Tuesday, May 8, 2007
May 8 -- Victoria, British Columbia
We caught the 8:20 am auto ferry from Port Angeles to Victoria, BC. It was a pleasant 90 minute ride. We thought we would watch the Cascades recede in the background, but we were surprised by how close they looked from the Ferry and then we were even more surprised by how close they appear from Victoria. They are a very impressive mountain range from Canada. Passing through Canadian Customs was a breeze, and we drove straight to The Butchart Gardens, which are located about 14 miles north of Victoria. The gardens were breath taking and the hardest part of today's blog update was selecting only a few of the many pictures we took. After leaving the gardens, we drove to Anne Hathaway's Cottage in Victoria. The twelve room farmhouse is an exact replica of the original cottage which stands in Stratford-Upon-Avon in England. Unfortunately, they were not giving tours so we did not get to see inside. We then drove to Hatley Castle, which was built by a wealthy coal baron. As you can see by the picture, it looks like a castle and is covered with ivy. The original owner only lived in it a few years before he died and then his widow and daughter lived there for about 40 years. After being a private residence, it became a military academy and is now the administrative offices for the Royal Roads University. Our next stop was another mansion built by a member of the same family that built Hatley Castle. It is called Craigdarrock. The name is the combination of the first names of two of his sons. This house also had an unusual past. It was a residence for only about 20 years and then it became a military hospital, then a school, and is now open to the public for tours. When it was completed in 1894, it was the tallest building in Victoria. We ended the day in downtown Victoria near the Hotel Empress and the Parliament Building. Our next challenge is figuring out what channels are showing American Idol and Dancing with the Stars.