Across the Sound to Victoria

Life has been pretty hectic lately, especially with work. But fear not, I'm am dedicated to telling you about my exciting life. The latest edition in my exciting life is the trip Josh and I made at the end of September across the Sound to Victoria, BC. 

My good friend, Irene, from Holland, and her boyfriend, Jochem, were journeying through Canada and we decided to rendezvous in Victoria. Josh and I took Friday off to make it a nice, long weekend. To get us there, instead of driving and all that crazy hassle, we hopped on the Victoria Clipper. The Clipper zips you from Seattle to Victoria in just under 3 hours. Easy breezy.

Victoria Clipper

Boarding the Clipper

We arrived by 11am in Victoria, and we were ready to explore. Oh wait...make at 1pm because we got trapped in a random security check at the border control. Wah-wah-wah.  

We met up with Irene and Jochem at our "hotel" - an apartment we booked through Home Away. Then we began exploring the city together. We began with a stroll through Beacon Hill Park. We saw peacocks, dogs, dogs chasing peacocks (no joke), ducks, and pretty views. We also cross a "medieval bridge" (in photo below). Not quite sure how it was medieval, but whatever, we get it...very old.

Heather & Irene at Beacon Hill Park

The exploration continued on past Thunderbird Park (aka a bunch of totem poles), Parliament, Fairmont's Empress hotel, and then along the waterfront. 

 Thunderbird Park, The Empress, and Parliament

Thunderbird Park, The Empress, and Parliament

After all that walking, we needed a tea break. We found ourselves enjoying a spot of tea at Silk Road Tea near Chinatown. (Fun fact, apparently Victoria's Chinatown is Canada's oldest Chinatown.) After our tea, we explored some more - you guessed it, in Chinatown. There was a cool, narrow alley called Fan Tan Alley. (Another fun fact, Fan Tan Alley is Canada's narrowest street. Boy, am I full of facts, or what?!)

 Fan Tan Alley & Chinatown

Fan Tan Alley & Chinatown

That pretty much sums up our first day. Now on to the second day, Saturday. Saturday brought rain. Lots of rain. We heard it was the end of the cyclone that hit Hong Kong. But we were troopers, and we will have fun even in the rain. So take that rain!

Jochem and Irene had a rental car, so we drove out to Duncan for some fun outside of Victoria. Duncan has a very nice farmer's market, even in the rain. In fact, when I stopped to look at the Victoria Island Salt Co. stand, the guy said we would take whatever salt we wanted because it was wet and would never re-sell. Score! (got some fleur de Sel and flavored salt - our lucky day). So my favor in return is to tell you now...to buy salt from them -- debts are now returned.

Next, we found ourselves some lunchcookies, and a view into the rainy bay at Cowichan Bay. After lunch, it was still raining, so we took a scenic route back towards Victoria. We stopped for a quick look at a scenic lake - and a 5 minute break in the rain!

 Lunch in Cowichan Bay

Lunch in Cowichan Bay

Happy Heather & Josh at lake near Cowichan Bay

We made a pit stop at Mattick's Farm, which we thought we be more of a farm than a shopping center. Turned out to be the latter (dang it, I hate not having Internet Internationally for reasonable prices - raise fist up in anger). And we wrapped up the day with a cocktail at the famous Bengal Lounge in the Empress hotel.

Sunday was our last day. And it was still raining. We started our day with some munchies at Murchie's (sorry had to). Then we checked out the new Victoria Public Market. And by new, I mean, opened just a few weeks ago. And best part - it's inside! No wait, the best part was the cheese. Nom nom nom, cheese in my belly. We had to take some home. 

 

Bengal Lounge, Murchie's Tea, and Victoria Public Market

We left Victoria via the Clipper at 2pm Sunday. And so ended our exciting weekend with friends. We did have to take some dramamine on the boat back - as advised by Victoria Clipper team members - because of the choppy, stormy weather. But we got back to Seattle without a scratch (or anything of that sort).  

In conclusion, it was a fantastic trip.* And we give Irene's boyfriend, Jochem, our approval as a new friend.** And of course, it's important to get our approval since I mean...it's us. (I'll get off my high horse now).

Good trip, good friends, good times!

P.S. Didn't get enough pictures. Check out the album

*Wow, I sound like I'm writing an essay. It sort of feels like an essay with the amount of writing I did here. Hope that's okay. Do you like essays? Wait, let's call it a novel, that sounds better

**Sorry, I didn't mention, we hadn't met him yet. Holland is a bit far away.