Victoria - BC's Capital

Trip Start Sep 13, 2008
Trip End Oct 04, 2008

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Where I stayed

Flag of Canada  , British Columbia,
Monday, September 15, 2008

We got up early to make the most of our last few hours in Vancouver. We were asking one of the staff at the hotel the best way to get to Granville Island, when he kindly offered to give us a lift. Granville Island used to be an industrial zone, but has now been transformed into a shopping & arts district. The public market opens around 09:00 every day and sells every kind of fresh & tempting produce imaginable, from breads & fruit to seafood & sausages.

We left Granville Island at around 10:00 and caught the Aquabus back over to Downtown. We got back to our hotel, checked out and headed over to Hertz to pick up our rental car. We were given a Chevrolet Tahoe, which is a massive 4x4. James got into the drivers seat and we headed off to catch our ferry to Vancouver Island.

The Vancouver to Victoria route can get rather busy at peak times and weekends, but we arrived at midday and were able to get onto the 13:00 sailing. The crossing takes around 1.5 hours and passes through several inlets and bays on the way to the Swartz Bay terminal.

On arriving at the Terminal we headed off for Victoria (along with most of the other traffic). Highway 17 runs straight from the Swartz Bay terminal to Downtown Victoria. Our hotel in Victoria was the Victoria Regency hotel, located on Wharf Street over looking the inner harbour.

After checking in we decided to headed out to have a look around Victoria. We walked down Government Street and looked through a number of shops (If you don't like tourist shops avoid this part of town) on the way to the Parliament Building.

The British Columbia Parliament Buildings are stunning in architecture. On top of the building stands a gilded statue of Captain George Vancouver, the first mariner to circumnavigate Vancouver Island. Another building overlooking the inner harbour is the ivy covered Fairmount Empress hotel built in 1908. Countless tour buses and cruise ships are drawn to Victoria to see these two buildings, so the inner harbour area is the hive of activity.

We decided to have dinner in one of the many restaurants in the inner harbour area. We had views over the harbour to the parliament buildings and watched the sunset over a glass of wine. After the sun goes down the inner harbour is transformed when the parliament buildings are illuminated with thousands of tiny lights.
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