How To Make A Flower Bed In Front Of House Hello from Victoria (2) – Exploring Victoria and Its Vicinity

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Hello from Victoria (2) – Exploring Victoria and Its Vicinity

Yesterday I was treated to another perfect day with bright blue skies, excellent temperatures and no humidity. After a nice invigorating breakfast and some business issues, Clare and I set off in the car to explore British Columbia’s capital city of Victoria.

We started by parking the car fairly close to “Mile Zero”, right next to Beacon Hill Park. This sprawling city park is right next to the coast, and at its southern end you have a perfect view across the Juan de Fuca Sound to the Olympic mountain range of Washington state.

Beacon Hill Park has beautiful scenery, hundreds of flower beds, a petting zoo with screaming peacocks, peaceful shady ponds home to various families of ducks, a selection of totem poles, and a large variety of shade trees, many of which I have never seen in Toronto. The entire waterfront around Beacon Hill Park reminded me a lot of California, and seeing the unusual palm tree only reinforced that image. I had to remind myself that we were still in Canada.

Our next step was to explore the waterfront to the east along Beach Drive. We moved past beautiful landscaped houses and various coves and bays and about 3 km east of the city center we arrived in the Oak Bay area. When we saw the Tudor-style gables of the Oak Bay Beach Hotel, we decided it needed further investigation. We stopped the car, walked through the lobby and out the back door and saw one of the most beautiful patios and yards on the ocean. The hotel, just like many other places in Victoria, has beautiful scenery and lots of brightly colored flower beds, right next to the Pacific Ocean.

We checked out the Oak Bay Marina next, then turned inland towards the quaint shopping area of ​​Oak Bay, decorated with hanging flower jars and numerous outdoor patios. We knew exploring the Empress Hotel and Provincial Parliament Buildings was on our menu, so we headed downtown along Yates Street. We turned right on the waterfront and in order to find a place to park in this busy neighborhood, we pulled into a parking lot on Johnson Street, right in front of a store that had a large mechanical doll dressed as an old lady with a big hat in front of it. The doll could open and close its eyelids and move its head from side to side, which fascinated local tourists.

We topped up the gauge and headed along the coast along Victoria’s quiet harbor area. Passing various buses, mimes and outdoor artists, we slowly made our way towards the Empress Hotel, a beautiful grand castle-style hotel dating from 1908. To the south-west of it are the intricately stylized Parliament Buildings, built between 1893 and 1898. With expansive lawns and flower gardens in front and ushered in by a statue of Queen Victoria, offer an impressive visual delight.

Refreshing ourselves with a delicious turkey sandwich and delicious ice cream, we slowly made our way back past Carica on Vladina Street and looked at various retail stores. This area is bustling with people and we saw several street musicians and bands. Many retail stores are located in historic buildings that are painted in bright colors. Just as our meter was running out, we briefly checked out Market Square, an outdoor market with many eclectic little shops.

Back in the car, we crossed the bridge at the northern end of the Inner Harbor and looked at the western side of the harbor which has a beautiful promenade, surrounded by luxury residential buildings, most of which are retirement homes, surrounded by lush landscaping and fragrant flower beds. Seaplanes landed and took off, and the small ferries of the local port raced across the water.

After checking out the Empress Hotel and downtown on the west side of the harbor, we decided to explore Victoria’s neighbor: Esquimalt, a much simpler area that is home to a large naval base. Esquimalt is definitely not as picturesque and polished as Victoria, but it still seemed like a pretty neat place. We continued heading west on suburban roads and ended up having a wonderful nature experience on the shores of Albert Head Lagoon. We drove the winding roads through the shady forest, parked the car and walked along the beach, past hundreds of stranded wooden logs, to a shady corner at the western end of the lagoon where Clare and I had a nice chat about life, interpersonal relationships, changes in lifestyle and mentality in the new China and other esoteric topics.

Around 5pm we decided to head even further west and decided to find another hidden lagoon, called Witty’s Lagoon which is part of the regional park system. We found the entrance and parked the car because only a footpath leads to the lagoon. Protected from the heat by the lovely forest canopy overhead, we walked down the steep slope next to the waterfall of Our Lady Sitting. Along the way, we saw hundreds of wild blackberry bushes that were just ripening and we tasted some of nature’s bounty. After about 20 minutes of walking along the marsh on the left, we finally ended up at a beach on the southern tip of Vancouver Island with a perfect view of the majestic Olympic mountain range.

After an 18 minute hike up the hill we were back at the car, ready to drive downtown to pick up Haishan, Clare’s husband, for dinner. The perfect meeting place was of course the Empress Hotel. We picked him up and drove him back across the Inner Harbor Bridge and arrived at our destination for dinner: the Spinnaker Brew Pub at the west end of Victoria’s Harbour. On the outside terrace we had a wonderful view of Victoria Harbour, looking down on the apartment buildings, ships and seaplanes still flying back and forth. It was a little chilly outside at that time, but the restaurant provided us with blankets to protect us from the evening chill.

After refreshing ourselves after a long day of sightseeing, we returned to the house around 9 pm and given the fact that I had been pretty much up since 4 am due to jetlag, I thanked my kind hosts for their hospitality and headed to bed.

It’s only about 2:15am now, which means I’ll get another 3.5 hours of sleep before I have to get up, pack my bags, have a quick breakfast and then Haishan drops me off on his way to work at the Victoria bus station. From there I’ll have to say goodbye to lovely Victoria and head back to the mainland via ferry and bus, to check on my next destination: Vancouver. I’m already excited…

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