Victoria, BC – A Taste of the Old World

Roads Less Traveled

This charming city comes alive with colorful flowers

everywhere.

Parliament Building.

Victoria Harbor.

Historic Empress Hotel.

Parliament Building.

There are lots of places to stroll along the waterfront.

Victoria is a bustling town.

Entering China Town with the open-air bus tour.

Craigdarroch Castle, built by a coal magnate in 1890.

Penny Farthing Pub, Oak Bay

Street corner, Oak Bay

The coast outside of Victoria.

Dirving onto the ferry from Sidney, BC to Anacortes, WA. It

was a tight squeeze, but we fit in okay.

They packed us in like sardines.

Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

August 21-23, 2007 - We returned to Victoria from the upper reaches

of Vancouver Island and spent some time enjoying this very

European feeling city.  The harbor is dominated by the historic

Parliament Building and Empress Hotel, and there is always a lot of

activity along the waterfront by the marina.  We enjoyed the energy

and vitality of this city after the laid-back nature of the rest of the

island.

There was activity on every

corner.  Street musicians,

horses and buggies, open-air

and double-decker buses,

boats and seaplanes coming

and going -- there was action

everywhere.

Wait, what country am I in??  Feels like England !!

We took an open-air bus tour, a

great way to see the city.  The

tour took us out into the

outlying areas where we saw

Craigdarroch Castle, the

charming community of Oak

Bay and some exquisite areas

along the coast.

Feeling a little pressed by the impending end of summer, we

boarded the ferry once again in Sidney, BC and sailed through

the San Juan islands to Anacortes, Washington where we picked

up our road travels along the Northern Cascade mountains in

Washington.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vancouver Island – Houseboats, Goats and Sheepdog Trials

Houses lining the docks in Cowichan Bay.

Houseboat in Cowichan Bay.

Each houseboat was unique and very cute.

Deep Bay

Deep Bay

Qualicum Beach

Coombs

Coombs

Coombs

Parksville

Parksville Beach

Ta da !!!

Look what I found.  Can I keep her?

Fire rings and picnic tables at Kitty Coleman.  This setting

provided many great campfire evenings with new friends.

Rigs lined up against the trees and facing the beach at Kitty

Coleman.

The view was always changing:  Alaska-bound cruise ships,

fishing boats and sailboats slipping by.

Vancouver Island, Canada

August 5-20, 2007 -- We boarded the ferry from Port Angeles,

Washington to Victoria, BC on Vancouver Island.  Driving onto the

ferry wasn't nearly as difficult as we anticipated, and once aboard

we were free to wander about the ferry.  Port Angeles vanished in

the fog behind us and a few hours later the sun came out just as we

approached Victoria.  Once in Victoria we took a quick look around

and then headed up the island to the Qualicum Beach area where

we spent several weeks.

Our sightseeing trips took us to some charming villages.  Cowhichan

Bay is a tiny coastal community with lots of houseboats and homes

lining the docks.  We wandered among the houseboats, intrigued by

people who live in floating houses.

Further north we visited Deep Bay, a pretty marina set against the

backdrop of the island's mountains.

Qualicum Beach is a

pretty place for strolling

and bench sitting.

We turned slightly inland

to visit the town of

Coombs, home of

several goats who live on a grass roof.  We

watched them casually munching away while

tourists walked below their roof overhang.

We also visited the World Parrot Refuge in this

area, but I was so entranced with the birds

(there were about 20 sulphur crested cockatoos

in one open warehouse sized enclosure) that I

forgot to take any photos.

Parksville Beach is one of

the bigger beaches in this

stretch of coast.  It is a bustling and commercial town, but the beach

entrance has one of the nicest floral displays we found on the island.

That's saying a lot, because Vancouver Island is loaded with

gorgeous flowers.

In the town of Comox we

caught an afternoon of

sheepdog trials.  The dogs

were amazingly well trained

and very fast.  Listening to

the handler's whistles, these

dogs would take off at a

sprint and then drop to the

ground, maneuvering a

group of four sheep around a

field and eventually (hopefully)

into a small pen.

One dog had a face-off with a

particularly cantankerous

sheep, but the dog eventually

won the argument with a

snap near the sheep's nose

and the sheep did as told.

One contestant actually got

all four sheep in the pen and

closed the gate within the

time limit.  It seemed like a

miracle to me.

We chanced upon a wonderful

campground near Comox:

Kitty Coleman Beach Park.

The rigs line up on one side of

a small road, backed up

against the woods.  Opposite

the rigs, lined up along the

rocky beach, is a row of

picnic tables and fire

rings.  From that

vantage point you can

watch the cruise ships

headed for Alaska going

by.  At night we

wandered from fire ring

to fire ring, chatting with

all the other campers.  It

was a great communal

feeling and we spent

many happy evenings

with new friends while

we were there.

From Comox and Campbell River we made our way back down the coast to Sidney and

Victoria where we spent a wonderful few days before leaving the island