Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Victoria B.C. Time to Explore!

Whenever I travel now I book my accommodations on Airbnb. So far I haven't been disappointed. Victoria was no exception. The things I look for are: close to downtown but not TOO close, separate quarters from the owners, doesn't cost an arm and a leg, wifi,  a fridge and a corkscrew :)

This lovely setup met all of my requirements. It had a nice living area with a patio...

...a full size kitchen with all the needed appliances... (I stocked the fridge with yogurt and blueberries for my 3 breakfasts...)

...and it was on the main floor of a house with the owner and her two very quiet young boys living upstairs...

...a very comfortable bed and a brand new bathroom...no tub, but a really nice shower!

The location was St. Lawrence St. which was just a few blocks away from "downtown" Victoria. On this particular trip I needed a parking space too and there was a short driveway that was just the right size and was conveniently located next to the patio and patio doors so it was easy to carry things in from and out to the rental car.

It was a nice street with attractive Craft style homes with loads of flowers, shrubs and trees. The section of the street I was on was one way and very quiet.

At the end of my street, two blocks away, was a park that I walked through arriving at the Fisherman's Wharf. I could see clear across to the other side of the bay and watched the activity of the many boats and pontoon planes.


The harbour contains a "working wharf" which is very colourful and full of different kinds of businesses, not just the usual fishing boats.

This became my favourite place in Victoria and my friend Troy and I ate there on my birthday - I had seared tuna for the first time with a lovely chardonnay - it was so fresh and tasty.

It's a very busy place!
 

What I loved the best were the "floating houses"! There are 33 of them occupied year round. There was one for sale - if only I had a spare million lying around! Small living appeals to me very much, and living at the wharf year round sounds ideal.

Some are one story, most are two and many have a rooftop patio and garden. Some people operate businesses from their floating house.

This very colourful one appealed to my artistic side...

Piers become streets...

Most floating houses show the characteristics of the owners...

The green one has a nice rooftop patio.

There were many water taxis to help people get quickly to the other side of the bay...

 I continued on to explore downtown Victoria seeing a well-occupied fountain...

The HUGE Empress Hotel which I would have loved to explore but we weren't allowed...

The Parliament buildings were quite beautiful I thought...

A closer view of the Empress Hotel. If you book far enough in advance you can enjoy High Tea for about a million dollars.  (Now I need TWO million dollars!!)

Here's my high tea :)  After strolling the streets and taking in the sights I found a pub called "The Local" where I enjoyed a cold beverage and a quesadilla.


This is my view of the bay from "The Local" ...

...a different view...

 Remembering the dead in both World Wars...
 

A Sequoia tree that was planted in the late 1800's - it grows about one foot per year! Every Christmas it is loaded with lights.

You can see tiny people on the sidewalk beside the tree which shows how huge it is!

Parliament and First Nations going head to head - saving sacred land is an ongoing battle.


I saw this in a window of someone's home business - I couldn't resist!!

Lots of plants and flowers that I'd never seen before - beautiful!



And that was my first day - I travelled 3700 kms by Uber, plane, rental car and ferry and safely arrived at my first destination. Tomorrow I'll head to the west coast of Vancouver Island for hiking and exploring. The weather forecast looks great!

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