Thanks so much for all your comments on my Beijing post! I didn't really convey how much of a culture shock it was when we got out of the airport though.
David and I landed in Vancouver later on Saturday night and had booked a night in a hotel before we jumped on the ferry over to Victoria (and boy oh boy was a shower and a comfy bed welcome!).
We spent a week on the island and while David had a conference to attend during the week, I was free to amuse myself as I saw fit. And I must say, I really really loved the time we spent in Victoria. It was such a pretty little place and I would love to go back there and explore up the coast line. As it was we spent the bulk of our time in Downtown where we were staying, except when we spent a Sunday afternoon exploring the Butchardt Gardens (which I've decided needs it's own post). Victoria had a great vibe and I could certainly see myself setting up camp there for a while if the opportunity ever arose.
Exploring Victoria via horse drawn carriage one evening. The thing I loved about being here during summer time was that it didn't get dark until around 9pm which meant there was plenty of time explore with David when he had finished for the day.
I didn't eat all of this by myself, promise!! Ruby slippers ice cream float and muddy shoes (?) sundae at Rogers Ice Cream Shoppe. Expensive but worth it for a little touristy treat!
Where we stayed, right on the water (not the ugly apartment block behind it!). We had afternoon tea at in the 'mansion' part of the hotel aptly named the Gatsby Mansion that you can see to the right with the turret.
Just along from where we stayed were the stunning Parliament buildings.
And just along from that, the impressive Fairmont Empress Hotel. I did want to do high tea there but decided that it was maybe just a wee bit too expensive for tea, so I just stared longingly at it everytime we passed (which was pretty much every day). And don't you think this would be a perfect setting for a Poirot mystery?
The next set of photos are from inside Craigdarroch Castle. I went here by myself for the afternoon (stopping of at Origins Gluten Free Bakery for lunch before hand (Oh my goodness, go there and buy the pepita loaf!!)). If you've been reading my blog for a little while, you'll know that it's no secret I love old houses and so a castle is really just the cherry on top...
This beautiful wooden clock greets you as you walk inside...
Drawn by one of the daughters of the Dunsmuirs who built the place when she was seven I believe - how amazing!
I loved this random little guy at the top of one of the staircases...
Even the heating is pretty!
A beautiful model of the castle inside one of the rooms.
Up next my post on the Butchardt gardens.