We didn't put much planning into our short trip to Victoria, British Columbia, but it worked out great.
A ferry takes people, dogs, bikes, cars, RVs, semi trucks and who knows what else across 26 miles of the Strait of Juan de Fuca from Port Angeles,WA, to Victoria and back. We caught the 8:15 a.m. ferry on a clear, beautiful day. We stood at the front of the ferry -- not quite in the Kate Winslet Titanic position -- watching nearby container ships and fishing boats. There was a little bit of excitement on our part when we overheard a guide pointing out "a bunch of human skulls" on a spit of land, only to realize later that he was a birder pointing out “Heerman's gulls.”
The ferry ride was 90 minutes. While on the ferry we purchased tickets for the “Hop-on Hop off" tour, another 90-minute trip -- this time narrated on a double decker bus -- that takes you around the city. After the bus tour we had time to get lunch and walk around on our own before we took a return ferry at 3 p.m.
|The flower-covered Swan's Hotel in downtown Victoria.|
|Victoria is the capital of the province of British Columbia; above is BC's parliament building near the inner harbor. The building was completed in 1897, the the year of Queen Victorias' Diamond Jubilee. Our tour guide said Victoria is the capitol of BC instead of the much larger Vancouver (about 350,000 people in metro Victoria compared with 2.4 million in metro Vancouver) simply because Victoria was settled first.|
|A Disney cruise ship, left, and a Carnival Miracle ship, were docked not far from where our ferry docked.|
|Tour guide John told us there are over 1,000 hanging baskets in downtown Victoria.|
|Victoria was full of tourists. As you got away from the harbor, which is to the immediate right of this photo, it was bustling with tourists and locals. Busy city.|
|We saw people taking tours via about all transportation types imaginable (horses, bikes, boats, seaplanes, you name it) including the above amphibious bus.|