Grey Line operates 13 tours in Victoria. The Grand City tour with visit to Craigdorrach Castle, about two hours, met our requirements. Tickets are purchased at the centrally located Grey Line office at the back of the Empress Hotel by the Convention Center. Tours leave almost every hour. Upon boarding the double decker English trolley styled bus, you can select from a seat on the bottom or top deck.
A scenic tour of the downtown inner harbor area gave us ideas for where we wanted to walk to for shopping and food afterwards. The bus dropped us off at the base of a gently climbing hill about a block from the Castle, a part of Victoria's history and settling. We were glad it wasn't any farther up the hill. Tours of the castle are ongoing so we walked right in (See separate journal entry on the Castle experience). They had the timing perfect. When we walked back to the drop off/pick up spot, a bus came along within minutes for reboarding and continuation of the tour. This was exactly enough time to add to a young, eight or nine year old entrepenour's college fund by purchasing a much needed and welcomed drink of Kool-Aid and homemade cookies for $.65 U.S. Great location for booming sales.
The bus tour continued through the west side of Victoria and then headed toward the northeast. This area of Victoria is the more luxurious homes and many golf courses. The history of Oak Bay was fascinating, as was viewing the beautiful housing area. The various monuments, totem park, and harbors were described. I felt like Lucille Ball on one of her TV show's famous tours of the stars homes in Hollywood. Many a wealthy, if not famous, person's name was dropped as we passed their estate.
The bus made a 20 minute bathroom and snack stop at the marina on the southern coast east of downtown.
The tour director was helpful in selecting our restaurant for the evenings meal and he was right on. The Blue Crab was an amazing gastronomical treat.
This tour was a great overview of the city and gave us much needed information on how we chose to spend our limited time seeing the most. We were dropped off at the end of the tour right in front of The Empress Hotel, giving us yet another chance to marvel at the beauty of the Inner Harbour.