If you are familiar with the West Coast and specifically Vancouver Island, you know that there are only three ways in which to leave. You can fly, take one of the ferries or if you have very strong arms you could swim…just kidding of course.
As my visit in Nanaimo and the surrounding area concluded, I made my way down island to Victoria in order to continue the next leg of my journey on “The Big Ride”. The ferry that I decided to take sailed to Port Angeles, Washington three times daily. To take advantage of leaving on an early ferry it meant spending a day in Victoria and taking in the local sights. I know it’s hard to take!
For those of you who might not be familiar with the city of Victoria, it was established in the early 1840’s and it is one of the oldest cities in the Pacific Northwest. It was settled by the British and is named after Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom. When news of the discovery of gold on the British Columbia mainland reached San Francisco in 1858, Victoria became the port, supply base and centre for miners on their way to Barkerville, BC and other Fraser Canyon gold fields. Victoria mushroomed from a population of 300 to over 5000 literally within a few days. Victoria also has the oldest Chinatown in Canada and the second oldest in North America after San Francisco’s. Much like Victoria, its Chinatown had its beginning with the mass influx of gold miners from California. The historic city of Victoria, which is also the capital city of British Columbia, has retained many of its period buildings. Two worth mentioning are the British Columbia Legislature Building and of course the Empress Hotel – a Fairmont classic.
There are a number of interesting ways to tour the city including double decker buses, water taxis and harbour tours. I chose the latter as it provided an excellent way to see the Inner Harbour and the Gorge. An excellent choice as it provided me with a new perspective of this elegant city.
Here are a few photos of my short visit to Victoria located at the southern most point on the Island.
At the Empress Hotel – A Fairmont Classic
There are numerous other historic buildings in the city that are rich in architectural design. Here are a few that caught my eye.
Here are a few other photographs that I hope you enjoy from what was a short but very enjoyable visit to Victoria, BC.
For the next leg of my journey I’ll be returning to the United States to tour the west coast of Washington, Oregon and California before starting to make my way east towards home. I hope you’ll be joining me for the rest of this incredible trip.