Saturday, July 20, 2013

Trip to Victoria

DAY TWENTY-SEVEN (Friday, July 19): What a day! It almost had a disastrous start when we almost missed the ferry, but we made it - there were others even later than we were and they got us all on. As usual it was a gorgeous day, bright, sunny, cool, low humidity. A crystilline day. Our ferry from Port Angelos to Victoria, BC was the  MV Coho.

MV Coho

We had not had a chance to get breakfast so we ate on the boat. Mimi loved exploring the boat, especially outside.

Coming into Victoria on the MV Coho
The first building you notice is the Empress Hotel built 1904-1908.  It is classic Chateau-style architecture, designed by Francis Mawson Rattenbury, who also designed the Parliament Buildings in Victoria - in the Romanesque style.

The Empress Hotel, overlooking the harbor plaza

Parliament Buildings in Victoria, BC
We walked up Government Street, checked out some shops, a bookstore, a tea shop. Ellen and Mimi got some postcards. I wanted to treat everyone to high tea at the Empress Hotel, but when we learned that it would cost $59 per person, it seemed a bit excessive, especially to Mimi. So we opted for a tour of Victoria instead, on a double-decker bus. It went all over Victoria and we learned a lot about the history of the city and the lives of some of the rich and famous who live there. It was very informative and enjoyable. We also went into the one of the most amazing gelato shops we had ever seen. Something like 45 flavors of gelato, each flavor beautifully presented in a sculpted form. The photo is just one of three display cases!

Ellen & Mimi on the top of the bus
Glorious Gelato!
The trip back on the ferry was very different. It started out very clear, and as we went out of the harbor we saw two very interesting sights: a harbor for two-story "floating houses" which we had learned on our tour are VERY costly, and also three HUGE ocean liners lined up side by side - below is the Holland-American liner - a floating city!

Out in the sound it clouded over and became very windy. The ferry rocked back and forth on huge swells and Mimi was in an ecstasy running outside in the wind with the boat rocking beneath her. She is a girl made for adventure! We got back to our motel at about 10pm, tired but happy.

Floating houses

Holland-American Liner

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