Sunday, August 17, 2014

Victoria, BC - Day 1

If one is going to vacation in August, find a place with better weather than what one has to live with.  Leaving 90-100 degree heat leaves a pretty wide open field, but we picked Victoria, British Columbia, because it's two short flights away (still the sitting problem) and a very, very pedestrian friendly town.

This was our first vacation of staying in the same place the entire time, so we picked a family-owned motel right on the ocean and got to wake up to this everyday--
--usually at some ungodly hour thanks to the seagulls screeching at each other, but it was still nice.  We arrived around 1:00, stopped in our room to drop off luggage and take a picture,
and went out to explore.  We were right by Ogden point where the cruise ships coming from Alaska dock for a night in order to skirt American laws and taxes, which is why you see boats in the background. Ogden Point was also hosting Petapalooza,so we stopped for a look and watched an agility demonstration
which was impressive, but hard to photograph.  The dogs did pole weaving, had to tip the seesaw and had to stay on it until it touched, run through tunnels, and the experienced dogs stopped on the little platform for applause--and a toy.  Lots of fun for everyone involved.

From there, we wandered until we found Fisherman's Wharf, which is famous for its floating houses:
According to the signs, the difference between house boats and floating houses is that house boats have motors.  These really looked like little houses that just happened to be built on the water, and were very cute.  Some of the residents were out chatting to tourists, which I thought was quite nice of them.  One would think it might get a bit wearisome to live in a tourist attraction, but they were quite nice.  We get a fair number of people walking past our house as well, but I'd have to get a WHOLE lot more serious about gardening before anyone stopped to take a picture.

From there, we wandered until we came across the Royal BC Museum,
which had a traveling Viking exhibit which was interesting, and their permanent exhibit of Victoria's history was striking in how elaborate it was and how thoroughly lacking in explanations.  REALLY.  They built part of a ship, had complete parts of hotels and shops, full size machines....and explained about 1/3 of it I would guess.  Maybe if one is Canadian one would automatically be better at history, but there were a lot of things we would have liked more information on throughout our week there.  And they weren't doing the tourism scam thing like selling $40 tour or history books anywhere.  The information just wasn't there.  Still, we spent about 4 hours in the museum, so it was really interesting anyway.

Of course, by this point it was late and we were starving, and Government Street was busy and crowded with the cruise passengers, so it took us a while to find a restaurant, and we were really lucky it did as we found one of the best restaurants I have ever been to--Il Terrazzo.  Fantastic place.  When we first asked, the host said it would be a 45-minute wait, but we must have looked especially forlorn and bedraggled, because he told us to give him a few minutes and he would squeeze us in.  Did I mention that I love Canadians?

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