2019 Sandy & Bill's West Coast Adventure travel blog

Part of downtown Victoria

Seaplane in Victoria harbor

Parliament building

Front of Empress Hotel

Cool chandelier in Empress Hotel lobby

Restaurant in Empress Hotel with paintings of English Queens in background

Sunken Garden in Butchart Gardens

Ross Fountain in Butchart Gardens

Sandy in front of Silent Sam on his tractor

Fall colors in Butchart Gardens

Eagle, bear, and orca Totem

Dragon Fountain in Butchart Gardens

Coastal Redwood planted in 1934

Three Sturgeon Fountain

Sandy walking through flower beds

Sandy standing next to trumpet flowers

Sandy standing on a small Japanese bridge in Butchart Gardens


Victoria is the capital of British Columbia and is located on Vancouver Island. While the weather was cloudy and then rainy, we sallied forth nonetheless. We walked around some of downtown Victoria, seeing part of the harbor area (including watching a seaplane land in the harbor), the Parliament building, and the Empress Hotel. The Empress is an upgraded grand hotel from 1908 and is elegant from its cultured and detailed landscaping to its opulent lobby. Attached are pictures of the hotel's front, a different kind of chandelier in the lobby, its restaurant with paintings of English Queens in the background.

The next part of our Victoria adventure took us to the world famous Butchart Gardens, lying some 20+ miles outside Victoria. In fact, part of the Gardens was built in a former limestone quarry. Given the increasingly lousy weather as we toured the whole complex, I would still recommend this as a stop should you visit the Victoria area.

Butchart Gardens covers more than 55 acres and was the brain child of Jennie Butchart to use the former limestone quarry that had supplied her husband's cement factory in Portland, OR. There are a number of different area to visit, such as the Sunken, Japanese, Rose, and Italian gardens. Pictures of the Sunken Garden, Ross Fountain (installed by the grandson of Jennie Butchart and her husband), Fall colors in Butchart, and Sandy in front of what I called "Silent Sam" on his tractor.

Butchart has a beautiful Japanese Garden, with bamboo railings, a bright red bridge over a small stream, and tasteful, yet subdued plantings. Photos of the Three Sturgeon Fountain, a Dragon Fountain, Sandy standing on the small Japanese bridge, and Sandy next to what we believe is a Trumpet flower (yellow).

Tomorrow is our last full day in Canada, and we have enjoyed visiting our friendly neighbors. We'll see how the weather may influence touring parts of Victoria. Thanks for reading.

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