Vancouver Island/Victoria/Butchart Gardens

Trip Start May 01, 2013
Trip End May 01, 2014

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What I did
Butchart Gardens Victoria
Read my review - 5/5 stars
House of Parliament

Flag of Canada  , British Columbia,
Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Day 136 - Today we took a ferry ride (more like being on a cruise ship they are so large, including 2 restaurants and an upscale boutique!) over to Vancouver Island with another small tour group.  Today's trip was over 16 hours from start to finish (remember I had to take a car, a train, a bus, a ferry, a bus again, and you get the picture)  BUT, it was worth every second.  Again, we had fantastic sunshine and actually a bit too warm temperatures, but I wasn't complaining.

Our ferry ride over takes about an hour and a half across the Strait of Geogia and we did see a small pod of Orca Whales, but this time they were a bit far away - still nice to know that you are seeing something so wonderful.

Our driver/tour guide was Marica - and once I got over the "ok"and "Here we go" comments every 6 seconds, we really enjoyed all the knowledge that she imparted on us.

Remember when I was telling you about how sad I thought it was that so many houses sat in the midst of a "junk" yard?  Well, it turns out that the First Nation's people leave lots of different types of objects in their yards to that people can come over at any time and "borrow" them without having to knock on the door to ask.  OK, then that answers that!!

Our first stop after the ferry was to Victoria (Capitol of Vancouver).  She took us on a quick overview of the city in the van and then we were dropped off in Chinatown (we had 3 hours to explore on our own).  I was thinking, of how great, a wonderful lunch!  Not so, too bad.  One of the fun things in Chinatown is that they have a place called "Fan Alley" which is in the Guinness Book of World Records as the smallest alley in the world - and it was!  Hardly enough for two people to pass and shops along it.  Amazing!  Victoria is a beautiful city with the vibrant waterfront, lots of history, great shopping beautiful architectural building dating back to the late 1800's and early 1900's.

We then walked down near the waterfront and to the Empress Hotel - Such a beautiful building! Next we went into the Parliament Building - another marvel of architecture and history (don't worry, your lesson is coming)!  After the city, we were then taken to Butchart Gardens, where we had 2.5 hours to explore.  I'm sure some of you reading this have been here, and if not and you like gardens, this is one for your Bucket List!!!

So here it is:
Victoria municipality pop. 78,057; Greater Victoria pop. 330,088; Vancouver Island pop. 699,645.
Weather in Vancouver Island is very temperate:  Average for summer 71 degrees and average for winter is 44 degrees.  They rarely if ever get snow fall
The size of Vancouver Island  is 12,407 square miles.  
The Empress Hotel has been overlooking the harbor for over 100 years.  It was built by Francis Rattenbury.  He built the hotel in the grand style of the hotels built by the railroads in the late 1800's, to include the style of the Canadian Pacific Railway and added the Gothic Style gables. This hotel was built in 1904 through 1908 and has been added onto twice since then.
Rattenbury was also the architect for the Parliament Building (he won this contract when he was just 25) and began construction of that in 1893 and completed late in 1897.  One wing was added in 1912 by Rattenbury for a Provincial Library.  Rattenbury remained one of the premier architects from British Columbia throughout his lifetime.

I think I will publish the photos from Butchart Gardens in an entry of it's that will be next.
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My Review Of The Place I've Seen

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Pamela on

Ah Victoria, one of my favorite places.

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