Canada
Victoria

Here you’ll find travel reports about Victoria. Discover travel destinations in Canada of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

94 travelers at this place:

  • Day4

    Victoria

    May 21 in Canada

    I write this G&T in hand listening to Mike & the Mechanics on our sunny balcony on Victoria Day, a public holiday. What a day!
    We left our excellent hotel on Robson headed down to the floatplane. We were in time to catch the 10.30 Harbourair flight to Victoria. So easy, a bakers dozen on the plane plus pilot, safety briefing on an iPad, calm conditions , we headed out, revved up and away we went, out over the suspension bridge down river and across to Vancouver Island.
    Smooth landing and we wondered where our suitcases were? In the float it turned out. This being Victoria Day the bands were playing , roads closed and festivities going on. The last majorettes passed in time for us to cross to our Parkside hotel. There we left our luggage and headed for Fisherman’s Wharf a couple of km round the harbour. Barb’s renowned F&C and ginormous Ice-creams made lunch. We caught a H2O water taxi back to Empress and thence to our hotel apartment where we had been upgraded to a corner suite with chocs and another anniversary card! Brilliant!!
    We tour ourselves away to book whale watching for the morrow and supermarket for provisions ( I must cook the sockeye in a mo). Pool and now balcony- what more could you ask for. BC Pinot Noir with the fish. More demain.
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  • Day5

    The day dawned brightly and after breakfast we set off towards Beacon Hill Park. The wild flowers were beautiful including purple common Camas and cream Meadow Death Camas. At the lookout the view across to Mt Baker in Washington State was stunning a layer of mist obscuring the coastline with mountains soaring above. From the mist appeared a large container ship in surreal ghostly fashion.
    From here we walked along the coast path towards the town. There was a lady skinny dipping on one beach though surely thermals were more the order of the day?! A bit further on there was a flash of orange which settled on a bush - Anna’s hummingbird! Quite brilliant. Coffee at Breakwater Cafe before cutting inland through James Bay. A liquor store provided more delicious Okanangan Pinot Noir and Thrifty market a few more useful essentials.
    Back to base via Parliament building, for a swim (A) and lunch ahead of a whale watching trip with BC whale tours aboard BC Luna. Captain Jim is a marine biologist and quickly headed the 12 on board to find two Killer Whale brothers heading east through the straits. Awesome!We spent quite a bit of time with them before heading towards the coast and finding our way back to port with the sun still shining.
    Great day!
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  • Day17

    FAIRBANKS TO VICTORIA

    June 10 in Canada

    Early morning start today, the airport shuttle picked us up at 3.30 am for 6.00 am flight to Victoria via Seattle. Needless to say it wasn't a good night's sleep, not only because of the short duration but the usual waking up several times, concerned that we might oversleep. On the plus side, waking up what seemed hourly was a good opportunity to check just how dark it gets this far north and I can personally witness that it doesn't. The sun might slip down to the horizon and slide out of sight briefly before popping up again but in that time it stays light. Imagine how light it is half an hour before dawn or after the sun sets at home and that's probably darker than it ever gets here in Alaska in summer.

    So, with a few other bleary eyed travellers we headed for the airport and be reunited with our luggage which had been collected a 11pm the night before (actually about 4 hours earlier) not sure why we couldn't just take the cases with us, the coach was big enough, but that's not how it's done. Stranger still because this way you don't see the people handling the luggage so there's nobody to tip (surprised these guys missed that opportunity) it just magically disappears from outside your room and appears in the next one, or in this case, on the pavement (sorry sidewalk) outside the terminal building. Fortunately the checking in staff didn't ask "could anyone have tampered with your luggage?" So I didn't have to "Well yes, anyone really".

    Tired and grumpy doesn't make for a good travelling day but, I have to say, it went pretty well like clockwork, we made the connection in Seattle and were reunited with our luggage again in Victoria, had a very pleasant immigration control man and then we were in Canada. A quick adjust of the luggage (getting some heavy stuff out of the hand luggage which was needed to scrape the checked luggage below the weight limit, as usual) and headed for the bus into town....it had just gone and, because it was Sunday, the next one wasn't for over an hour. The helpful information lady said "you've got wheels on the luggage it's just about a 10 - 15 minute walk to the hub where you can get the bus into town....yeah right!

