Saturday morning, we had to get up early (0630) in order to catch the 0815 ferry from Port Angeles to Victoria BC. After a short drive to the harbor, we parked the Silverado in a lot designated for day-trip passengers. It cost us $8 for the day. We had to put cash into a small envelope and stuff it into a pole with a small slot. We almost didn’t get it to fit because we had to use $2 in quarters when we ran out of dollar bills. Once the money was stuffed into the mini- envelope, we had trouble getting the quarters to spread out flat enough inside the envelope to fit through the tiny slot. We ended up tearing the first envelope, but got it on the second try. After securing our ferry tickets for the outstanding low, low price of only $70, we made it to the ferry with plenty of time to stand and wait with all the other passengers in the long line for customs.
Here’s the “selfie” of us finally on board the MV Coho bound for Canada.
This ship has been in service since 1959. I read somewhere that they dry-dock it every winter for an overhaul. They are constantly doing some sort of maintenance or upkeep to keep this old classic running. I also read that the original engines were finally replaced in 2004. There were even doing some touch-up painting during our trip. You can see the guy painting in front of the bridge in the picture below.
It took us a good 90 minutes to cross the 22 mile channel.
We almost had the ship to ourselves as you can see from this photo.
Stilla is posing at the stern of the ship with the Washington coastline in the background.
Here we are arriving in the VIctoria harbor.
We heard from others, that the “must-see” tourist attraction when visiting Victoria was Butchard Gardens, so we purchased tickets on the ferry. Another great deal at $104. It includes a tour bus ride with an outspoken bus driver. Unfortunately, this wasn’t our bus waiting for us when we got off the ferry.
This was our bus for the >45 minute ride to the gardens.
Our driver pointed out all the attractions and gave us great narration during our drive through the city and along the route to the gardens. He also pointed out that Victoria is the capital of British Columbia, not Vancouver as many believe. It’s great location and mild weather attract a large retiree population. And as the capital city there are a lot of federal government workers and office space… a local saying about Victoria is that it is known for it’s “newly-weds, flower-beds, nearly-deads, but mostly-feds”. Our return trip driver had a slightly different variation of this saying… he changed it slightly to include “rose-beds and well-feds”. HMMM, maybe he was more pro-government than the first driver 😉
Here’s another informational placard that shows the layout of the gardens.
This used to be a limestone quarry. Amazing, huh?
There were many hedge sculptures hidden throughout the park.
Here’s some bears for Stilla… she likes bears.
Almost didn’t see this owl-like creature.
We got a happy Asian man to take our picture.
One of several fountains in the gardens.
Stilla posing on the steps of an inferior limestone outcropping that was left standing in the middle of the old quarry.
There were even metal sculptures, ummm wind-art, I mean.
Yeah, I can walk on water.
And here’s your obligatory flower pics:
We took an earlier bus back to Victoria from the gardens so we could see a little bit of downtown Victoria before the 3 PM ferry. If we missed that one, we would have to wait until 7:30 PM. We were anxious to get back sooner rather than later. We had to leave our little dog “Coach” in the Coach today with the air conditioning on. We had never left him alone for so long before.
The gardens were certainly worth seeing but I wish we had more time in Victoria to explore around. The China-Town district looked pretty interesting as we drove through on the return bus and the driver pointed out quite a few nice restaurants/bars/grills along the way… oh well, maybe we’ll return again some time in the future. Maybe even take the Motorhome over on the ferry, we sure saw quite a few folks doing that today.
We had an uneventful return trip on the ferry. We think we spotted seals or sea-otters but couldn’t be sure. Everything was fine when we got back. The truck was unmolested and unticketed, right where we left it. And Coach was happy to see us when we got back to the RV Park. He had been holding it for ~10 hours…we didn’t find a single “accident” in the Coach. He earned a good long walk and a couple of “treats”.