Victoria, the capital of British Columbia (BC) sits on the southern end of Vancouver Island. With abundant parkland, it’s known for outdoor activities.
After arriving on Vancouver Island by ferry from Vancouver, we were ready for bath and bed, knowing we would be up early the following morning to head into Downtown Victoria. We were lucky to get the front seats on the bus so were able to enjoy stunning views of the snow-capped mountains (US) and Elk Lake, a vast expanse of water surrounded by a 10km walking / cycling track.
The BC Museum near the harbour kept us amused with information on the environment across the region through the years. There were also some great exhibits about the people, including First Nation and British settlers. After lunch we took a walk past the historic Empress Hotel and into the old town. Some of the old colonial buildings have been beautifully restored.
There was plenty more to see downtown, so a few days later we hopped on the bus again. This time the harbour area looked spectacular under clear blue skies. We took a long walk up to Beacon Hill park where we enjoyed the huge green trees, bright flowers and watched a squirrel. Following the path along the waterfront, we came to the cruise terminal (no ships in!) and then to Fishermans Wharf. The colourful buildings are largely floating food places and quirky houseboats – and yes, people actually live in them. One of the houseboats had a far too realistic looking dummy of a lady sitting on a deckchair.
We decided to walk back to the town centre and save a taxi trip on the water to our next visit.
Our third visit into town was with our wonderful hostess, Meta. We visited Miniature World, an amazing display of miniature displays. The first ones were focused on the numerous wars, followed by a history and synopsis of the whole of Canada. A great way to get an overview of the country and a much nicer way to learn history! They also had scenes depicting a number of nursery rhymes, huge dolls houses (including palaces), old and new London Town, scenes from Dickens novels and Shakespeare and King Arthur. The two hours we spent there whizzed past – and we were fortunate to only see another three or four people. No cruise ship people!
As we had promised ourselves a trip on the water, so the three of us hopped on a water taxi across the water to Fisherman’s Wharf. Meta hadn’t been there before, even after living in the area for almost 10 years, so that was nice. We also had the excitement of being joined by a seal on our way across the water. And as the boat sat so low, we were really close to it.