Day #32 - Another Ferry Good Day!

Today we left Vancouver to travel over to Victoria Island, the large island in the Arctic Archipelago that straddles the boundary between Nunavut and the Northwest Territories of Canada, according to Wikipedia. 

We have fallen in love with Canada; its people, its scenery and its energy and after experiencing Canadian city life for a few days, it's going to be an interesting contrast to head to more rural and less populated areas. 

After a leisurely morning and saying goodbye to the amazing Rosewood Hotel Georgia (we really do hate to admit that we have loved every minute of five star living!) we drove to the ferry terminal to catch the one o'clock crossing. 

This part of our journey was very familiar in as much as it was just like catching the ferry at Dover! Sat in a numbered lane behind other vehicles waiting to board. Not very exciting, so nothing much to write about here! However, once on board and under way, we thoroughly enjoyed the crossing. The air was bracing to say the least (which we actually welcomed) and the views stunning, especially as we passed between Galiano Island and Mayne Island. While the sun could have been a bit more willing, I think you'll agree, the photos convey the sense of grandeur of the passing scenery.

While on board, James embraced his inner Canadian and purchased a very nice fleece shirt in the classic lumberjack red and black check. Look out for it in future posts! I am sure it will feature over the next few days. 

On arrival in Victoria we headed to a place James visited last when he was about 18 months old - The Butchart Gardens, at Brentwood Bay.  Despite his young age, he definitely has memories of this stunning garden since he recalled views and features not seen in the family photos of the time. I suspect this strong early memory of this beautiful garden, triggered his love of horticulture and garden landscapes.

The Butchart Gardens are an old limestone quarry that was converted into gardens by the owners after its reserves had been exhausted for their cement business. The work began in 1909 and continued in earnest until 1921 when The Sunken Garden was completed. In 1926, the family replaced their tennis courts with an Italian garden and in 1929 they replaced their kitchen vegetable garden with a large rose garden, both of which can be seen today. In 1982 the Butchart Gardens was used as the inspiration for the gardens at the Canadian pavilion opened at Epcot Centre in Walt Disney World, Florida - no wonder we loved it!

After a beautiful afternoon in the gardens we headed down to the city of Victoria to find our hotel and check in. We stayed in Abigail's Hotel which used to be a set of apartments, but now is a wonderful boutique hotel that is both welcoming, comfortable and quaintly stylish. Our room is definitely one of the most opulent ones we have stayed in so far. On arrival, we were invited to have a complementary bowl of mushroom soup (James' new favourite - not kidding!) and there were welcome cookies on our bed. Who's not going to love welcome cookies!!

The evening found us down by the docks in Victoria, enjoying the illuminated buildings by the waterfront and a very enjoyable meal at a nearby restaurant. On the way back, we stopped off at one of the gay bars to find that it was Comedy Night with some local amature comedians taking to the stage to entertain the small crowd. I don't think any of them will be hitting the big time anytime soon, but they certainly gave us a few laughs and chuckles - although, I can't for the life of me, remember a single joke they told!


  1. Great shirt James, think Spencer needs one too!

    1. Buchart Gardens… where they took an old rock quarry and turned it into a gold mine! 😁. A lovely place to visit even so…


    2. They were spectacular - so pleased we got to see them as the colours were changing. Yes it's hard to believe it was an ugly hole in the ground! That's one mega-makeover!


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