dec 052-photo Todd Wong

Yes it really was a Scottish Shelter “built in the style of a highland cottage” in 1975

2008_Dec 054-photo Todd Wong

It looked gorgeous inside, sparkling with candles and tea lights.

2008_Dec 056 – photo Todd Wong

We used taper candles to light our tea lights… then we made wishes… and our lights were placed up on the side of the wall inside the Scottish Shelter.

2008_Dec 059

Just before we left the gardens, we discovered a small area with two statue busts.  One of them read:

David Douglas.
1799-1834
Scottish-born botanist
who discovered and described
many plant species during his
pioneering journeys throughout North America
during the years 1825-1833

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