    Eventually we found our way out of the airport after touring the car park, sheltering under a tree from a torrential hail storm, walking up a cycle track and having to turn down an invitation to a Jehovah's Witness party that a kind lady stopped her car to give us and there was the bus hub with not a bus in sight. We were just trying to work out which stop we needed when there was our bus going passed on the street by the side of the hub and at the top of some steps! But the bus driver spotted us and waited whilst we "ran" over and up the stairs.

    An hour later we "debarqued" the bus (well that's what they call it when you get off the ship!) and had a short walk, really this time, to our apartment, well almost to our apartment in Chinatown. The address looked correct but the man behind the desk said "what are talking about this is an art gallery!" Just in case you're wondering why we couldn't tell the difference between an apartment complex and an art gallery, our first hotel in Vancouver was an art gallery AND hotel it wouldn't be without precedence. Anyway, we finally found the back alley approach to our apartment, put in the code to the gate and we were in, the cleaner, who couldn't speak English, was just finishing up so Gill got to practice her Spanish. We got some washing on, found some basic supplies, cooked a meal and thankfully went to bed pooped to get ready for the bike ride tomorrow.
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  • Day30

    BTW... what a walk!

    May 23 in Canada

    I thought the writing was all done, but with feet screaming, GIVE ME A BREAK, the other side of Victoria’s harbour beckoned.

    With no clouds in the sky and the sun just touching the horizon I set off another discovery walk. Hopefully the pics give you a hint of the two hours of enjoyment and peace. (12500 steps for those interested!)

    Revealed were... Wonderful views, magnificent reflections, seals, geese, people exercising, sea planes taking off, a myriads of boats in marinas, floating homes... and that was all with the perfect stillness of dawn.

    There is a clarity in the light of the far north that grabs the photographer inside me and says, “shoot me”. The clarity is majestic, inspiring and refreshing.

    The blessing of the walk is beyond words. But I know my feet will appreciate the long Pacific flight ahead.

    Bon voyage northern hemisphere... We will see you again!
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  • Day29

    Our last night in town

    May 22 in Canada

    As the last touches of spring sunshine fade on the snow-covered mountains we celebrate our final night in Victoria, on Canadian soil, on holidays. It’s been a buzz, a wonderful thirty days abroad.

    With a more than adequate meal at The Local Sheree and I recounted the highlights. We’ve seen the spectrum of spring weather, from below zero with snow and ice to above thirty and hot and dry. We’ve absorbed the majesty of the Rockies, the rolling Prairies, the full to overflowing rivers, the huge green forests and rocky shores, the little villages in back country Alberta to downtown CBDs - what experiences we’ve had!

    The Canadians are wonderful people. They are a kindred spirit, almost like cousins across the Pacific. There is a real caring, sensitive awareness of others, of society, of environment, of community, of living, that is positive to see.

    Victoria, you’ve been great. Canada, we love you. RVing, what a way to go. Getting out of the work habit for a time, to travel, always shows us much, helps us appreciate what we have, and most importantly gives us an Itch for more.

    We are sad our holiday is finishing but we’re ready to go home, to see family and enjoy Cino. AND It’s also time to start planning our next trip.

    I have to admit, though, our most important task ahead, is to meet and cuddle our newest grandchild, Juliette Rose. We can’t wait to meet you!!
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  • Day28

    In the magic of Sheree's organisational skills we arrived in Victoria, the capital of British Columbia, on Victoria Day - their annual celebration. So good to join the festivities!

    Early in the day we ferried the Puget Sound from Seattle, a three-hour trek, but sadly not quite in time to experience all the parade. We caught the tail end but it gave us a hint of a confident and diverse community.

    Victoria has a long maritime history with a direct link to Australia. Captain Cook put his feet onto Vancouver Island soil in 1778, eight years after his Botany Bay excursion.

    The city, despite a strong First Nation foundation, became very British [thus the name and the architecture] until about five years ago, according to a local Diner owner. "Many different cultures have discovered the benefits of living in one of Canada's friendliest cities, with it's mild winters and easy access to large cities, wilderness and ocean.”

    In today's parade there were Taiwanese, Nepalese, Spanish, Mexican, French, Turkish, amongst other cultures, represented, so this city has changed. And with a building boom matching Brisbane, there is a positivity here that is refreshing. The locals own this space - First Nations included!

    An overcast 15 degrees greeted us but by mid afternoon we were in brilliant sunshine and almost cloudless skies, around 18 degrees with a slight southerly breeze. Mind you, that breeze was coming straight off the water and a snow-covered Olympic Mountain Range of the Washington Penisula.

