Canada Part Three - Whistler to Vancouver

22nd August, 1997
23rd August, 1997
24th August, 1997

Friday, 22nd August, 1997

Drop Cap fter another bacon and sausage breakfast this morning, we headed down from Whistler, through the mountains to Squamish, beautiful forest and views of the Garibaldi Provincial Park with permanent glaciers. Then beside the Howe Sound, a lovely almost inland sea, to Horseshoe Bay, where we boarded the ferry for Vancouver Island. It was an uneventful hour and a half across the Georgia Strait. Then we drove down through the island, arriving in Victoria, the provincial capital (of British Columbia) around 5.30.

Drop Cap ictoria is an attractive seaside city, with elegant buildings, double decker buses and people pulling rickshaws and horses pulling wagons and carriages. We went out to walk into town to find dinner and found it at a Greek taverna where we had Kalamari, dolmades (Mac) and chicken souvlaki (me) with yet another bottle of White Zinfandel, a rose or blush as they call it from California of which we have drunk rather a lot this trip. The meal was very filling and Mac didn't really care for the stuffed vine leaves, but we ate as much as we could.

Drop Cap hen we walked around the shops, a lot of English oriented stuff. I bought Mac a tweed cap to replace his lost one, me some earrings and a couple of boxes, some pins and small stuff. Then walked back to the hotel, passing Parliament House, all outlined in lights like a Thai restaurant we know, not very dignified, I think, and the lovely old ivy covered Empress Hotel, famous for afternoon tea. Back to the hotel to unpack. We are here two nights and want to wash clothes tomorrow.

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Saturday, 23rd August, 1997

Gardens photograph

Sunken Garden, Butchardt Gardens, Victoria, Canada

Drop Cap ut after breakfast to Butchardt Gardens. These famous gardens were created nearly one hundred years ago to fill the ugly holes left by limestone quarrying, which made the Butchardt family fortune so they ploughed some back by making this lovely series of gardens. A sunken garden with fountains, a rose garden, which smelled wonderful, an Italian style formal garden and a lovely Japanese garden with water features and a raked gravel bed. We had a couple of hours here and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Drop Cap ook a scenic route back to the city - lovely (expensive) houses on the north shore, then back to the hotel where we collected a laundry key and did our washing. It all dried and I ironed Mac's shirts so we have repacked clean and neat clothes.

Gardens photograph

Totem Poles in Thunderbird Park, Victoria, Canada

Drop Cap e went out for an hour to see the totem poles in Thunderbird Park and the Empress Hotel etc by the waterfront. Our farewell dinner is tonight at 5.30 for Heaven's sake. We have not yet seen the group photo so tonight would be appropriate since the tour ends tomorrow.


Drop Cap very enjoyable last supper, salad, rib beef roast with Yorkshire pud and horseradish and a decadent chocolate mousse cake (obviously Joyce's choice - she's always rhapsodising about choc desserts) We got the group photo, complimentary! (Insight's cost $20 each) It's very good with the Lake Louise glacier in the background. We all block out the lake view.

Drop Cap e celebrated Ian and Fiona's 25th Wedding anniversary and discovered it was Rich and Ann Geraci's next week as well. Last day tomorrow!

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Sunday, 24th August, 1997

Drop Cap ur last day! After breakfast we boarded the coach for the ferry back to the mainland. On counting heads Florence was found to be missing. She is a lady, somewhat disabled, travelling alone (I think it is rheumatoid arthritis or maybe MS) But anyway, she had left her bag with the reception staff and gone off for a walk! We left without her but picked her up in the street by the waterfront, then had to go back for her bag. It was a half hour drive to the ferry terminal (a different one from the one we came in on) then one and a half hours on the ferry to Vancouver.

Coach photograph

Globus on the Road

Drop Cap e drove into the city and I must admit to not being madly impressed. The long running garbage strike and drizzling rain didn't help. The Globus hotel, the Georgian Court, is quite nice but the area looks worse than the Central Railway area! There are construction sites everywhere and nothing looked too good.

Drop Cap e cruised downtown, through Gastown, past the cruise ship terminal - the "Regal Princess" is in! - That is the area our other hotel is in, a little more touristy, therefore salubrious.

Drop Cap hen we drove through Stanley Park, a beautiful rain forest with huge trees and a sea wall. Had lunch at English Bay and then came back to our hotel. Took a walk through some rather sleazy streets to buy a map and some milk for coffee.

Drop Cap p early tomorrow, breakfast 6.30, Airport bus 7.13, Airport by 8 a.m. Then, north to Alaska!

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