On Thursday morning we boarded an almost-empty Pacific Coach Lines coach (sorry environment, we didn’t know!) and departed for Victoria. We got to see a little more of suburban Vancouver as we drove down Clark Drive/Knight Street on our way to the Ferry Terminal at Tsawwassen.
From there we boarded the Spirit of BC ferry which would take us to … I’m not sure which port, actually. Swartz Bay I think. We spent some time on the viewing deck of the ferry and froze our Australian butts off. ‘Special reports’ regarding the weather can be viewed here and here for anyone silly enough to waste their time on such nonsense.
From there we went to Butchart Gardens which was pretty spectacular despite the overcast skies. As predicted I took many (many, many) photos in the hope I’d nab a couple of good ones. There are some bizarre looking flowers around these parts.
We didn’t have too much time to linger in the gardens because our coach tour would continue through downtown Victoria before dropping us off at our hotel. That night we fell into bed early after a great meal at the hotel restaurant.
Friday was mostly spent at the Royal BC Museum. We saw an iMax film about the Alps and got ‘Ekka legs’ from walking slowly from one exhibit to the next. We took a break for a late lunch and walked up Government Street and did a bit of window shopping. Some shops of note include ‘Utopia’ which seems to stock the entire catalogue of Threadless shirts – and ‘The Original Christmas Village’ which stocks more Christmas paraphernalia and accoutrements than I could ever have imaged. We tried to continue the Vincent tradition of buying one ‘nice’ Christmas ornament each year, but only ended up arguing about the merits of Christmas ornaments that can’t actually be HUNG on the tree. So Burfit got to choose one thing and I chose another.
Burfit’s choice: a group of wooden chickens which cannot be hung on a Christmas tree.
Durdlin’s choice: a happy wooden Genghis Khan ornament which can be hung on a Christmas tree.
Then we went back to the museum for another hour or so before hurrying back to the hotel to make sure we didn’t miss Torchwood and Doctor Who (shut up). Lucky our hotel had the Space Channel. And furthmore, hooray for eating room service dinners in bed.
Saturday we spent most of the morning at Miniature World with lots of 5-8 year olds. Burfit maintains it was ‘really good’ and reminds me it can boast the world’s smallest working saw-mill… only they can’t actually work it due to fire regulations. Dang.
I shouldn’t be too hard on Miniature World though… they beat the Royal London Wax Museum hands down. We didn’t even bother with THAT place after we saw the brochure.
<– Very, very unconvincing work, people. Our lunch on Saturday warrants a mention because of the starter we ordered on a whim: Roasted whole garlic bulb which came with focaccia chips and some delicious mystery cheese*. The combination of flavours was sublime. That afternoon we were surprised to stumble across a small band of buskers who played a respectable rendition of Ederlezi. And even more surprised (and delighted) to happen across Artevo which had recently hosted a Dr Seuss exhibition over the Summer. There weren’t many pieces left and, given an opportunity like this wouldn’t likely come along again, we decided to purchase this limited edition Serigraph from The Sleep Book. Once we get it framed, it will take its rightful place above our bed.
Then I continued our art-buying-frenzy by returning to the Royal BC Museum gift shop to buy this full moon circle art:
* After spending nearly 15 minutes knee-deep in Wiki cheese articles and searching this comprehensive list of cheese names (thanks cheese.com) I still have no idea what this mystery cheese was. I know it started with a ‘C’!