We spent a full day wandering around the city and checking out the sights. A highlight was a crafts fair on a sidestreet off the main avenue, which had hundreds of little stands selling handmade jewelry, picture frames, soaps, scented oils, painted silk scarves and other assorted trinkets and baubles. Around the harbor are also dozens of little stands selling jewelry and souvenirs, buskers doing magic and performance art, and those ubiquitous spray-painted lunarscapes you see in so many touristy areas, painted in minutes while the enthralled crowd (ok, including us!) looks on.
Victoria has a small but colorful Chinatown - about 2-3 blocks it seemed, full of Chinese vegetable stands and massage shops and a few dim sum parlors. The one at which we had lunch, Don Mee (538 Fisgard Street) was huge and seemed very popular with locals. The service was typical for a busy Saturday afternoon dim sum: rushed and not especially attentive, but the food was quite good. We arrived toward the end of the dim sum service so there wasn't much variety left, but overall it was a good meal.
Aside from the harbor, the most outstanding physical characteristic of Victoria is its architecture. Art deco facades painted bright reds, blues and yellows are at every turn, decorated with splashes of fresh flowers, giving the city streets a cheery feeling.
New York City, New York
September 17, 2002
From journal Vancouver Island: A Beautiful Summer Getaway