The original mid-February celebration of love was a fertility festival which honoured the Roman god of agriculture. Like many of our modern holidays, this pagan merrymaking was later rebranded, and is now referred to as Valentine’s Day.
Named after not one but TWO saints called Valentinus, the re-imagined celebration was more “pope-y” than “love-y” until the 14th century.
Saint Valentine’s Day really hit its stride in 18th century London where couples proclaimed their love for each using the now ubiquitous gifts of candies, flowers, and saucy cards.
More than 1,500 years after its conception, Valentine’s Day is big business. Nearly 200 million cards are bought each year and the average consumer will spend $160 on gifts. According to the National Retail Federation, men will spend twice as much money compared to women.
If you are looking for something to do with your sweetheart on Valentine’s Day this year, Francis Point Provincial Park in Madeira Park, BC is a great option. Valentine’s day falls on a Friday this year so maybe plan a hike and picnic on the weekend following.
Francis Point Provincial Park is a combination of park land and ecological reserve. While the ecological reserve part is closed to the public due to the sensitivity of the ecosystem, the nearly 73 hectares section of park land is open for the public to enjoy.
From the parking area, there’s a short path that takes you to Middle Bay and a choice of a left and right path from there. First, follow the path to the right and within five minutes arrive at Beaver Point Lookout. It’s worth the short little uphill for the views.
Then head back to Middle Bay to follow the other path south to Francis Point which will take about 30 minutes. It’s a beautiful well marked path that runs along the Strait of Georgia coastline where along the way, you’ll be delighted with gorgeous coastline, ocean and neighboring island views.
The trail is exposed, so depending on your day, it could be hot or it could be windy. Prepare accordingly. And also pack some water and snacks because you’ll want to take your time and enjoy this highly recommended little nature outing.
Visit my website blog for links and directions to Francis Point Provincial Park.
Tony Browton is an award-winning Realtor who lives and works on BC’s Sunshine Coast.
His weekly blog can be found here http://www.truebluerealty.ca/blog