Spending a weekend in Victoria, B.C. with Coast Hotels

A few weeks ago, Coast Hotels graciously took Rebecca and I on a weekend trip to Victoria, B.C. to explore how conveinent a getaway to the island can be.

Ferry Rider to Schwartz Bay

It helps that they picked us up in the west end and drove us to and from the ferry terminals on each side of the ferry trip, but after a weekend like this, I think we’re more inclined to go the transit route (which we’ve done before on another trip) to make another getaway like this sometime in the future. Hopefully you’ll see why by the end of this post.

Ferry Rider to Schwartz Bay

I do have to say that one of the extreme highlights of this journey was the ferry ride to Schwartz Bay. I noticed a variety of people suddenly looking out the window to one side of the ship. Looking out to the deck, I saw people crowding next to the rail as well. That’s when I did a mad search to the distance, instantly spotting a pod of killer whales making their way across the Georgia Straight. I just blurted out, “Orcas!”, and everyone in our immediate vacinity craned their necks to catch a glimpse.

I know that this isn’t a big deal to many locals, but nature is something that is always awesome to me. Just the fact that I can go running around Vancouver and spot harbour seals, otters, and bald eagles dive bombing fish out of the water, this was another moment of awe to add to the stack.
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Spent the long weekend in gorgeous Victoria, B.C.

Far off waves crash the coast

I’m a little late in posting this, but the 52 pictures that I uploaded to Flickr is quite the feat in my department. When we decided to go over to Victoria[googlemaps] with Rebecca’s sister and her family as of the middle of last week, I told myself that I’d do more photo taking.

Flag on the back
Passing between Galiano Island and Mayne Island on the ferry

It was just Sunday to Monday, and we were all quite lucky to make it back to the mainland. The storm that slammed into the southern coast of B.C was awesome, hence the facetious “gorgeous” in referencing this last trip. I don’t mean “cool”, but more of a “holy crap”. Waves crashing on shore, winds howling through, rain falling from left to right… while driving down a street in the minivan, Sean rolled down the driver side window. I was sitting in the very back, third row, and the rain got me in the face.

We weren’t sight seeing as much as we were just exploring the island in the midst of a storm. Growing up in the Midwest, that’s pretty usual. It wouldn’t be until hell was falling all around you that the thought of, “Oh yeah, I should go somewhere so that I don’t die now” would finally cross your mind.

Remembrance Day ceremonies in front of the Parliament building
Remembrance Day ceremonies at the parliament building
The past era of silent film
A visit to the Royal B.C. Museum

Probably the coolest thing ever on this adventure was seeing my first lighthouse. The storm cleared enough that wandering down to the Fisgard Lighthouse wasn’t too bad, but the wind was biting something fierce. Inside was pretty neat, especially for being nearly 125 years old.

Cold and windy walk out to the lighthouse
Cold and windy walk out to the lighthouse
Postcard lighthouse
Fisgard Lighthouse
Stairs to the top of the lighthouse
Stairs up to the lighthouse beacon, locked off from public

There was also a defense outpost at this location, Fort Rodd Hill, originally built during British colonial times and then refortified and used during WWII to defend from possible invasion by Japan.

B.C. Parliament
B.C. Parliament in Victoria, B.C.

I feel like there is always something of interest for us in Victoria. We wanted to do more ghost explorations, but we’ll have to save that for another trip. There was some recording done for a future episode of RZ, but it would have been so cool to snagged some audio from a haunted building or something and then check it for EVP[wiki]. Yeah, I’m a geek that finds the paranormal fascinating, but those are ghost stories for another time. In the meantime, you can view the whole set of pictures on Flickr.