Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Canadian Rapsody

Yes, I am out of order and I have not posted about my other adventures since I have been in Washington but I just have to show you my wonderful two days in Victoria, Canada!

About 10 of us decided to take advantage of the ferry's package that included:
- the ferry ride round trip from Port Angeles, WA to Victoria
- the hotel
- bus fare to and from Butchart Gardens and admission.

We arrived on Saturday after taking the 7:30 ferry.  We went to the hotel and were told that all our rooms had been upgraded! There were two to a room and all rooms had a dining room, twin beds in a separate bedroom, a kitchen, living room, full bath and two balconies.

(Royal Scot Hotel)

 We were not able to check in until 3 so we left our luggage and hit the streets.

As you can see on the map, our hotel, Royal Scot Hotel & Suites, was down the street from the Legislative building, the ferry and the Empress Hotel.  The location was perfect and we could walk to most of the places we planned to go.

Our first stop was to admire the Legislative building. We did not have time for a tour but the outside
was beautiful.

Off we went again, this time to head catch the double decker bus that you could hop on and off of in a 24 hour period.

These RoadMaster buses are a familiar sight in London.  This particular bus was made in November 1959 for the London Transport company.  It was taken out of service in 1988 and purchased by an enthusiast and brought to Canada.  The present owner added it to their bus line.

Before we got on the bus, we heard an announcement that the little water taxis and sightseeing boats would be doing a ballet. Now how can you miss this?

We caught the bus in front of the Fairmont Empress Hotel. This is a beautiful hotel but so pricey.

We saw these strange looking trees out front of the hotel and  Lyn decided to get up under one and pose.

You know how much I love bronze statue. I saw this one as we were walking to the hotel.

We finally made it to the bus and started our tour.  The tour was 2 hours long but we got off for lunch at The Penny Farthing.

  I was a little upset because the English pub did not have Shepherd's Pie. To me, it is not a proper pub unless you have Shepherd's Pie. Harumpf! I'll just have to have my daughter make me one the next time she visits me.

As we were walking back to the bus after lunch, I saw this perfect bronze statue of a dog under one of the benches. Doesn't it look real?

This is the narrowest house in Victoria.

Some sites of Chinatown from the bus.

Street signs are in chinese and english.

A Chinese school.

Views of the dock from the bus. Doesn't the bridge looks like a horse?

Just as in the States were we have painted statues of deer, buffalo crabs, and horses, in Victoria they have pianos. You can actually stop and play them.

(view through the closed window of the bus)

The driver gave us a metro lesson 101 while he was narrating.  He had us look at the speed signs.

He told us to take the first number and multiply by 6 and we would have the miles per hour. I found the chart above on the internet, it looks like he was correct.

Once we returned to the Empress, we had just enough time to catch the bus to Butchart Gardens.

The story goes that Robert Butchart had a cement business. His wife, Jennie, got tired of living surrounded by quarries that had been exhausted.  She started planting sweet peas and roses.  Jennie decided to turn these exhausted pits into something beautiful.  She had tons of topsoil brought in by horse and wagon to line the floors of the quarry.  Little by little the quarry blossomed into the Sunken Garden.

As you walk around, above the Sunken Garden, you see vine statues.

Between 1906 and 1929, Jennie created the Japanese Garden on the seaside, The Italian Garden on the former tennis court, and the Rose Garden.

Lyn pretending she was Hercules

As I noted before, Lyn carries her toy bear with her everywhere to take pictures.  A German lady was with a tour with 50 other people and they were given a rubber duck to take pictures in different setting.  Lyn told the lady she would win because no one else would have a German duck playing with an American bear in a Japanese Garden.

 This is the Star Pond

Below is photos in the Italian Garden

 I forgot to take pictures of the Rose Garden

While walking around, I saw this card stating that they had shown their fireworks at Walk Disney World. I was expecting something spectacular and was not disappointed.
Everyone waiting for the show to begin.


The fireworks show was both aerial and ground.

We were tired after leaving the Butchart Gardens but Lyn is a tango dancer and had heard that there was tango at a museum near the hotel. So, we got back to the hotel, changed clothes and headed for the hall.

Lyn dancing with unknown partner

We got back about 1 in the morning and were up early to get our last day in.  First we had breakfast at a restaurant that was recommended to us and then we headed to Chinatown.  We both wanted to see Fan Tan Alley that was the narrowest street in Chinatown.

 After walking around the city we decided to take one of the cute water taxis to Fishermans Wharf for lunch.

 The wharf has 30 floating houses.  There was one for sale but it was not the cutest.

As we were walking back to the hotel to pick up our luggage, we heard music.  We had been told earlier that this weekend was B C Day. The first Monday of August is called "British Columbia Day", this has turned into a weekend celebration.  It is a statutory holiday to give friends and family time to celebrate their achievements and spend time together.

These boats were heading to the grandstand.

 There was music

and dancing in the streets

Just as we were leaving for the ferry, the Victoria Symphony Orchestra began to play......

What a wonderful weekend and my first time in Victoria, British Columbia.