Last day in Canada - ferry to Victoria

Trip Start Jul 27, 2012
Trip End Aug 18, 2012

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Flag of Canada  , British Columbia,
Thursday, August 16, 2012

Today was my last full day in Canada. Tomorrow morning, I have to be at the Vancouver train station at 5 AM (groan!) to start my journey down the coast back home.

The power in my hotel room went out last night or really early this morning. I awoke about 2 am to a very hot stuffy room. When I went to turn the lights on, NOTHING!! I managed to get to the phone and the front desk sent someone up but they could not fix anything so I had to repack and change rooms at 3 am Apparently it was only my room not the entire hotel - lucky me!!  but when the management asked what woud make me happy, I said a free dinner in the hotel restaurant so I had a huge elegant EXPENSIVE meal whatever I wanted to eat and drink, totally free.

Today, I took a full day tour to the city of Victoria. I got picked up at 7:30 and did not get back until 8 pm so a very long and tiring day, but wonderful. The weather here was 30 degrees centigrade (to change to Fahrenheit, multiply by 2 and add 30) so it was 90 which is unheard of in Vancouver but not a cloud in the sky.

We drove by bus to the ferry terminal and then drove the bus on the ferry. The BC ferries are  huge - they can accommodate up to 300 cars and trucks and several thousand people. The ferry ride took about 90 minutes - there are 3 decks for parking and 4 decks for people. You get off the bus during the ferry ride and can wander around - they have shops, cafes, restaurants, and loads of seating areas - very nice. the ferry ride was 90 minutes, then about a 45 minute drive to downtorn Victoria.

The most famous sites in Victoria are the historic Empress Hotel and the beautiful Buchert gardens. The Empress hotel faces the waterfront and is covered with ivy and surounded by beautiful gardens. About every 10 feet in downtown Victoria is an old fashioned lampost with two huge hanging baskets full of all sorts of beautiful flowers.

Bob, I went back to the Bengal lounge in the Empress - remember we had lunch there one time. The Empress is famous for its "high tea" which costs $80 includiing taxes but I really like the Bengal lounge where I had a sampler plate of smoked and candied smoked salmon (sounds yuckky but really tasty) and a specialty honey beer made from the Empress Hotel's own honey bees.- how cool is that!  I am not a beer drinker but it was quite tasty probably too sweet for real beer lovers. The Bengal lounge specializes in Indian food and is beautifully decorated with tiger skins on the walls, huge leather and wicker chairs, and 20 foot carved ceilings with huge picture windows overlooking the harbor.

I went to the BC Museum there and acquired another of my special "treasures" - a beautiful wood carving by a "First Nation"  artist, the term Canada uses for all native peoples. See picture.

Afterwards, we went to Buchert Gardens which is a world famous garden started and still owned by a private family with many many acres of flowers, fouintains, landscaping, etc. By that time, I was so tired, I could hardly enjoy it but took many pictures.

Instead of taking the bus and ferry back to Vancouver which would have gotten me back to my hotel about 10 pm or later, , I paid some extra money to take a high speed boat back through the local islands so got back by 8 pm instead of 10 or later. See attached pictures. An absolutely perfect day - blue, blue skies and calm water.

That's it for now. I still want to add some blogs about the train portion of the trip with pictures, now that I know how to do it and only when I have reliable WIRED internet so it may be when I get home but I will try. I would place Canadian trains over US trains for the most excellent quality of their food ad availablity of toilets and sinks in all of their sleeper compartments versus the alternative of hiking down to the end of the car in the middle of the night or whenever the need arises in the US.

Vancouver Shirley

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Lisa on

Okay I want the full story on the new treasure. It is beautiful! Is there some symbolism or story behind the images on the piece? It seems to be an eagle, but there is probably more there. Can't wait to see the real piece. Enjoy the last of your trip and I hope you get a better night's sleep tonight!

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