27 July 2012

Victoria - British Colombia

Seattle in Washington is only a couple of hours away from Victoria in British Colombia by ferry. When  arriving to the USA I was greeted with suspicion and hostility, and was therefore apprehensive that Canada would be the same. To my surprise and delight; when stepping off the ferry in Victoria the friendly atmosphere was palpable.
 I was now greeted by a smiling Canadian. And in my passport this man with the appearance of a retired hockey-player(all Canadians play hockey) stamped a perfect square of red maple leaves clearly resembling hearts, welcoming me to Canada.
The Victoria Inner Harbour with the Empress Hotel opened in 1908

Victoria has been voted one of the world's best cities to visit. It's a small, relaxed and sympathetic city waiting to be admired. Victoria was stunning with flowers and green lawns when I was there in the beginning of May, needless to say a great time to visit. Victoria is a journey through time, incorporating contemporary architecture, British influence from the settlement of the 1800's, as well as culture from early aboriginal settlement.
Craigdarroch Castle- Once inhabited by coal baron Robert Dunsmuir dating from the 1890's, now a landmark.

British Colombia Parliament Buildings from 1896

Victoria is also by far one of the prettiest and most welcoming places I've been. It might be even more enjoyable for couples, as it is delightfully romantic. In the most renowned garden, the Butchart Gardens, there are fireworks every Saturday evening in July and August. Flowers in all colours light up the city making it look like a place taken out of a fairy-tale.    

Beacon Hill Park- The pretty blue camas flowers were cultivated by aboriginal settlement for their edible bulb

Within walking distance from the city center lies Beacon Hill Park, with its scenic paths, ponds and meadows. There are coastal paths along the Juan de Fuca Strait offering great views of the Olympic Mountains of Washington State. Beacon Hill Park also has one of the tallest totem poles in the world. 

The Beacon Hill Totem Pole

1 comment:

  1. You surely made me want to go there - I have already started planning the trip.
    Fine write-up!
    As a personal comment I must say I am constantly amazed at the British managing to spread their culture to so many places in the world. At one time they must have been enormously strong and active