Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Victoria: Capital of British Columbia

It didn't take us long to to recover from the ferry fiasco. Next morning we were up and ready to take in the sights, sounds and tastes of Victoria.

We began our "British Expedition" back at Victoria Harbour where we came in yesterday. It was  cool and a bit overcast -- my favorite conditions for touring and photography.

While Wayne watched the seaplanes, ferries and yachts on the harbor side, I went across the street to explore Bastion Square. I immediately noticed all the blooms.  Flowers everywhere!

Bastion Square
The odd "tulip" artwork is a rather new piece - 2008 -- called the Commerce Canoe. 

The Maritime Museum.  We didn't tour it but probably should have.  I think there was a lot of good stuff in there.
Two of the many popular and much photographed buildings in Victoria are the Empress Hotel and the Parliament Building.

The Parliament Building.  From afar to show some of the colorful blooms....

And closer to show more of the building and grounds. 

Empress Hotel

 "A perfect Eden" is how the founder of the city described Victoria.  It's the oldest city in Western Canada and was settled in 1843 as Fort Victoria. The city was named for the British monarch Queen Victoria who reigned from 1837 to 1901.

Victoria was originally an outpost of the Hudson's Bay Company and it's harbor was home to one of the world's largest whaling and sealing fleets. Victoria was a major port of entry to British North America and is the second largest metro area.

Moderate climate here keeps the flowers in bloom almost year round.

Our route took us  along the edge of the island. One of our stops is at Beacon Hill Park where dogs rule and great views could be enjoyed for miles around.

Nearly all the dogs in this park were off leash. Lexie and Ozzie were not, of course.
While Ozzie loved seeing all the dogs and tried to play with all of them, Lexie was not interested. 
The road we traveled followed the jagged edge of the island, winding and curving with beautiful views of open water, harbors and inlets.

Yes, that's Wayne sitting in the chair.

One of the marinas.  Not sure which...
There are several city touring companies who use the old double-deck British style buses to tour their customers. I snapped these pictures of them.

This is one of the most advertised bus tour companies.
Hop On, Hop Off!

Most of the homes around Victoria are small-ish and quaint -- neat and well landscaped with still more flowers. Some of the typical ones ....

Okay, so this house isn't really typical.  But plenty of flowers make it an eye-catcher.

At lunchtime we stopped at Fishermans Wharf for fish and chips at a frequently advertised place called Barbs. Two orders of fish and chips and a bowl of chowder with garlic bread totaled almost $30. The food was just mediocre -- tiny strips of halibut wrapped in an inch of greasy batter.

Other sights to see around the wharf area were interesting as an entire floating neighborhood is built along the dock. 
This dock house is for sale.

No, he's not drunk (or even drinking). That's my root beer in his hand.
Just the luck of the camera...

The colorful Fishermans Wharf floating neighborhood from a distance.
Notice all the residential buildings in the background.
Leaving Fishermans Wharf, I took Lexie and Ozzie for a stroll along the wooden boardwalk along the shoreline back toward the harbor.  Wayne went back for the car and picked us up a few blocks later. 

Have I mentioned that there are lots of wild blackberry bushes here?  Well there are and I'm developing a real "hankerin'" for a blackberry cobbler..
I snapped this picture while on the boardwalk.
Somebody said these are "salmon berries"???
They look like blackberries to me.

Hope you enjoyed our tour of Victoria.  We had a good time.

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