Today’s adventure is to Victoria, BC on the MV Coho out of Port Angeles, WA.
I am excited to finally go over and check out Victoria. I have been through there on my short motorcycle trip but have not visited it properly.
Going to Canada is international travel, but doesn’t really seem like it since there’s no 12 hour flight. Once you get there, though, it’s quickly apparent it is. A passport check and the signs in French really are big clues.
I have an enhanced driver’s license but am bringing my passport because I want to try and get a Canada stamp in it to go along with the Europe stamps from our trip.
A few years ago I rode my motorcycle over on what ended up being a misadventure with the mechanical issues it was having and got to Port Alberni and had to turn around for home. I rode through Victoria on that trip but didn’t play tourist in the city since I was trying to get to the other side of Vancouver Island.
Today I plan on getting some miles (or would that be kilometers?) under my belt seeing the what the city has to show (and feed!) me. I hear the Royal BC Museum is a great place to visit for a few hours so I may do that. I’m really not much for shopping – I’d rather see and do things and have experiences. I will probably go in some shops that are interesting. My neighbors were here last week and she said there was a clothing store selling hemp clothing. I definitely want to check that out if I can find it.
The weather seems to be clearing off nicely as I sit here on the ship waiting to sail. It was cloudy when I got here and the weather forecast is calling for mostly cloudy and a 40% chance of a shower over there.
The trip over was strange in that the seas seemed calm but the boat was still rocking a bit. I’ve been on the water many times before and have never experienced that. Very strange.
We got into the harbor and for some reason customs was really grilling me. I had a backpack with a raincoat and water bottle and he kept on me about getting searched. I have nothing to hide and I hate getting hassled – if you want to look through it then just do it and stop effing with me. I didn’t have this much trouble going into European countries.
I walked down to Chinatown and looked around. I went into a few shops and looked around at the Chinese herbs and groceries that were available. I wanted to pick up some herbal patches for my neck but didn’t know if I could take them back to the US so I didn’t get any.
It was 11 o’clock in the morning so what better time for a delicious pint of Guinness. I ended up at a pub called Irish Times to not only quench my thirst but to also get a big plate of poutine. All of the servers wear kilts and the atmosphere was classic pub and well done. I like the comfy atmosphere much better than most bars I have been to in the States.
I opted for the Irish poutine – it looked pretty traditional but with a twist. It had Dubliner cheddar cheese from Ireland and bacon. It was fantastic and very filling. I could see a big giant bowl or two of that after a long night of partying.
They had a pretty good menu full of many varieties of deliciousness. I saw them bringing out a Scotch egg to somebody. I’m not big on eggs other than scrambled but that might be interesting to try.
I mainly just walked around looking at things afterwards. I went into the British Columbia Parliament building and did a self-guided tour. I got to see the room where the Parliament decisions are made for the province.
I went to a grocery store and picked up a couple of snacks. It was about a mile from the parliament building each way. I headed back towards the parliament building since it is fairly close to the ferry terminal. Next to the parliament building is a little park with the water fountain and a wall of water behind the British Colombia seal and also the seals of all of the other provinces as well as the Canadian seal.
There was a really nice public space in the front with beautiful flowers and a nicely manicured lawn. Seems like a good place for a snack and doing some people watching.
It ended up being a beautiful day. Hopefully I won’t have to put up with any more customs BS going back over. I guess I’ll find out in a bit.