Road Trip – Days 20-21 – Victoria, BC, Canada

Pictures coming soon….

On day twenty we finally got a chance to sleep-in–just a little. I walked down to the grocery store next to the ferry for some coffee and mailed some postcards from the cute little post office. Even the post office had a little park with benches overlooking the harbor–what a location. Then we packed the car, drove onto our third ferry and went back to Anacortes.

From here, we made a U-turn as we got off the ferry and got back on line for the ferry over to Sidney, Canada. Sidney is on Vancouver Island (and Vancouver city is not–go figure). After going through customs–a breeze, though I had to declare the bottle of wine our wonderful Airbnb host from Adelma Beach, WA gave to us–we headed south toward Victoria, the provincial Capital of British Columbia.

On the way, we drove right passed a Whole Foods–we’ll we didn’t really drive passed it. Susan saw it a block away so we had time to make the turn into the parking garage under it. We replenished some of our dwindling food supply and then went to check into our new home for the next couple of days–in downtown Victoria.

This Airbnb was luxurious. We were in a condominium in the heart of the (small) city. Just outside our front door was a Zen Garden. It had ponds, waterfalls, ripple pools, rock gardens, and plants everywhere. And, two doors down on our floor was the gym, pool, and hot tub. Inside the place was pretty sweet also.

Our place had a sound system, complete with a phonograph player and a stack of eclectic albums from days of old–mostly from decades past. Susan and I spend two evenings listening to vinyl records, reliving the seventies, as we ate supper. This place was nice and just outside our building was the city center of Victoria. Our regret is that we didn’t plan for more time.

The second day consisted of a drive north on the island (not too far north, Vancouver Island is quite big). We spent the day at Butchart Gardens–easily one of the top five gardens we’ve visited and we’ve seen a lot of gardens.

Mr. Butchart quarried limestone and worked in shipping. When I say, worked in, I mean he owned the companies that did it. Mrs. Butchart spent her time transforming her home and its grounds into a beautiful garden. But she didn’t know when to stop. When the quarry next to her home had given up its stone, she hired a landscape architect to turn it into a sunken garden. She trucked in tons of topsoil and planted flowers and trees.

Over the decades, she created a Japanese garden to rival anything outside Japan, she made a several-acre rose garden, she created space for artwork, outdoor performances, and much more. She and an adjoining farmer created pools and waterfalls, fountains, boat docks. This all started in the early 1900’s and continued by Jennie Butchart until her death in 1950 and still continues today. This was a very picturesque way to spend the day–with a few miles of walking added in.

AS is our current habit, we ate a little supper and headed out to walk the streets of Victoria. We toured the old historic area and took many pictures of the provincial capital building. It was light by strings of lights around the whole building and each window. And Queen Victoria stood proudly in front of it.