on June 29, 2007
What do you do with a day in Vancouver, BC, when you don't have a car? You go on a bus tour!We woke at 6am and got ourselves ready for an 8am pickup. D'Arcy, our driver for Land and Sea Tours, was prompt and courteous. He picked us up at our hotel in a 24 passenger van. This was so-o-o much better than a large bus. We were able to hear everything that he said and everyone was able to have a part in the conversation.We caught the ferry for Victoria (a 90 minute ride across some of the smoothest water I have ever seen) and were able to enjoy the fresh air on the 6th deck before heading inside to get some refreshments.Our arrival on the island brought us to land several kilometers from the city, but D'Arcy kept us entertained with tidbits of information (and a few jokes) during the ride. We were dropped off at Chinatown (Pan Tan Alley is the narrowest alleyway - barely a meter wide in some places) and walked along Wharf St. toward our eventual gathering place at the RBC Museum. The whole walk could have been finished in about 20 minutes, but we stopped for lunch at Chandler's. The walk through this picturesque town was an easy one. There are no hills along the waterfront, although there are some a block or two inland. The gardens and hanging baskets on every streetlight bring color to every corner of the town. The tour gives you entrance to one of several museums - we chose the Royal British Columbia Museum since that was where D'Arcy would be picking us up later in the afternoon. He then drove us to Butchart Gardens, a floral fantasy world developed by one woman with a love of plants. We spent about two hours there and walked the whole garden. Of course, with the time constraint, we were not able to take a leisurely tour...my hubby was glad for that! The entrance fee for the Gardens was also included in our original tour fee, so we did not have to worry about any additional expenses except for "treasures" for those left at home.We were able to eat dinner on the ferry back to Vancouver. It was the "Spirit of Vancouver Island", a newer ship, and there was a buffet on the 5th deck that filled our tummies with some very good-tasting fare.We said "Bye," to D'Arcy and the rest of the weary tourists around 9:30pm. We were very happy to reach our room and put up our feet while we reviewed all we had seen and experienced today.
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