Last weekend we went to Victoria with a group of 17. It was a trip full of good moments and some surprises during the trip that made it unforgettable.
We met very early in the morning, at 7am, in Waterfront Station. Going to Victoria takes a little while, because you first have to take the Canada Line, then a bus, then the ferry to get to Vancouver Island and then another bus to get to Downtown Victoria.
We had to take the Canada Line Skytrain at 7:30 am. It was 7:20am and everybody weas there… except Tobias! Our lovely new German intern was waiting forthe bus since 5:40 am in North Vancouver, but the bus never showed up. We couldn’t reach him, so we had to leave the station without any notice of him.
The tour with the ferry takes about 1.5 hours. It’s a beautiful way, and you can see the entire coast of Vancouver Island. It was raining a lot but even like that, the landscape was very beautiful. We had the opportunity to eat breakfast inside, but we had to hurry up, because within two minutes there was a very very long line.
In Victoria, our first activity was the Royal BC museum. It was pretty amazing! You can find inside a very real reconstruction of a Wild West village! I really enjoyed that part because it isn’t the typical museum where you can watch paintings. It’s very interactive, and they have several exhibitions, like Race to the End of the Earth (about the Antarctic) the First People Gallery, and the Natural History Gallery (with a real size mammoth!). I felt like a child nosing around and touching everything!
Meanwhile, Tobias found the way to Victoria by himself. The next part of the program was supposed to be a walking tour around Victoria, but it was raining cat and dogs. We went to visit the Empress Hotel in Victoria, one of the most luxury places that I’ve seen in my life. After that, we tried to visit the Beacon Hill Park, but the weather was so bad, that we came back to the hostel. We slept in the Hi-Victoria in Downtown. After a shower and with dry clothes, we went to dinner in the Old Spaghetti Factory.
After that, we decided to go to a pub. The chosen place was the Sticky Wicket. We danced, we had some beers and cocktails, and we had a lot of fun.
The next day we went to visit the Craigdarroch Castle. It’s like a Scottish castle but in the middle of Canada. Mercedes discovered a piano and started to play one song made by her! It’s was so beautiful and all of us came around her to hear the music. Suddenly she spun around and realized about all the people who were looking at her and in that moment her face turned very red. It was so funny.
After that we visited the Emily Carr House where the staff opened the house only for us! Really guys, we are VIP everywhere. It was one of the best things of the trip! Jan, the woman who makes the tours, told us amazing things about Emily Carr. She was a real women, one of the first feminists, environmentalists and one of the first persons who defended the people of the First Nation. We could walk around the house, ask many questions, touch everything and she gave us cookies and coffee. With that rain outside, in this super cozy house, with Jan talking, showing us the Emily Carr’s paintings, we felt very good.
Then we went back to the hostel to pick up our stuff and leave Victoria. It was sunny, very sunny for the first moment during the weekend. And suddenly, somebody said: there is a big storm in the north of the Island; all the ferries for this night are cancelled, you have to stay in Victoria another night.
(Unexpected) Day 3
Can you imagine our faces? At the beginning we were a little bit worried, but finally we could sleep in the hostel and we could inform our homestay families and our colleagues at home. The people of the Hi-Victoria were super nice to us; they give us movies and pop corn. We spend the Sunday night with some beers, talking until very late.
Finally we could take the ferry the next day, and we arrived at Vancouver super tired and dreaming of a hot shower. After all, I have to say that all the mess was at the end super funny, I’m sure that I won’t forget that trip ever.
I really have to say thank you to the wonderful group that came with us, for being so understanding. You are the best travel partner!
Conclusions after the trip:
- Tobias never will trust the Vancouver’s transport system again.
- Emily Carr is more interesting that you can imagine at the beginning.
- A Ferry is a very big ship where you can put cars, buses and trucks inside. A storm between Vancouver Island and Vancouver can sink a Ferry… Canada is really wild sometimes.