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Mini break in Victoria, BC

Grace’ family is visiting at the moment, so last weekend we decided to take the ferry to Victoria on Vancouver Island to spend a few days there. I enjoyed the trip a lot, because I had not seen a lot of Victoria during my last trip there and because of the great summer weather.

We decided to take the ferry instead of a seaplane so that we would have our own car while in town. That was a good idea, because there is a lot to see outside of Victoria. Below a couple of pictures from the 3 days and nights we spent there.

Ferry from Tsawassen to Swartz Bay

On the ferry from Tsawassen to Swartz Bay

On the ferry to Vancouver Island

View during the ferry ride to Vancouver Island. The Gulf Islands are beautiful, I hope to come back here soon on my own boat. Lots of places to anchor and so quiet! Happy to have this kind of places within one day of sailing from home.

Sidney, BC

Sidney, BC. A small seaside town between the ferry terminal and Victoria. We walked along the waterfront and looked at some of the shops.

Kids looking out of the window in the living room at Fairmont The Empress, Victoria, BC

Scott and Elaine enjoying the view from our living room in the Fairmont hotel. There was always something happening in the harbour and it was nice to see the ferries, seaplanes, sailing boats and whale watching tours arrive and depart continuously.

Fairmont The Empress, Victoria, BC

Fairmont The Empress, one of the best hotels I have stayed in in North America and in a great location in the center of town. I will likely stay here again on future trips to Victoria.

View from our room at Fairmont The Empress, Victoria, BC

Sunset view over Victoria Harbour, taken from our room

Fairmont The Empress, Victoria, BC

Fairmont The Empress at night

Parliament Building, Victoria, BC

Parliament Building at night, taken from the harbour

Craigdarroch Castle, Victoria, BC

Craigdarroch Castle, the former residence of mining tycoon Dunsmuir. Highly recommended to visit this huge house that was put back in its original state. 

Royal BC Museum

Royal BC Museum, explaining and showing the history and nature of British Columbia. Even Scott and Elaine liked the museum a lot.

Victoria Parliament Building

Parliament Building, next to Victoria’s inner harbour.

Victoria Parliament Building

Inside Parliament Building. The Parliament is open to the public, either on a guided or a self-guided tour.

Sooke, BC

Sooke, on the Pacific Coast. It was much colder here because of the clouds that came in over the ocean. A relaxed atmosphere in a beautiful setting, I plan to come back here.

Lunch in Sooke, BC

Lunch in a restaurant on the water, just outside of Sooke

Butchart Gardens, Victoria, BC

The Butchart Gardens, about 20 km outside Victoria. Planted in a former mine, this is a nice park to stroll for an hour or 2. The park has among others a rose garden, an Italian garden and a Japanese garden.

Butchart Gardens, Victoria, BC

Japanese Garden at the Butchart Gardens, Scott and Elaine posing for pictures.

Scott in the lounge at the Fairmont The Empress (Victoria)

Scott in the lounge of our hotel. We spent quite some time here every day for breakfast, drinks, high tea, appetizers and wine before dinner, and for a last glass of wine after the kids were in bed.

Horseshoe Bay from the ferry

On the ferry right before arriving in Horseshoe Bay.

More pictures of our trip are here on this set on Flickr:

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