How The Victorians Did It
Trip Start Jan 30, 2011
262Trip End Nov 16, 2011
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Where I stayed
Ocean Island Inn / Backpackers / Suites Victoria
Read my review - 4/5 stars
Read my review - 4/5 stars
A shower and non-insult-laden breakfast later I was ready and packed for our trip to Victoria on Vancouver Island. Apparently you can see bears, whales, eagles, and all sorts of wildlife, just not in February. Determined to go Veronica and I put our heavy bags into storage, although I think I put all the heavy things into my light backpack, and headed to the Skytrain and bus stations ready for the ferry at eleven. We wandered through a casino when waiting for the bus, and I watched in awe as a bald man turned his head to show a perfect ponytail in the middle of his baldness.
The Scottish bus driver let me get away with paying just $2.75 for the $3.75 ride as I stood around trying to figure out the additional coins in a time that he clearly deemed too long
More snoozing and we were in Victoria, queuing for the bus that the bus driver didn't seem all that happy to be in charge of, and then making our way into town, past a Smitty's and onto Douglas street. Whilst in the queue I discovered Veronica's brother is called Bernard Unkles, and I have an Uncle Bernard! Veronica's head lolled around like a ragdoll as she disappeared off to the land of nod, and we'd have missed the stop completely if a man who spotted the hostel leaflet hadn't directed us to it. We checked into our spacious dorm room and stepped straight out for some food, but not before passing the hostel a further three times in our bid to make it in the right direction.
After getting all the way to the end of the street we decided on John's Place, a friendly, wall-covered diner with booths like you see in the movies
We rotated the map a few more times before heading into Chinatown and Market Square, where I spotted a Vietnamese cyclo outside a shop called 'Taste of Hanoi,' I didn't go in as I've had quite enough of Vietnam just for this year. We peeked into a fair trade shop for a gander, coming across a French-Canadian lady who tried to explain exactly where everything was in Victoria via a walk around the shop. The other lady in there turned out to be from Burnley, having moved to Canada forty years ago. We talked about travelling and where to visit in Canada before the French-Canadian lady took the floor from the more reserved English lady and told us not to bother with afternoon tea at the Empress. I was a little disappointed to hear Veronica wasn't too keen anyway, and made the decision to do afternoon tea in London when I get home. I would say I'll start saving now, but I know I won't.
We left the ladies of fair trade and wandered toward the government buildings and Empress Hotel they'd told us about, finding out the tours of the government building stopped at five, we arrived at five past, and that they were closed on weekends. Some more wandering around and taking pictures of buildings' exteriors followed before we headed back toward the hostel in search of somewhere to eat, but of course when looking nothing appears. As if fate intervened we found ourselves back outside John's Place, and happily ordered our meals: the meat loaf was a welcome change to wraps, pittas, and burritos, and even left me without room for one of their amazing looking pies.
The mile-high apple pie will have to wait a little longer.