    We celebrate our 48 hours in this place and look forward to a whole day appreciating springtime at the famous Butchart Gardens. Can't wait!!
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  • Day25

    Victoria, Kanada

    June 13, 2016 in Canada

    An unserem zweiten Day-Off haben wir den unteren Teil von Victoria erkundet. Wir haben eine Tour durch das Gouvernment Bildung gemacht, sind dann am James Bay lang zum Fisherman's Wharf und weiter bis zum Beacon Hill Park gegangen. In dem Park war sogar ein kleiner niedlicher Streichelzoo :)

  • Day20

    Victoria

    June 8, 2016 in Canada

    Heute hatten wir unseren "Day-Off" und sind nach Victoria gefahren. Zu erst sind wir in das "Empress" Hotel gegangen und ein Mitarbeiter hat uns super Insider Tips gegeben, was wir Downtown alles machen sollten. Wir haben nicht alles geschafft aber machen den Rest auf jeden Fall am nächsten Day-Off. Es ist eine super schöne Stadt direkt am Meer mit toller Architektur und vielen Sehenswürdigkeiten :)Read more

  • Day34

    Crossing the Border

    August 1, 2017 in Canada

    The day began with my eagerly anticipated seaplane flight with Kenmore Air. It was a 30 minute tour over the city in a DeHavilland Turbo Otter and me being me naturally I snagged the best seat. The flight was worth every cent and I'm so glad I decided to take in the city this way. Oddly enough there was even another 'Beard' on the plane from Missouri - a long lost relative? The staff at the terminal were very accommodating and let me keep my luggage there whilst I sat in the adjacent park made calls home and generally watched the world go by on Lake Union.

    Eventually I grabbed an Uber to Pier 69 to catch my clipper to Victoria. This would be farewell to the US for the best part of two weeks. I met a lovely mother and young son, Chrissy and Noah, who kept me company and were kind enough to save me a good seat on a window table with them as they had priority boarding. Chrissy pretended I was the nanny. Despite the lovely company, the steady motion of the ferry quickly sent me to sleep and I napped for nearly two hours.

    On arrival into Victoria (Vancouver Island), I instantaneously loaded my uber app to find that there were no Ubers here. What on earth would I do now?! Obviously I got a cab and arrived at the hostel just in time to snag the last bowl of free dinner. I sat in the hostel lounge and spent a good few hours sifting through my Orca photos. There was no doubt about it. I had to see more whales.
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  • Day35

    Thumbs Up!

    August 2, 2017 in Canada

    After sleeping on my urge to see more Orcas (was I being greedy?) I more or less leapt out of my bunk and went downstairs to the front desk to enquire. All the hostels are generally exceedingly helpful, booking tours etc for you on request and generally getting at least 15% discounts. They found me a spot on a tour with 'Prince of Whales' on an RIB with only 11 other passengers. I couldn't help feeling I was gonna need a bigger boat. Jokes aside it was relayed to us in San Juan that there had been no recorded attacks on humans by Orcas in the wild. All known attacks have occurred in captivity. Sends a pretty clear message don't you think?

    Again, being my cheeky self I snagged the front seat on the boat along with Father and young daughter - Dave and Adelaide. They were such good company. Due to the noise of the waves when at speed our tour guide, Ric, asked us to give him the occasional thumbs up just so he knew we were doing ok and weren't getting motion sick. If things weren't going so well we had to give him a thumbs down on top of our head. Little Adelaide didn't fully understand so I told her that by giving Ric the occasional thumbs up he would know we were having a good time and that would make him happy. She got this and every few minutes would turn around to her Dad and I and say 'Thumbs up?!' . If my explanation was accurate I'm sure we made Ric a very happy tour guide!

    The ride on the RIB was a thrill in itself bouncing across the water at high speed. I'm sorry I forgot to ask how fast! Regardless, it was a bit like a rollercoaster. Thankfully the water itself was very smooth so no motion sickness experienced. The eery part of the tour was the effect the nearby forest fires were having on the visibility. Once we were less than half a km from the shore it disappeared and we were surrounded by a thick smog watching only grey still waters waiting for a dorsal fin to emerge. We were incredibly fortunate to find a pod of transient Orcas which we happily watched dive and resurface for over half an hour. Nothing can quite describe the fear and excitement that comes with waiting for whales to resurface. There's always that mixed feeling of hope and fear that they will resurface right next to the boat. It's definitely a new natural high I hope to experience again some day. I'm grateful to the friends and family who persuaded me to take this second tour. 'Carpe Diem' as my friend Jon rightly said to me. Whilst a little greedy it's not exactly something I'll get to do again anytime soon!

