Thursday, February 11, 2010


One of the first things we did in Canada was head to Victoria.  Victoria is actually the capital of BC, though it is only a very small city, but it is where all the government stuff, both provincial and federal, happens.  Aside from this aspect, it is a very pretty place to visit.  Going in the middle of winter meant that we had our run of places that we wanted to go, as well as cheap and really nice accomodation.

We left Vancouver early on tuesday morning.  To get to Victoria, you need to get a ferry from Tsawwassen, which is a good distance from Vancouver itself.  Thankfully, there's a new train line from downtown that makes it a heck of a lot easier to get there.  Once we hit the end of the train line, we hopped on a bus, where we saw this horrendous piece of branding

It's hard to see because I was taking through a rainy bus window, but that is a McDonalds.  In a church.  With fake stained glass golden arches.  Ok, it's not as bad as Starbucks in the Forbidden City, but still wasn't very impressed. 

Once we got on the ferry, the weather started to clear up as we got closer to Victoria.  There's some wonderful little houses around the coasts of all the islands.  Each house has its own jetty or landing, and the houses look like a wonderful place to live if you like to escape busy life. 

Once on the island, we caught a bus from the ferry terminal to Victoria proper.  The island is very pretty, and was really giving me that feeling that I really was somewhere else, mostly because the vegetation is so very different from the native forests in Australia and New Zealand. 

This is the BC legislature building.  It is a lovely building with a commanding presence in a small city.  At night it is all lit up by lines of fairy lights strung along the major lines of the building.

The Empress Hotel, which was built in the early 20th century, is one of the oldest hotels in Victoria.  They do an excellent high tea there, and the decor is gorgeous. 

Just across the road from the Empress is this guy.  He is, of course, Captain James Cook.  Captain Cook reached Canada on his third and final voyage and did a lot charting of the northwestern North American coast, as well as trying to sail through the Bering Straight, something that he never achieved. 

These eagles are everywhere, all painted by different artists in different styles. 

This one is in the style of one of the local First Nations tribes.

We discovered that Darth Vadar has an unknown talent. 

I have decided I really like Canadian post boxes.  You certainly can't miss them, and they are a lot prettier than the average Australia Post ones. 

And here are the two beautifully lit up buildings at night.  Above is the legislature, and below is the Empress.

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