Monday, August 31, 2009

Victoria, British Columbia

We had a full day of sightseeing in Victoria.  We had reservations on the passenger only express ferry from Port Angeles for the 8:10 crossing.  We got up at our usual time and arrived at the ferry terminal at the designated “30 minutes” prior to departure.

Not long after our arrival, there seemed to be some commotion behind the ticket counter, then the captain came out and announced he would take us to Victoria but would not bring us back.  Well, now.  Thankfully, he went on to explain why and to outline what we needed to do to get back to the US.  Apparently, one of the Washington State Ferries had run into the dock at Bremerton, destroying the dock and doing serious damage to the ferry.  Hundreds of people were stranded, unable to get to work in Seattle. The express ferry, a privately owned company, was asked to step up to the plate in this emergency by sending their ferries to Bremerton.
Parliament Building
As far as we were concerned, it simply meant returning to Port Angeles on a Washington State ferry.  It was not a bad swap, but the Washington ferry departure times were either 3:30 (too early) or 7:30 (later than what we would have liked).  What we liked was the 6:10 on the express.  Besides the later departure time, the crossing took an hour and 45 minutes instead of the 55 minutes for the express.  It was a very long day.
Looking up into the dome
In Victoria, we stayed in the downtown area choosing to visit the Royal BC Museum instead of Butchart Gardens.  The museum was very good; not the best we’ve been to, but certainly worth the visit.  Our ticket was good for the entire day so we wandered around until we got hungry, left for lunch, and came back later in the afternoon.
Our lunch spot right on the river
Victoria is the “capitol” city of British Columbia so, naturally, we had to check out the parliament building.  This grand old building was fabulous.  Parliament was in session so we were not allowed in the chamber.
Street Market in Chinatown
We also had plenty of time to tour downtown including Chinatown.  We found plenty of food--lunch at Canoe Restaurant, chowder and a sandwich at Sam’s deli, sweets from Roger’s Chocolates.
The Marina
This is another one of those places, like so many we have been to, that will require a return visit some time in the future.
The Empress Hotel
Tomorrow, we drive to Seattle to pick up my folks at the airport.  It will be the first day of their week long visit.

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