Well, so far we've traveled by plane, motor coach and twice by ferry. We still have a day and a half before we board the Rocky Mountaineer for the ride across the Canadian Rockies to Banff, Alberta. But that doesn't mean we haven't already seen some awesome sights and enjoyed some delicious food.
We departed our hotel in Victoria on Vancouver Island this morning at 8:15, and I think everyone in our group would have liked to stay right there for another few days. Russ, our tour guide from Holiday Vacations, says that it just gets better from here on out, so off we go.
We arrived at Butchart Gardens at 9:00 and had the entire morning to stroll through what is arguably the most beautiful spot in North America. The Sunken Garden, Rose Garden, Japanese Garden, and the rest of the 50 or so acres of lush greenery and brilliant color were a delight to all the senses. Again, it was hard to leave, but we had a ferry to catch.
The Spirit of British Columbia carried us from Vancouver Island to Vancouver, the city, which is on the mainland. During the first half of the voyage, the ferry navigates through a maze of islands which are literally small mountains rising out of the water. Sailboats dot the inlets, and houses are perched on the steep slopes of the islands. When the ferry emerges from between the last islands, it sails across some ten miles or so of open water to the mainland.
Now the feel of Vancouver is a bit different than Victoria. For one thing, it's a lot bigger. The metropolitan area is greater than one and a half million people, and it's a bustling city and thriving seaport. In fact, we capped off our day with another great meal, this one overlooking the harbor at the Aqua Riva Restaurant, where we feasted on our choice of steak, salmon, or lamb.
Tomorrow, I understand, we have a lot more to see and do around Vancouver. Will update then. Meanwhile, check out the latest pictures in the Eye on You section.