Today we arrived at the capitol of British Columbia, Victoria, on Vancouver Island.
Our arrival heralds the final days of our Alaskan Cruise. The fact we are now in Canada means the Alaska part of our cruise is complete but the cruise is not. Not just yet anyway.
Yesterday was a sea day. That is, there are no towns or cities to visit. Just a cruise, at sea. We cruised along the outer passage. Nowhere could be seen any land or indeed any island. Swells were probably a bit over a meter and some small rocking was felt but other than that, cruising was just as smooth as we first experienced leaving Vancouver. We filled in our day walking the decks, talking with people, playing bingo, watching stage shows, watching movies on TV and ahem, eating.
Woke at the usual early hour to an overcast day and no land in sight. The overcast means we must be getting close to Vancouver Island.
By breakfast land was visible off the starboard bow and shortly after, land appeared on the port bow.
We had dutifully completed the Customs Declaration and held our passport in readiness to go through an expected Customs/Immigration grilling. WOT THE!!! They took the declaration and did not even look at us! Or our passports!
British settlement began here in Victoria around1843. The city is named after a long reigning British Monarch, Queen Victoria.
Known as the “The Garden City”, Victoria is an attractive city and a popular tourism destination with a thriving technology sector that has risen to be its largest revenue-generating private industry. Victoria is in the top twenty of world cities for quality-of-life.
Another interesting fact is that during the 1871 Census there was a huge population of 3,270. By 1971 the population was 67,761 and the 2011 Census has a population of 80,017.
What was pointed out by a friendly jeweller in the Hudsons Bay Store was in the streets surrounding the store are old style street light poles. Many of them have limited WiFi available. What a great idea so visitors can check their email or latest Facebook update.
It seemed that most of the crowds we saw walking the streets were tourists.
We had a full day of options ahead of us but chose to walk around Victoria and just soak up the atmosphere. A large number of motorcycles were parked along the waterfront.
We are not sure if it was a protest of some kind but the motorcycles ranged from cheap to expensive, from basic motor scooter to 1800cc and so on.
A school brass band performed on the steps of Parliament House.
We looked at many stores and by 4pm were weary and foot sore and walked back to PEARL for dinner.
We packed our main bags and put them in the companionway for collection and delivery to the dock. We suspect that during the night the bags will be sent through X-rays and scanners for US Customs and Immigration for arrival at our next destination…Seattle.