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Welby Family On Fleek – Pacific Northwest Fall 2017 – Day 3 Victoria BC (9/24/17)

September 28, 2017

Not only was the itinerary for the day to visit the capital of British Columbia, but again the mode of transportation was the featured performer: seaplane. Downtown Vancouver actually has a seaplane airport – proof you are not in Kansas. The airport is like a very upscale bus terminal located on the water with great big windows to enjoy the view. My wife thought this up when she decided that spending most of the day on a slow moving ferry was going be kind of boring. Instead we took the 30 minute flight that was an absolute thrill. Taking off from the water, great views of the the coast and islands and landing on the water were all amazing. The plane flies at a nice low level so you can see a lot. It is a bit pricey – but totally worth it. Don’t think of it as transportation – but like the train – a ride. However, this is very efficient mode of transportation compared to the train.

Once in Victoria first on the agenda was visiting the famous Butchart Gardens. The gardens lived up to the billing – they are spectacular. The fact that they are are out in the middle of nowhere (they are about a 30 minute bus ride from downtown Victoria) adds to their charm. Highly recommend. An added bonus was our CVS Tours driver Adrian – he gave us a nice history Butchart Gardens and pointed out the significant sights along the way – all with dry British humor.

We returned to Victoria just in time to experience Canada’s Peace Officer Memorial service in front of the BC parliament building. The Canadian police sure know how to wear dress uniforms: from the classic Mounties to something similar to the Royal Guard. We got to see a neat parade with pipes and drums to boot.

We then explored downtown Victoria. It has lots of nice shops – again this is mostly an upscale tourist trap – even the t-shirt stores are pretty nice. We were thirsty and hungry and so we found a nice sports bar (Darcy’s Pub) with some good outdoor space (it was a nice warm fall afternoon). They had some very fine poutines. We explored a few more blocks of Victoria and then headed back to the seaplane terminal for the ride back to Vancouver. I was a bit disappointed in Victoria – it had been advertised as a mini-London, but it seemed nothing more than an upscale cruise ship port and government town. If not for the Butchart Gardens and seaplane ride it would have been a bust.

Once back to Vancouver we went to Steamworks Brewpub for some beverages and a snack. I found the beer unremarkable and the pub a bit to corporate (think Rock Bottom). Given its location in proximity of the Vancouver convention center, it was low on funk (to be fair it was a Sunday night). We were pooped and headed back to the Airbnb for an early evening.

  1. You would never get my wife on that seaplane, not in a million years. She’d instead spend all day on the ferry. We get poutine sometimes if we go far enough up into Maine. Did that just about a month or so ago.

  2. I’m taking in your trip. You are making me hungry and thirsty with every stop. CB is just up Island a couple hours from Vic. You guys might have enjoyed it up here. More funky and laid back. Lots of great music fests with your type of players. Oh yeah one of the things you get on the ferry once in a while is Orca and porpoise/dolphin sightings. Very cool when you see a pod . Amazing the numbers sometimes. Lots of craft breweries up Island and they will say they are the best. Good stuff.

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