Tuesday 18th August - Victoria and Butchart Gardens

August 17, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

Quiet evening in Vancouver yesterday (Monday) – really tired after 2 days in the lap of luxury on the Rocky Mountaineer! Went for a short walk and bought a sandwich for supper, which we ate in our room. The room has a huge comfy bed and a little kitchen area with a cooker, pans, microwave, fridge etc.

Collected at 7:20 for a full day trip to Vancouver Island. We will be getting the ferry at 9 for a 90 minute trip; there is a chance of seeing whales, bald eagles, seals, sea otters and maybe an orca.

Then a 20 minute drive to Victoria, where we have free time for a couple of hours.  Followed by another short drive to The Butchart Gardens, supposedly the best gardens in the world!  Free time there too, then back for the 17:00 ferry back to Vancouver. Sounds like a perfect day especially as the weather is gorgeous.

FERRY:

Crossed from Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay, took about 90 minutes, amazing views and lovely and sunny but we didn’t see any wildlife though. Bought a ham and cheese roll and a drink and went on deck. Very busy, loads of Japanese with selfie sticks, which are very intrusive. Back on to coach for a 40 minute drive to Victoria.

VICTORIA:

Stunning city, the capital of British Columbia. Its museum is supposed to be the best in the world, but we didn’t have the time. Bought a big wooden salmon carved by a First Nation man (present from M&B) and two pictures of dolphins and whales. Sunny day so just pottered round the bay and did nothing much. Had a tropical smoothie while wandering and hot dogs for lunch. Back on the coach again for a 30 minute drive to Butchart Gardens.

Victoria centre

BUTCHART GARDENS:

Everything that Brian, our tour guide, said about the gardens was true, stunning densely planted flowerbeds with amazing colours, no weeds or plants that needed dead-heading and not a gardener in sight; apparently the work is done overnight. Several different gardens: Rose, Italian, Japanese, Sunken and of course a lovely shop. Very hot and absolutely packed out.

The Sunken Garden at Butchart Gardens

The Sunken Garden at Butchart Gardens

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Jaya in Butchart Gardens

Bought a pack of postcards because there is no way our photos will do the gardens justice. Had a gelato in the Italian bit.

Back on the coach at 4 to get the ferry back to Vancouver.

Got back to the hotel at 7:15 and had a farewell drink with the whole group and Brian as he will not be coming with us on the cruise. Went to the Banana Leaf for a (much needed spicy) Malaysian meal. Back to post this blog – photos will be added tomorrow before we go on the cruise at 10 (cases outside the door by 9).

NB. Wi-fi on the boat is supposed to be very expensive so probably won’t be posting a daily blog, especially as the first 2 days are at sea. Communication by text please, it shouldn’t cost you any more than your usual rate.


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