We have to get up really early today because we are catching the ferry to Victoria on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. The ferry company makes the threat that if you’re not there an hour early your reservation will not be honored and you might not get on the boat. So our boat is leaving at 8:15 which means we have to be there at 7:15 and we are half an hour away so you do the math.
We are in a long line of cars and trucks and probably the most paradoxical thing that we see is a truck pulling a boat onto the ferry. A boat taking a boat seems a bit redundant. The crossing is about an hour and a half. We get to Victoria and government officials check our passports and off we go. Our goal today is to see Butchart Gardens. The gardens are very beautiful and are the number one attraction on the island. They are about 40 minutes away from Victoria.
It is pretty busy at the Butchart Gardens. I think we expected it to be a little less populated because kids were going back to school. Interestingly, a lot of the people here are Commonwealth people. We hear English in all sorts of accents. They all must get along pretty well because everyone seems jovial with everyone else. There do not seem to be too many Americans.
We see such beautiful flowers, plants, and trees all set in perfect combinations— dark foliage with bright flowers, big and small-leaved shade plants, and flowers in every shape and size. Some of the things that I like are the hanging baskets, the zinnia and dahlia area, the Japanese garden, the carousel, and the rose garden. It is not the best time of year for roses however.
We eat at their cafeteria style restaurant since it is difficult to get reservations in the table-service restaurant. We both have a vegetarian curry over basmati rice which is just okay. It is a little sweet and too gloppy for me.
Although it is only around 2PM we are pretty worn out and make our way to the hotel, the Grand Pacific. It is right on the harbor in Victoria and now I wish I had booked a harbor view instead of the cheaper city view. We spend the rest of the afternoon catching up on mail and taking a nap.
Dinner is just a trip downstairs to the Pacific Lounge where we share a small plates dinner of calamari and scallops. After dinner we take a stroll along the harbor with all its lights.