Vancouver to Victoria, July 30, 2010
The train portion of the trip was now over. I had asked about visiting Victoria after the train ride, and the agent said that they had planned to give me an extra night free in Vancouver, but instead my free hotel night would be in Victoria, if I liked. Of course that's what I liked. I liked it even more when I discovered my free night would be at the Empress, the Fairmont hotel that people visit for Afternoon Tea even if they stay somewhere cheaper.
From the train station I was taken back to the same downtown hotel where I had spent my first night there. In the morning I was to meet a bus to take me to the ferry.
Victoria is the capital of British Columbia and is situated on Vancouver Island (while Vancouver the city is not). On the map you see it as the large island that looks like it would tuck into the corner of Washington state.
The agent had asked me if I'd like him to book my trip to the island as a garden tour, and I said "sure." So after we had ridden the ferry, the bus took us to see the gardens. After the garden tour we were taken on to Victoria and dropped off at our hotels, starting with mine.
So the bus drove into the ferry, and we got off the bus to enjoy the scenery.
There was plenty of seating inside, but luckily the weather was nice, so people came in just for snacks and restroom breaks.
The whitish line shows the route of the ferry. Note that the dotted line is the international boundary, so we passed briefly though US waters. Taking a vehicle across is rather expensive. The driver said that they paid $90 to take our bus across. These days they charge $56 for a car and about $17 for a pedestrian.
I saw some whales, but I was never quick enough on the trigger to get pictures of them jumping out of the water.
So we drove off the ferry and headed to the gardens, where I took 255 pictures. I've posted some of them on the next page, but you can skip it instead if you prefer.