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Sunday, 18 September 2016

Two days in greater Victoria

Up and at 'em

Up at 08:00 to overcast skies but no rain, yet... Coffee done and a healthy breakfast of yoghurt and berries we are headed for Victoria and the surrounding suburbs.

A Canadian legend.

We parked at the edge of Beacon Hill park at Mile Zero where a statue stands of Terry Fox, our Canadian Marathon of Hope runner. We spent an hour and a half walking through this beautiful park. Wonderfully planted with perennials, roses and a colourful assortment of annuals. A few nice ponds with lilies and sculptures are scattered throughout the park.

Then back to the car for a drive along the waterfront with its mansions and vistas. We came upon the village of Oak Bay where we parked the car and bought some lunch at the local Save on Foods. Cornish pasties and a Mediterranean potato salad, delicious. We spotted a picnic table at the Oak Bay Marina and enjoyed our meal with a small plastic cup of white wine, discretion is everything, you know... We had a laugh as we watched someone feeding the local seals some scraps from the restaurant at the marina. After lunch we walked along the seawall and came upon a foursome of young people playing a piano randomly placed outside for anyone's enjoyment. I asked if I could take a picture of them and they gladly allowed that. We then returned to the car and drove the small coastal roads northbound up the Saanich peninsula and took in the views and the amazing houses along the coastline. We decided to return to the city the next day.

These guys were having a blast!

Back at the campground we made quesadillas and cooked them on the barbecue. Delicious! We had better luck with the fire because we had bought some fire starters and they really get the kindling started. When the rain returned we packed it in and went to the shelter of the tent. A better night's sleep for me this time around, I was too tired to be awake...

The next morning we had cold showers. All in all Goldstream is not our favourite place...

When we returned to Victoria the next morning we parked the car near the ferry terminal in downtown. Parking is free there for a two hour maximum stay, plenty of time to walk the inner harbour and surrounding areas. China town in Victoria is Canada's oldest. However Vancouver's is Canada's largest. No shortage of food there and the smells are great. The inner harbour is surrounded with the Government Buildings and the Empress Hotel. A great spot to moor your boat for a few days in front of the Empress. We also walked along the David Foster pathway to Fisherman's Wharf. A few nice restaurants serving up anything to do with fish, even Mexican fish dishes. We did a lot of walking in the two hours and made it back to the car in good time. Then we returned to Oak Bay for a stroll along the shops of Oak Bay avenue.

Gateway to Chinatown
Government buildings
A great idea!

We really like Oak Bay. It has a great vibe and reminds me of Kitsilano in Vancouver. For lunch we decided to pick up a Subway sandwich and head to the beach area near the marina where we had lunch the day before. We chose a bench this time and were entertained by a seagull looking for a handout. Just then a moving truck appeared and took the piano away... Feeling lucky now that we managed to get a picture of it with young people playing it.

A quick stop at Craigdarroch castle taught us that this stately mansion was built solely for the purpose of showing off ones wealth. Mr. Dunsmuir spared no expense and built this beautiful home in the late 1800s. I like it when wealthy people spend their money, it feeds the economy. We walked the property and took some pictures but decided to forego the $13.95 per person entry fee.

When we returned to the car we drove to the University of Victoria, where our grandson Bailey will be studying next year. Twice around the circular drive that surrounds the university we saw all the different pavilions and buildings where different courses are offered. It being the beginning of the school year there were a lot of goings on with the student council and the music was loud!

We continued our drive to Royal Roads University. A beautiful place that was once a military academy. Even in the lousy weather the old castle looks amazing. It was then time to return to our campground and get ready for dinner. Chilli con carne warmed us up and we huddled in our tent as it rained and rained. We decided that that was enough and it was time to leave the area in the morning. Thankfully the next morning everything was dry and we could put away our gear without the rain coming down. Next destination, Rathtrevor Beach Park in Parksville...

Beautiful Royal Roads

Our four day stay at Goldstream had been reduced to three, simply because of the rain. It seems that this park sits in some kind of micro climate of its own. It was nice and sunny in Victoria, but cold and wet in the park, too bad...

Huddled in the tent, rain rain rain...



  1. I hope you encounter some better weather, camping in the rain is no fun. Stay warm!

  2. Victoria and the area are beautiful, so glad you enjoyed it. You showed me some sights that I haven't seen or known about before, now I want to go back and explore that area again.

    What a neat idea having that piano there for anyone to play and enjoy and that you were lucky enough to see it in use before it was taken away.

    Hope the weather in Parksville will be better for you.

  3. There are several similar pianos scattered throughout the downtown area of Kelowna. Great fun for all. Happy to see you had a good visit in Victoria.

  4. What a fun tour of Victoria, thanks for taking us along with all the wonderful photos.