Port Angeles, Washington
February 8, 2002
From the main dock of Port Angeles (easy to find), there are two ferries that go to Victoria. One ferry takes cars and passengers, but the one we chose, Victoria Express, takes only passengers. The ferry leaves Port Angeles at 8:10am, 12:15pm, and 4:15pm. The cost is $25 per person, round trip, and the trip takes 45-60 minutes each way. US citizens need only a drivers license; others will need a passport. We missed the early ferry, so we shopped until the 12:15 ferry. Since the ferry returns to Port Angeles at 9:45am, 2pm, and 6:15pm, we didn’t have a lot of time.
The ferry ride was CHILLY, even though it was July. They say you can sometimes see whales during the crossing, but we didn’t have such luck. Upon landing, we were drawn immediately to a large dock area filled with street entertainers… a reggae musician, some guys playing only Beatles tunes, a folk singer, and a mariachi band. There were also artists and other entertainers. Great place! I could have stayed longer, but we figured we should actually venture beyond the water’s edge.
First we went to the Royal British Columbia Museum. It was a very small but nice museum. It didn’t take long to see (like I said, it’s small), so we decided to take a walk to Chinatown. This area is well known for authentic Chinese food. We randomly chose a restaurant and went in. Indeed, most of the patrons were Chinese. My husband had a fabulous spicy chicken dish. I ended up eating alot of his as I wasn’t very happy with my seafood dish (too bland).
Walking has always been our favorite way to see a city. When we walk, we tend to wander into neighborhoods and see spots that we normally wouldn’t in a vehicle. We had a general direction of a park shown on a map. We walked about 30 minutes through a residential area and ended up at Beacon Hill Park. Most city parks I’ve seen are small, so I wasn’t ready for the size and beauty of Beacon Hill Park. There was a sparkling river, lush lawns, woods, rocks and flower gardens, and gorgeous tranquil paths – I wished I had brought a book and blanket, and had many hours to spare.
After our green paradise, we had to hustle back to catch the ferry. Our time was way too short! We took a couple shortcuts, and finally emerged at the main square and could slow down a bit to enjoy the orchestra playing on the lawn of a government building. Then we made a mad dash for the ferry and ended my first, short visit to Canada.
From journal Olympic Peninsula Roadtrip