Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Waltzing Through Victoria

It was time to tour the City of Victoria and the plan was to find a stop for the "Big Bus" hop on/hop off tour bus. After checking on the Internet for the stops we decided on a Brew Pub called Spinnakers. It was a great choice and the wait for the bus was at a great spot with a cool view of Victoria Harbor. Out on the water we saw two long canoes racing and huge tour boat about to pass them up.

Pulling up the rear was a tiny water taxi.

On the shore a rock just smiled.

Finally a touring sea plane swooped by just as ......

The "Big Bus" arrived.

One of the first sights was St. Andrew's Cathedral.

With a beautiful spire touching the sky.

Victoria is home to the British Columbia Parliament.

The Neo-Baroque buildings face north on Belleville street facing the Inner Harbour and diagonally across from The Empress Hotel. A large statue of Queen Victoria stands on the front lawn as well a statue of a soldier to commemorate the province's World War I, World War II and Korean War dead. Atop the central dome is a gold-covered statue of Captain George Vancouver. Free tours of the facility are offered throughout the week.

The next stop was a small fisherman's wharf.

One of the most impressive structures in Victoria is the Empress Hotel. Beautiful and elegant, this hotel was a gem in the harbor sky.

All along the route there were colorful and picturesque old buildings...

... and a few new buildings...

... but they were all unique.

Part of tour took us by a beautiful golf course on the Straits of Juan De Fuca. Juan De Fuca is a name well known to us because of the Juan De Fuca plate that is a subduction zone off the coast of Oregon and Washington states a potentially devastating earthquake zone.

Juan de Fuca (born 1536 as Ioannis Phokas (John Focas) in Kefalonia, Greece; died 1602 in Zákynthos, Greece, often reported as Apostolos Valerianos), was a Greek captain employed by Spain to sail northward from Mexico and look for a northern passage from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean. His ancestors had fled Constantinople about half a century before his birth.

In 1592, his exploration took him into the body of water, the Strait of Juan de Fuca (in 1787 an English explorer rediscovered the strait and in 1788 it was named after Juan de Fuca), now marking part of the border between Canada and the United States.

I thought this picture was cool of the lone chair overlooking the straits and ...

... across the road another also facing the strait on this porch.

The park where this statue of Terry Fox is located is called mile 0 (zero) park. It is the start of the 8,030 km (4990 miles) Trans-Canada highway.
"Terrance Stanley "Terry" Fox , CC (July 28, 1958 – June 28, 1981) was a Canadian humanitarian, athlete, and cancer treatment activist. He became famous for the Marathon of Hope, a cross-Canada run to raise money for cancer research, which Fox ran with one prosthetic leg."

Coming back to town near the Parliament Buildings were these great totem poles.

We got off the bus at Chinatown and were ready to eat.

We ate at Don Mee's restaurant and it was a great choice. Something we miss is a good Dim Sum meal and Don Mee's had a great choice and everything was excellent.

Nearby was this Chinese Canadian Cultural center.

Next time we come we will also check out Kwong Tung Seafood.

This is the Chinese Public School it was Constructed in 1909. This historic Chinese school still offers classes in Chinese languages, history and culture.

I liked the building in the downtown and since this was a fast one day visit I took lots of pictures.

Goodfellows Cigar Shop looked like an interesting place. Sorry Matt I didn't get you any Cubans while I was there.

Even the trash cans in Chinatown we special.

They even had a street market going on while we walked back to catch the bus.

Well we started by catching the "Big Bus" at a Brew Pub and we ended up catching it again at another Brewery. I think the Canadians like their beer home grown mush like Oregon.

While waiting I got this shot of planters outside the Brewery.

Interestingly enough we had just walked beneath the supports of this brick building that looked bombed out but was actually either under reconstruction or demolition.

Looking back at my pictures I noticed this is the back of that building and the field of poppies in the lot next door.

The parking lot next to where the Musemobile was parked also held an oddity, a trailer made from an old van. We had a wonderful visit and Victoria was a wonderful stop.

Scrabble Score - Still unplayed.

Quote of the Day ~
"Can you believe it? We're in the middle of a drought, and the water commissioner drowns. Only in L.A." ~ Morty (Charles Knapp) dialogue from the movie "Chinatown" one of my favorites.

"The film was nominated for eleven Academy Awards, winning in only the category of Best Original Screenplay for Robert Towne. In 1991, Chinatown was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

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