Another early morning car ferry and we were across the border into Canada. This time we were the last car on the ferry, and thus were parked on a precarious incline at the back of the ferry tilted about 25 degrees towards the ocean. It felt a lot steeper when we were in the car. Anyway, yet another uneventful trip, and yet more vending machine hot chocolate.
Landed in Sydney, got through customs with no hassles, and started are way down to Victoria. Victoria is the capital of British Columbia, and also the largest city on Vancouver Island (Vancouver the city is on the mainland, and where we were heading next). Since it was an early morning ferry we got into Victoria a little after noon and checked into our hotel, the ‘Magnolia Spa and Hotel’. It also happens to be a spa, and beats out the Hilton in Seattle for the most expensive hotel we stayed at. Even at Canadian dollars, the over 16% taxes added onto the end became a bit much. The room was -very- nice though, and well worth the money this late in our trip.
Victoria is -very- nice. It has a smallish downtown, with an inner harbor and an seaplane runway right in the middle of it. It was quite fun watching the planes land and take off. We walked around the harbour, grabbed lunch at an english style pub, tried 2 ATMs until we found one that would work with our american banks, and took a little harbor ferry back downtown. During our travels we found a little ‘street’ of floating houses. Basically, a floating doc with a whole bunch of house boats shaped like real houses. Most were for sale, one small one for c$100,000.00. They were quite fun to look at.
Anyway, we were exhausted, so we came back for a nap in the later afternoon and then wandered around and grabbed some sushi for dinner. Ok, I don’t like sushi, so I had the white boy special, and Katy had sushi, but regardless. Then we saw them light up the state house (they light it up every night, and several buildings around the downtown also do it), and returned back to the hotel for some sleep.
Victoria was one of my favorite places on the trip. Even though it seems their entire waterfront is being overrun with condos and hotels, the people were all incredibly friendly and helpful, the city was pretty alive with people, and there seemed to be a decent amount to do. A very nice place, and I’m glad we came.
Tomorrow, our ferry to the mainland isn’t until 2pm, so we still have some time in Victoria in the morning.