Good evening my lovely readers! Today I’d like to show you the rest of our pictures from Victoria City, British Columbia. For those of you who might be new to this blog, I try to post a new travel post once a week. Currently, I’m sharing about our 2015 Canadian West Coast travels. If you are interested in seeing more travel posts like this one, click here.
The Bug Z00
One of our memorable stops in Victoria City was the Bug Zoo. I should also warn you to not look at the next few pictures if you’re not a fan of spiders or bugs. I have to say though, I’m super proud of myself for actually pulling myself together enough to hold a living scorpion in my hands!
Another favorite was their large ant colony. It’s amazing to see how hard working ants are. Ants have a designated area where they bring all the dead ants. The healthy ants that bring them there, won’t return, in case they should now also carry a disease. This is to protect the colony.
The following pictures show some of the creatures that we saw at the Bug Zoo.
About Victoria City
Victoria City is a charming city with a combination of old and new buildings, beautiful gardens, a harbor filled with small boats, and many local shops and restaurants to visit. Here are some more facts about the city (taken from Wikipedia):
- Victoria City was named after Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom.
- The British started settling in 1843, making it one of the oldest cities in the Pacific Northwest.
- Many historic buildings remain, of which two of the most popular ones are the Legislative Building and the Empress Hotel.
- Victoria city’s Chinatown is the second oldest in North America.
- The Coast Salish First Nations peoples were established in this region possibly a few thousand years before the British started settling.
- Victoria is nicknamed “The Garden City”
- Population in 2011 was 80,032
The following pictures were taken on our stroll around the inner harbor. We saw the old Empress Hotel, the Legislative Building, some cool sculptures, and of course some beautifully planted gardens.
Beacon Hill Park
Beacon Hill Park is the perfect stop after a lot of driving. It gives you the opportunity to stretch out your legs while being surrounded by greenery, flowers, and wildlife. It is also a great location for a picnic.
Fiamo Italian Kitchen
We enjoyed a delicious dinner at Fiamo Italian Kitchen. I would highly recommend this place. I absolutely loved the design of this restaurant. It was so cozy, yet edgy. Oh, and the Chicken Parmesan is to die for!
To end the day, we briefly drove to the Craigdarroch Castle. We also saw some churches, but from the outside only, as they were already closed for the day. We then returned to the Legislative Building and the Inner Harbor to see all the buildings lit up at night.
Unsuccessful Whale Watching
Early the following day, we drove into the city to do some whale watching with Orca Spirit Adventures. We were on the restless ocean for nearly three hours, bouncing along in the Zodiac boat. It got so bumpy at times that landing kind of hurt. On this excursion we saw a bald eagle and its nest, as well as some sea lions. To our great disappointment the tour ended without seeing any killer whales. The great news is, Orca Spirit Adventures offered a free tour if we ever were to return in the future.
After being super bummed about not getting to see any killer whales, we enjoyed some macarons from Bon Macaron Patisserie. It was our first time trying this french delicacy, and we definitely enjoyed them!
We continued on to Hatley Castle, and prepared a quick lunch in the parking lot. Now what makes this castle super cool, is the fact that it was used in the X-men series. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see the inside, because of ongoing classes. Yeah, it seemed to be our bad luck day. We did, however, get to see a beautiful peacock on the castle grounds, as well as some gorgeous gardening, and of course the castle from the outside.
Successful Whale Watching
To leave you on a positive note, after visiting some other places, we planned it into our schedule to return to Victoria. We knew that if we didn’t return on this trip, it would be a long time before we would ever go back. Of course, we also desperately wanted to see some killer whales. So, naturally the following pictures are actually from a later time of our trip, but I decided to include them now, as they are related to Victoria.
We were lucky this time and definitely got to see some killer whales. There were very strict regulations in place, which didn’t allow us to get very close to the whales, unless if they came our way. This was for their protection. We were pretty excited to find out that our tour guide was mentored by the man that trained and also released Free Willy.
Thank you for reading along! Wishing you all a fabulous week!! 🙂