Victorian Escape!

So when I don’t have football we try and make the most of the weekends that we have time to go away and explore this incredible part of the world. Fortunately in British Columbia the list of places to see is never ending.

The weekend just gone (7th & 8th June) we decided that we would venture to Victoria, the provincial capital of BC. The ferry’s make it relatively easy and are cost friendly for travelers trying to do things on the cheap. The only downside to the ferry’s is that they are a little way out of the central hubs of most of the cities so take some time to get to.

As we are living in the heart of Vancouver we had to take the Skytrain to Bridgeport (20 mins), and then catch the 620 to Tswassen (30 mins). However, on the way there the time seemed to pass much faster than on the way back. The ferry however only takes 1.5hrs to get from Tswassen to Victoria, and fortunately for us instead of cramming onto a crowded bus to get into Downtown Victoria Emily’s friend Mel was able to pick us up. The drive in to downtown is around 40 minutes.

When we got into Victoria we walked from Mel’s house into the Downtown Marina area which is spectacular. We wandered along the water past the Legislature or Parliament Building which sets an amazing backdrop looking over the marina area. We wandered around the waterfront all the way to our first stop off which also happened to be a micro-brewery, Canoe. We all ordered the tasting flights of beer, which was 5 midi’s for $9.00 of delicious craft beer. Victoria is reknowned for its ni

On this trip I’ve been on a continual hunt for the best burgers in the numerous cities that we have been lucky enough to visit. So I ordered the Canoe Deluxe Burger with aged cheddar, mushrooms and bacon. Was pretty tasty, but still not the best burger that we’ve had on our trip.

Following lunch we were wandered around the streets of Downtown discovering numerous boutiques and other pubs and eateries which Mel recommended. We ended up deciding to go to a rooftop bar which was a part of the Strathcona Pub chain. This place was reminiscent of a beach party in a tacky Asian destination but it was still enjoyable to have drinks on a roof in the outdoors where it was a balmy 25 degree’s! There was a beach volleyball court which was available to be booked, and followed a beach theme.

Following more drinks in the sun we opted to check into our hostel which was conveniently located in Downtown. We stayed at the Ocean Island Inn Backpackers, on the corner of Pandora and Blandshard streets. The room was incredibly basic, and a bit of a sweatbox but it was sufficient for the night. After a bit of a relax and a powernap it was time to get ready to meet Em's friend Sean for dinner!

We met up with Sean and since we were on an island, surrounded by water, we opted to go for a nice seafood dinner, so we headed to a place called Ferris's. The meal was unbelievably good, with a metric ton of seafood and shellfish throughout my boullabaise (a fish stew), and I think Em was quite happy with her seafood jambalaya! Dinner ended up wrapping up around 1030, and we opted to head in for the night as the sun and beers all afternoon had taken it out of us.

The next day we got up and were on the hunt for a brunch spot! Sean offered numerous suggestions being the decade long local, so we took his advice and went to Jam. Once inside it was a cool little retro style cafe, serving up everything from fried chick and gravy, through to french toast and bacon. We both opted for the green eggs and ham (basil pesto eggs) with ham. What we didn't know is that all meals came with massive biscuits (think of scones the size of your head) instead of toast.

The rest of the day was spent wandering around the boutiques where I managed to re-invigorate my wardrobe and spent $200 on clothes, much to Emily's dismay as we have no money. However, in my defence though I buy clothes on average once a year. If you look through photo's it looks like our trip has been two weeks as I am constantly in the same attire.

After spending what little money we had left, we then began our longish journey home. By longish I don't mean by distance, more so the time it takes to get back home from Victoria. You have to catch an hour bus from Victoria to Swartz Bay, then an hour and a half ferry ride, then another hour bus from Tswassen ferry terminal to Bridgeport Skytrain station, then another 20 minute train ride to get to Yaletown. It may not seem like much but that in itself takes it out of you. The journey home always feels like it is so much longer than the journey in. The plus side on the journey home is that I got to watch the first half of game 2 of the NBA final, as it was being shown on the ferry.

Anyways, that wraps up this blog post for now. I'll be putting photo's up shortly. Emily will be blogging soon. I think. We barely have enough time to scratch ourselves these days!

Josh