Victoria, British Columbia – Big Trip 2019

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Tuesday 3 September  – sunny and 25 Celsius.  We left at 11 a.m. for the ferry. We parked in the lineup and went to a restaurant just down from the docks. We had to be back at our truck by 12:15.   The restaurant was called Smugglers Cove, we got there at 11:30 and asked the owner if we had lunch would we be out in time as we had to be back by 12:15. At 12:10 I paid for our food, that we didn’t have yet, and waited for them to pack it up. He was adamant that we would have time to eat our lunch. There was quite a few people in the restaurant, all taking the same ferry. They were all asking him the same questions.  Some either  canceled their food or packed it up.   He was very rude to some of the other customers. In fact to one couple, he was extremely rude, I couldn’t believe that the other customers let him talk to them like that. They were also trying to catch the ferry.  We left the restaurant about 12:13 and back to our truck.  We just opened up our food to eat it and the ferry man came and asked for our ticket and they started loading.   So the owner of the restaurant was dead wrong, no one of us had time to eat.

The ferry ride was about 90 minutes and we read our books and went outside to look at the water.

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We got off the ferry in Victoria, British Columbia  and drove straight to Fort Victoria RV Park and set up.  We had site 191 for four nights at $60, Canadian,  a night.

It was great to be back in Canada but I really did like Port Angeles and I probably could have spent a couple more days there.

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Wednesday 4 September  –  sunny and 22 Celsius.   This morning we are off to Butchart  Gardens in Victoria. We spent about four hours there. It was $71 total to get in and it was worth it. If you go to Victoria, this is one thing you absolutely have to do.

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I’ve never been on a carousel my life, and they had a beautiful one in the Gardens. I wanted to go on the giraffe but he was too tall for me to get up on so I just got on a horse.

We walked through all of the gardens and took lots of photos. This is a great place with so many beautiful flowers. I was surprised that there was so much color and so many beautiful flowers at this time of year. It was a great time.

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Stone path in the Japanese Gardens

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We left there and went to the Butterfly Gardens and spent about two hours there. They also had an insectarium and one tank had all these ants carrying these little leaves all over the place. I don’t like ants but these were pretty neat nonetheless. They had two flamingos and parrots but not too many butterflies and it was $13 each admittance.  It was still a nice little spot to spend some time.

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Flamingos

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We left there and stopped in at 4 Mile Brewery and sat downstairs in a red comfy couch booth. I had a vegan  stir fry which was really good and Clint had fish and chips. The beer was good too.  This is a huge place with an upstairs and downstairs and outside areas. And it’s not too far from our trailer park.

Thursday 5 September – 22 Celsius and sunny, nice weather. We went to Miniature World in the north side of the Fairmont Empress Hotel in Victoria. Tickets cost $17 each and Clint wasn’t too keen on going but I wanted to go!   Well he sure changed his tune when he got inside. This place is amazing. There are over 85 mini dioramas and displays. I highly recommend going here, it’s a terrific place.

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3 Ring Circus

They have dioramas and displays on space, Camelot, World War II, provinces, Circuses, fairy tales, Buckingham palace, castles of Europe and more. We spent well over two hours here, it was a fantastic place.

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Knights of the Round Table
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Such details
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Old England
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Fort Whoopup!
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This caught our eye
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WWII scene

We walked around downtown after we left the Miniature World and then drove to Craigdarroch Castle. There is a little coffee shop at the entrance so we stopped to have a croissant and butter tart and shared a coffee. The coffee was really good. We paid $14.60 each to get in to the castle and tour it. This is a beautiful house and you do a self-guided tour. This legendary mansion was built between 1887 and 1890 overlooking the City of Victoria.  Robert Dunsmuir, at the time, was the richest and most important man in Western Canada.

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They were doing a bit of work on it

There are four floors and all are so interesting to look through. During WWI, it was used as a military hospital and then it was made into a school. We spent a of couple hours there and spent quite some time talking to one of the tour guides on the way out. This is a very interesting spot.

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We left the mansion and drove back downtown and had a beer at the Swan brewery . They had a really good IPA and Clint had a guest porter.  They had a huge picture of Pierre Elliott Trudeau on the wall.  I thought that was odd.

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Pierre Elliott Trudeau, our 15th Prime Minister and father of our now Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

We left there and drove down to Chinatown and parked. We walked up and down the streets. This is a very small Chinatown and the oldest one in Canada and the second oldest in North America.  San Francisco’s Chinatown is the oldest.  I do love wall art and they had two exceptional ones that I really liked.  Photos below…………..

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We walked down Fan Tan Alley which is the narrowest street in Canada. Really it’s just an alley.

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Fan Tan Alley

Then we ate at the Ocean Garden restaurant and Clint had curry chicken and he liked it and I had General Tao chicken which was pretty tasteless and no sauce. So not great food in my opinion

We walked in and out of a couple of stores, bought some soup spoons and cigars at the cigar shop.

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Random Alley !

Friday 6 September  –  sunny and 23 Celsius.   Off we go to Victoria’s Legislative building.

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We did a 45 minute tour led by David, who was a very good speaker. It’s a beautiful building. In fact every legislative building we went to has been beautiful. After we left there, we walked around a bit on our own.

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Beautiful ceilings

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Outside of the building across the street was a big fountain with all the Provincial and Territorial emblems on a stone wall behind the fountain.

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We walked down to Fisherman’s Wharf, maybe 1/2 hour walk, and they have the cutest little floating boat houses down there.  But as cute as they are, they sure are pricey.

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One of the houseboats was for sale and it was close to $400,000. And it was tiny.

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We ate at Barb’s fish and chips,which was highly recommended. We shared a two-piece lunch. The fish was good and the fries were okay and the coleslaw sucked. Let’s just say I have had better fish and chips. We saw cute little fairy taxis in the water, taking people here and there, and we saw a float plane landing.  This is a beautiful spot.

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Little yellow and green cabs, so cute

We walked back up to our truck and decided to take a drive over to Beacon Hill Park. We parked and walked all around the park looking at the ponds and flower gardens. Lots of peacocks and ducks in the park. This park is pretty big.

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This tree was HUGE, we couldn’t get over it
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Splashing Duck

Then we went on to try some beer!  First stop, Vancouver Island brewery which was a cute place and a really friendly young girl. The beer was okay and they only do taster trays here. You cannot buy a glass of beer, so we shared one.

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This made me laugh, Hans Gruber is everywhere!

On to Phillips brewery and the beer was good, we bought a growler of IPA and one of porter to take home. It’s a large place and the people are not friendly or welcoming.  And we’re back in Canada, so what’s going on?

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The little Driftwood brewery, we walked in and out. It’s very, very  small and the girl did not even acknowledge us when we went in.

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Then we went to Hoyne Brewery, which is right next door to Driftwood. It’s very small but we shared a taster tray and talked to a local couple. We bought a third growler of copper ale.  Great little place!

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The very last place we went to was Moon Under Water Brewery.  It’s an okay place, we sat at the bar but we didn’t care for the beer.

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So that was it for my hometown, I was born here, quite a long time ago!   Tomorrow we are off to Port Alberni…………….

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