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Victoria - 13th April 2011

Rayls outside Craigdarroch Castle
Craigdarroch Castle

Here I am watching hockey on TV. Don't call it ice hockey in Canada - it's HOCKEY! Vancouver is playing Chicago in game one of the Stanley Cup playoffs and it is like AFL Grand Final week in Melbourne. The news is just full of hockey and I think they might be in the middle of a federal election here but hockey rules. 

No photos for a day or so. can't get Finder on my stupid Mac to work and so can't download or review photos. I looked up Google for a solution but too technical for me.

Anyway...... today we took the hotel shuttle bus to Craigdarroch Castle - probably 2 K's away. The castle is not actually a castle but a mansion. The four-story impressive looking building still has lavish furnishings from the 1890s and is known for its stained-glass and intricate woodwork. It is currently owned by the Craigdarroch Castle Historical Museum Society. Items are presented really well and you can really feel the period. We were there around an hour and a half before we walked back to downtown Victoria. Really is a pretty city and with a population of around 300,000 is quite small. Easy to walk around. We ended up at the Museum of British Columbia and also watched an IMAX movie. 

Another good day, not as cold as yesterday. A little bit of rain but overall pretty good.

Tomorrow back to the USA and start our drive to Cedar City in Utah.

Victoria - 12th April 2011

Rayls outside our hotel
Rayls outside our Victoria Hotel

Early start today, had to be at the ferry terminal around 7:15am for an 8:00am departure. Rayls did a good job last night packing all the bags and having a small bag for us to take on our two day trip to Victoria. Everything other than the small bag we are taking is in the boot of our rental car parked opposite the ferry terminal in Port Angeles.

The M.V. Coho is the name of the ferry. It is a passenger and vehicle ferry and provides a 90 minute crossing in both directions twice each day. It was very cold this morning - probably 1C and even the locals in both Port Angeles and Victoria thought it was coolish. Te ferry trip went fine - very similar to the ferry we took last year with Jim and Bette.

Customs was a breeze in Canada and we wandered over to our hotel - The Royal Scot in Quebec Street, just a block and a half away - it did end up being a bit further as we got a bit bamboozled with directions - just difficult when you have no clue which way is north, south, east or west. We are in room 431 and it is a suite with a kitchen, nice lounge and a bedroom - very nice.

Given our day was half gone by the time we were ready to get out. We decided to go to Butchart Gardens which is about 20 K's from the city. We took the hotel shuttle bus the 1 K to downtown Victoria, checked out a quilt shop called the Satin Moon and then caught the 30 bus to Royal Oak where we transferred to the 75 bus which took us to Butchart Gardens. I had quite a chat with the bus driver on the 30 service - started work at 11am and finishes at 8pm and is not entitled to any breaks - no meal break, nothing. Wow!

The Butchart Gardens is a group of floral display gardens and is apparently quite famous - I had never heard of them until this last week but it was well worth a visit, albeit a tad expensive at $22 a person plus tax. We did enjoy our time there, very nice gardens - took a ton of photos and video.

Caught the 75 bus back to downtown Victoria - I notice that petrol in Victoria is $1.28.9 a litre - given the Canadian and Aussie dollars are around the same it would seem petrol is just a little cheaper here. Petrol in the US is around $4 a gallon which equates to around 85 cents a litre.

We walked the K back to the hotel and had dinner in the hotel restaurant. The TV here is full of ice hockey news, the Stanley Cup Finals which start tomorrow - far more hockey news here than in the USA. Vancouver play the Chicago Blackhawks in game one tomorrow night - Scott will be in San Jose tomorrow night to watch his Kings play the Sharks. Go Kings, Go Blackhawks.