Did you rub your eyes over the featured image? Get a sense of deja vu? Yes, that’s the same photo that I shared here in black and white. It’s eye-catching in color, too, isn’t it? Those clouds…swoon!
So, it’s about time that I finally sat down and shared about our trip to Victoria. Here goes…Friday afternoon of Labor Day weekend we drove to Seattle, hopped on the Clipper and kicked back for a little over 2 1/2 hours before arriving in Victoria. The Clipper is the way to go. We whiled away our time over a bottle of wine and a few rounds of Yahtzee, intermixed with map studying (me) and reading (the husband).
We arrived in Victoria around 6 pm and walked less than 1/4 of a mile to the Laurel Point Inn, our digs for the weekend. Our room was large, with a balcony overlooking the harbor. Read: sunsets! Dinner the first evening was at an amazing (uh-maze-ing) Italian (Il Corvo) restaurant followed by a relatively early night in. I’m still dreaming about those homemade noodles with homemade bolognese.
We awoke on Saturday to partially sunny skies and headed to a local coffee shop for a light breakfast. On the way I took advantage of the sparse crowds to take photos of the Parliamentary building, one of the most-recognized and photographed buildings in Victoria. The puffy clouds made for beautiful color, but I so love the black and white.
While we were eating breakfast I realized that we were very close to Beacon Hill Park, a 75 acre beauty established in the 19th century. We walked through the park to the edge of the Straight of Juan de Fuca. A paved path unfurled itself along the water, so we continued walking. And walking.
We reached Ogden Point and wandered out onto the 1/2 mile long breakwater (photos recently shared here and here). There were tons of boats in the waters nearby fishing for salmon and ling cod. Tons. I don’t know how they didn’t tangle their lines.
We followed a marked path from the breakwater to the cruise port. It was empty. Which was probably good. I checked the port schedule and discovered there were three ships due that evening, two at 6 and one at 7. Interestingly, one of them was the Ruby Princess, which was the ship that took us to the Caribbean a few years ago. I thought it would be really cool to go back to the port and see it that evening, but come evening we were dog tired and didn’t make it over there.
Did I forget to mention that we were on foot? I may not have made that clear. The Clipper is a passenger ferry. Which worked just fine. But, you set the two of us loose on a city on foot and the result is a lot of miles. A lot. We estimated we covered at least 10 miles on Saturday, a little less on Sunday.
From the cruise port we made our way to Fisherman’s Warf. Essentially a dock with some outdoor restaurants and houseboats on it. It was cute, but small. We loitered there in the sunshine (it was a beautiful day), enjoying an ice cream and watching people feed fish to the seals.
Rather than continue our march we took advantage of the Victoria water taxi and zipped across the harbor to the Empress Hotel. These cute little boats zig-zag all over the harbor picking up and dropping off passengers. Once across the harbor we bought tickets for a 45 minute harbor cruise and, while we were waiting to hop back on one of those cute little boats for a ride and some history, took a quick spin through the Empress, gawking at all of the people spending $75 for the honor of tea at the Empress (okay, that’s Canadian, but it’s still too much to spend on tea) .
After the cruise? We walked some more. Do you get the sense that Victoria is a very walkable city? It is. We wound through the downtown core…through China Town and Old Town, pausing for lunch at the Bard and Banker (a very cool pub in a building that served as a bank from 1885-1988), then walked some more before finally returning to our hotel.
We opened a bottle of wine that we had acquired on our jaunt, and cracked open a box of maple leaf cream-filled cookies (because when in Canada….) and kicked back on our balcony to enjoy the sunset and admire the view. Oh, and we did sneak back out after dark so I could attempt some night shots.
Day 1 was a success. Day 2…..LaNae’s Superbowl.