Victoria + Butchart Gardens

We visited Victoria and Vancouver Island on our second day in British Columbia.
Victoria is quite far from Vancouver – and it’s placed in another island, so you have to take a ferry to get there – but a one-day trip to this picturesque city is easy to plan. If we had more time to spend in British Columbia I’d loved to stay more days in this island – and to visit Tofino beach too – but you can’t always visit everything that you want, you have to leave something in case you have to come back, don’t you?
And I absolutely need to come back to British Columbia sooner or later!
Anyway ferry transfer was really nice despite of the cloudy and rainy weather: I have a peculiar love for the northern seascapes, even if there is absolutely no sun and everything seems to be totally gray. I stayed all the time on the open deck to take pictures of the coastline, which is pretty wild, but you can also see few beautiful wooden houses and villas placed seaward.
We visited the Victoria downtown – with a small but charming Chinatown. The chinese district is one of the most ancient of North America, and it is known for Fan Tan Alley, the smallest and tiniest commercial street in the world. It seemed to me like Harry Potter’s world Diagon Alley!
We had lunch at the harbor with the super delicious fish and chips, that was totally worth the waiting queue.
Then we sneaked in the most famous building of Victoria: the Fairmont Empress hotel, located in the main street and facing the harbor. The Empress is an Edwardian, chateaux-style hotel, well known for its classic Victorian afternoon tea service. According to Wikipedia, during the summer months, the hotel serves tea (along with tea sandwiches, fresh scones, preserves and clotted cream known as Empress cream) in its ‘Tea Room’ to more than 800 guests and tourists daily.
Given that the hotel’s ground floor is everyday opened to visitors for free, we had the chance to have a closer look of the hotel and… It was really beautiful! Next time I hope to spend a night there, and my husband agrees as well!
After Victoria we visited the Butcharts Gardens, a very famous group of gardens created by a very rich lady of Vancouver Island in the early 1900. It has been designed to be flowering in every season of the year, and it contains a huge selection of flowers and ornamental trees, an Italian-style garden, a perfect Japanese-style garden and an amazing collection of roses.
If you love gardening, this is your kind of heaven on earth!
I was totally charmed by the Japanese Garden: it seemed to me to be in Japan again!
We returned to Vancouver at evening, quite exhausted by the long day, but really satisfied by the tour!
Enjoy the pics!


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