Close to the Empress Hotel in downtown Victoria are two great attractions: the Victoria Miniature World and the Victoria Bug Zoo.
The Victoria Miniature World is the billed as the “greatest little show on Earth.” Scenes from history and fiction are on display. Below is a scene from World War II:
Many of the older displays harken back to times billed as not that long ago, such as this scene where news of the defeat of Napoleon is being spread:
Sometimes the minute details are overwhelming, such as this scene of an antique car show:
A recently opened addition to Victoria Miniature World is King Arthur’s Camelot. Here one can glimpse the round table in Arthur’s court:
The death of Arthur and the return of Excalibur to the Lady of the Lake. As Arthur lays dying he asks Sir Bedivere to cast his sword Excalibur into the lake:
The Victoria Bug Zoo offers impressive learning opportunities, as the guide opens cages to allow visitors to hold many of the creatures on display. Here is a scorpion:
A Madagascar hissing cockroach:
A Malaysian jungle nymph. This is a leaf mimic. They can rub their legs together to make a “hiss” similar to the sound a snake makes.
An Australian stick insect. No, it’s not a scorpion, but because it is harmless it often plays one in movies.
A thorny devil (sometimes called giant spiny stick insects). Found in Papua New Guinea, the large hard spines are so strong and sharp that the people of New Guinea use them as fish hooks and spears:
A bush cricket of Southeast Asia. This is not a real cricket but actually a katydid. They have ears on their front legs.
A giant African millipede. As I learned, millipedes have two pairs of legs per body segment, whereas centipedes have one pair per body segment.