    A couple of interesting whale facts for you. Orcas do not sleep. They rest one side of the brain, leaving the other side active (along with the corresponding eye) and rest on the fin similar to how Albatross 'sleep' on the wing. Orcas will also prey upon humpack calves despite adult humpbacks being far bigger in size. As a result, humpback whales communicate in whispers so as not to be heard by their predators.

    Whilst we waited for the lone humpback to surface in another part of the Salish Sea, Ric told us she had been known to swim on her back and wrap her massive fins around the boat and simply hug it for a short while. I still don't know if he was having us on but needless to say it increased the fear and excitement somewhat!

    After watching the graceful but shy humpback for a short while we raced across the sea to a beautifully picturesque lighthouse at which a small colony of sealions were resident. Believe it or not these had migrated from San Francisco to fatten up leaving the girls behind - bit of a lads holiday if you ask me. They certainly looked like they'd been having a good time and were lolling around as if they were nursing bad hangovers.

    On return from the tour I had a couple of hours to enjoy the town before heading to catch my coach/ferry to Vancouver. Victoria is an interesting place. It was named after our own British monarch and it tries very hard to emanate everything about a quintessential British town serving high tea at the harbourfront hotel for example. Several people had told me I had to see Butchart Gardens which was a short bus ride from the town. The pictures did look beautiful. However on speaking to another tour operator she looked at me and said quite frankly 'You're from England aren't ya? You don't need to go there. I'm sure you've seen plenty of English gardens!'. She's right of course and I hadn't yet seen plenty of whales!

    The journey to Vancouver was stunning travelling down through further islands at sunset. Another Orca pod was even spotted but sadly I was in the wrong place! I can't complain though.

    Since travelling alone I've been taken aback by the sheer kindness of strangers. Aside from the friends I've already mentioned I got chatting to a chap on the ferry from Vancouver who had just been to the Island to source student accommodation for his son. I told him a bit about my trip and he made some recommendations for Vancouver. It transpired that there was a massive fireworks display occurring tonight and thankfully Jericho Beach (where my hostel was located) would be one of the best places to view them. As he left to relocate his family he came back and asked if they could give me a lift as they lived close to the hostel. Of course I wouldn't have accepted but I'm certain the offer was kind and sincere. Similarly when I wandered down to the beach that evening to catch the fireworks I got chatting to some more locals who offered to show me around the city the following day and invited me to dinner. Again, I thanked them but opted to play safe. You have to when traveling alone really but it does show the slightly sad state of the world we live in when we are forced to second guess the kindness of strangers.

    I can't lie, the hostel itself was a bit of a disappointment. Despite the great location there was no amenities to speak of and the vending machines inside all empty. It's a good job there was a free food shelf in the kitchen where I managed to snaffle some hummus to go with my tortillas! I believe it's an old military barracks so it had quite a stark feel about it too. Still, I had my own room with comfy double bed so shouldn't moan.

    The fireworks were nothing short of spectacular. Apparently they were part of a competition hence the added WOW factor. Someone on the beach had tuned into the accompanying music from across the water. There seemed something a little sombre about the music with tracks such as Coldplay' s 'Fix You' and Harry Styles 'Sign of the Times'. I wasn't sure if it was referring to the forest fires but even so it was comforting to hear a little piece of home. The lads I met joked that the fireworks display was my own personal welcome to the city. Let's pretend it was shall we?
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Victoria, فكتوريا, Viktoriya, Виктория, Βικτώρια Βρετανικής Κολομβίας, Viktorio, ویکتوریا، بریتیش کلمبیا, ויקטוריה, Վիկտորիա, YYJ, ビクトリア, ვიქტორია, 빅토리아, Viktorija, व्हिक्टोरिया, Victòria, Виктори, ਵਿਕਟੋਰੀਆ, وکٹوریا, Viktoria, Викторија, விக்டோரியா, วิกตอเรีย, Wiktoriye, Вікторія, وکٹوریا، برٹش کولمبیا, 維多利亞

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