Continuing with my August 2016 trip reminiscing.
In contrast to its sibling Vancouver, Victoria, BC, was a fun place to visit. We took a ferry from Vancouver, which took about 1 hour and 35 minutes. There were a lot of people headed to Victoria that day. We were lucky to be close to the front of the queue since we were able to grab a table at the cafeteria for our breakfast.
The crossing was calm and there were tons of opportunities to photograph the coastline. The ferry back was less crowded, probably since most were on multiple day-trips in Victoria.
From the port (Tsawwassen-Swartz Bay), we decided to take a cab to Craigdarroch Castle, the “historic, Victorian-era Scottish baronial mansion” of coal baron Robert Dunsmuir and his wife Joan. It was an impressive mini-castle with it’s rough-looking rock façade, Romanesque-style arches, and colorful stained glass windows. It’s history was a bit sad though, Robert Dunsmuir never got to live on the castle and the castle and its lands were sold off by his widow until ownership eventually ended up with the Craigdarroch Castle Historical Museum Society. (sources: Wikipedia and TheCastle.ca)
From there, we walked the streets of Victoria and found a Vietnamese restaurant where I introduced pho to my X and Aunt P. Not sure they were impressed, they did comment at how big the bowls were.
To round up our trip, headed to the famous Empress Hotel by Fairmont, a “chateau-style hotel” facing the Victoria Harbor. From there, the Parliament building were a few steps away. One thing that struck me about Victoria was the abundance of flowers and plants. Pity we weren’t able to see the Buchart Garden.
We sat on in front of one of the ice cream shops, watched the ships, watched the people, and soaked in the atmosphere.