A September 2002 trip
to Victoria by Drever
Quote: Victoria was the final leg of a trip that started at Calgary. Having only a day and a half in Victoria we simply did not have enough time to see all the world class attractions, museums, arts and entertainment, shopping, gourmet food and spas.
We were with a bus party and several went on a whale watching trip. They saw some, too.
Victoria boasts the mildest all year round climate in Canada. You don't therefore need to bring lots of warm clothing with you.
Jennie Butchart and Mr. Butchart between them had all the skills. The Sunken Garden was the start of Butchart. Later they created a Japanese Garden followed by an Italian Garden and a Rose Garden. Their house now contains the Dining Room Restaurant, offices, and rooms still used for family entertaining.
We saw the garden in September and displays were slightly past their best but as the photograph of the Sunken Garden shows they were still impressive. A good point for taking a photo of the Sunken Garden is from the lookout.
A network of paths wandered through the gardens. We spent about three hours wandering through these paths constantly remeeting people off our coach. At one point after wandering through the Japanese Garden we came to the sea and Butchard Cove which proved to be a mooring for yachts
The best way to describe the gardens is for you to see them so click through on
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 27, 2002
800 Benvenuto Ave
Brentwood Bay, British Columbia V8M 1J8
Miniature worlds have a strange fascination. They have the advantage that we can see the complete picture rather than part of it. There is also the sheer skill of reproducing, for example, a miniature bombed out German city with the effect of fire and bomb blast clear to see on the splintered charred timbers. Often the miniature can take much longer and require more skill to make than the original.
Fact, fiction and fantasy can also be blended together and history brought to life. The miniature world has it all. In total there are 80 attractions. There are dolls houses with as many as 50 rooms all fully furnished. We wandered through an enchanted valley of castles containing many of the castles of Europe and witnessed the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace. We saw the Great Canadian Railway with trains winding their way along the track and the world's smallest operational sawmill.
We visited the wonderful world of the circus and felt the magic, the wonderment of the Grand City Parade, the Big Top, the wild beasts and the death defying high wire acts. We entered time warp to Space 2201 AD and travelled in an Avian 1 spaceship to distant cosmic shores. We visited the world of Dickens and the Olde London Towne of 1670. Special effects in lighting, sound and animation increased the realism.
Well as you can realise we were quite tired after having achieved more in around two hours than people can achieve in a lifetime. We were so engrossed that we forgot to take photos. A definite must do experience.
For further information click through on:
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 29, 2002
649 Humboldt Street
Victoria, British Columbia
Attraction | "Undersea Gardens"
The idea was to extend Victoria’s reputation of being a city of gardens to beneath the tide-line. Of course there are bigger and better aquariums around but for the space available this one is rather clever. Naturally the fish had to be mostly of the small species. To quote their blurb: "all manner of fish to brilliant Red Snapper, swim through the kelp forest. A school of thousands of Pacific Salmon follow their remarkable life cycle amidst the ruins of a sunken ship. Amongst ghostly gardens of white and crimson anemones, the ferocious looking wolf eel lurks and the largest species of octopus in the world glides the reef."
The largest species of octopus was clearly a baby. In a theatre it was possible to watch a diver play with the octopus and guide it out of its hiding place so that we could get a good look at it. While the diver was carrying out his performance he was speaking to the audience using some form of underwater communication device.
All good fun and an hour or so well spent. See for yourself click Undersea Gardens
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 28, 2002
Pacific Undersea Gardens
490 Belleville Street
Victoria, British Columbia
Attraction | "Inner Harbour Cruise"
We were able to step aboard without a reservation and we didn't have long to wait for there was a cruise departing every 12 minutes. The tour was scheduled to take 45 minutes. The cruise was like one of those sightseeing buses that are in so many cities. At the various stops---including Fisherman's Wharf, Ocean Pointe Resort, Coast Harbourside Hotel, Songhees walkway, and West Bay Marina and Floating Village---it was possible to get off and rejoin a different boat to get back. The skipper kept up a running commentary.
At various times we had to dodge out of the road as a seaplane took off or landed. Victoria's harbour is a classified aerodrome. The seaplanes are used for landing on lakes some of which are rather small.
At another point I was suprised to see poles sticking out of the water with nesting boxes attached. Apparently a conservation measure. One species of bird was threatening to wipe out another but this species wouldn't fly over water - the solution, nesting boxes over the water. Very clever!
The trip costs $12CD for adults and $6Cd for children under 12. Babies under 1 year ride for free.
Victoria Harbour Ferry Co. Ltd.
4530 Markham Street
Victoria, B.C. V8Z 5N3
Victoria, British Columbia
Ayr, United Kingdom