On Thursday, we had to get up at the crack of dawn because we had 7:30 a.m. tickets on the Victoria Clipper. We got our boarding passes the night before so that we could skip the line, but we still had to get there by 7:00 a.m. We checked our large bags at the hotel, and only brought our Vera Bradley Grand Traveler bags with us. One of the reasons we selected the Edgewater was because it was on the dock next door to where the ferry departs.
Here is a pic of the hotel, as the ferry is pulling out of the dock.
A Seattle at sunrise pic from the back of the ferry
We arrived at about 10:30. We were very near the hotel, but because we had crammed so much stuff in our VB bags and they weighed a ton, we took a taxi to our hotel. We had selected the Fairmont Empress Hotel as our Victoria home away from home.
It's right on Government Street facing the Inner Harbour
It was built in 1908
It is a National Historic Site of Canada
It's such a beautiful hotel. An icon of Victoria really.
It also has beautiful gardens.
We just didn't feel like we could go to Victoria and stay anywhere else
It's known for serving High Tea. This is where they serve it.
We didn't attend because of time constraints. I wanted to take home one of these cup and saucers. They are for sale in the gift shop, but they are $85 and I didn't have faith that I could get it home without breaking it in a million pieces!
There are several restaurants. All of the areas are just beautiful. Not a bad view of the harbour either.
This was our room. The old doors were so solid and heavy.
The bathroom definitely reminded you that this is an old hotel!
These pups were also guests at the hotel. I mean really, aren' they just what kind of dogs you would expect to see staying at The Empress?
Luckily, we were able to check in as soon as we arrived, even though check in wasn't really suppose to be until 4:00 p.m. We went on down to a place I had selected for lunch. It's called red fish blue fish and it's right on the dock. Kind of a food truck style place.
They opened at 11:30. We got there at about 11:45 and this was the line.
It took me an entire hour to get to the front of the line. Suzanna had snagged us seats while I waited to place our orders.
There was excitement in line because I had to break up a fight between a crazy German behind me, who was trying to kick the guy in front of me out of line for cutting. He absolutely was not cutting, and I had to step in and say so. (Note: crazy German in the pic below wearing the maroon corduroys and ball cap)
I wanted to try absolutely everything, but ended up settling for the Fish & Chips (Halibut). It was wonderful! Not a bad view either!
After lunch, we decided to walk by and check in for our 3:00 whale watch trip. At that point, we discovered that it had been cancelled because enough people didn't book the tour. They tried to put us on one of the Zodiac tours (more on that on Day 4's post), but we declined. So we got ourselves booked on a tour for the next day, and went back to the room to strategize. We decided to go on out to Butchart Gardens. It's about 40 minutes outside of the city, so we took a bus out there.
The rhododendron were on the end of their blooms, but they were still pretty.
This pergola had tons of hanging baskets filled with begonias and fuchsias. It was stunning.
I love voodoo fuchsia
You walk through this forest area...
to get to the beautiful sunken garden
The rose garden was probably a week or two away from being really stunning, but there were a few already in bloom
There is also a Japanese garden
This is a big shrub/tree that has a little hole where you can peek a view of the garden's harbour
These blue poppies were so pretty
This is the Roman garden
We had to wait quite a while on our bus to get back to the city. It was about 30 minutes late. But as we sat at the bus stop, we were looking over gorgeous scenery. Then we noticed that there was a Bald Eagle flying around. So we watched the eagle put on a show to pass the time!
For dinner, I had selected a little place called Cafe Brio.
It was a good choice. I had the hearts of palm salad and the pork special, but I forgot to take pictures.
That's the end of day 3. Stay tuned for 2 more days of pictures galore. Day 4 & 5 were the adventure days!