Sunday, July 1, 2007

Sunday, July 1st

We are in Victoria, BC Canada. It is Canada Day!

The Canadians celebrate Canada Day much like we celebrate the 4th of July in the US.

We left the Monsterhome in Port Angeles and loaded up the Escalade on the ferry, MV Coho of the Black Ball Line and departed for Victoria. The MV Coho is over 47 years old but is immaculate. We recommend the Black Ball Line for any applicable travel in the Puget Sound area.

The photo below is as we depart Port Angeles with snow capped, Hurricane Ridge in the back ground.

We were in Victoria and at our Hotel on the waterfront in 90 minutes. The downtown area and inner harbor area of Victoria is in 100% party mode to celebrate Canada Day.

Earlier in the day, we set out to walk the town. The photo below is of Johnson Street, with many buildings from the 1800's.

The Empress Hotel which first opened its doors in 1908 was built by the Canadian Pacific Railroad for a huge sum - at that time of more than $1.5 million dollars.

The Craigdarroch Mansion, built by rags to riches, coal baron, James Dunsmiur.

One of the interior bedrooms in the mansion. The home and grounds are open to the public via self guided tours. The mansion has extensive history to include being a Military Hospital, post World War II.

Canada Day at noon. A band stage is setup in front of the Legislative Building.

Later in the evening at 2130hrs, the bands are playing and crowds gathering.

The fireworks show comes at 2230hrs. Already, the best harbor side spots are staked out.

A shot of a very fast paced and well done, fireworks show. It was all over in 10 minutes.

Tomorrow, we will venture out of town a bit to visit the Butchart Gardens and perhaps more. To end the day, we will cruise back to Port Angeles at sunset.

Update: July 3rd, 0800hrs

Notes on Vancouver Island and Victoria:

* Gasoline is $4.40 a gallon or roughly $1.15 a litre. This is must be attributable to high fuel taxes as Canada has immense petro resources.
* Very friendly people and accommodating to visitors - much like the people of Hawaii.
* Victoria presents a considerable Bohemian Side similar to other northwest cities.
* Victoria, had a considerable and evident homeless population as well as apparanelty productive people that present themselves to live with one foot in the street and the other under a roof at night.
* In our brief travels of the city and island we found it hard to find restaurants that were family friendly.
* Private properties are very well kept especially in the more rural areas. There was not a mobilehome to be seen.

Will we return to Canada? Absolutely! We are planning an Alsakan Highway venture and I would also like to explore the western interior of the country to include Calgary during the annual Stampede as well as travel throughout the Canadian Rockies.


  1. Curious that you felt it was hard to find a family friendly restaurant in Victoria.

    In the downtown area there is White Spot (a BC favourite), Milestones (a bit more $$ but we take the kids there), most the restaurants in China Town, the Break Water Cafe, Barb's Fish 'n chips at Fisherman's Wharf and many more. If you went into the Tourism office across from the Empress, they could have given you the names of many others to choose from.

  2. Thanks, enjoyed the trip ... some pretty country up that way...