Victoria, B.C., Aug. 2004

Click on the small pictures to see larger ones.


Victoria, on the southern tip of Vancouver Island, is an easy trip from Seattle. We took the fast catamaran ferry, which gets you there in about three hours. It's quite touristy (a cruise ship destination), yet retains enough older architecture and neighborhoods to be quite charming.

It is the oldest city in Western Canada, founded in 1843 as a Hudson Bay Company trading station and fort, and named after Queen Victoria. It first grew, like many other West Coast cities, as a supply center for the local gold rush. Victoria was the colonial capital and then became the provincial capital of British Columbia. It is now eclipsed in size and economic importance by Vancouver itself, on the mainland.

Victoria claims to have the mildest weather in Canada, and is now a favored destination for retirees and tourists. The gentility of the city itself makes an interesting contrast to the rest of Vancouver Island, which is much wilder and more sparsely populated.

Chantal and the kids waiting in line to get on the ferry.
Isabel and Benjamin on the ferry.
A sailboat on Puget Sound.
A view of the Olympics.
The Parliament Buildings all lit up at dusk, across the Inner Harbor.
Totem pole in front of the Parliament Buildings.
Chantal and the kids on the terrace of the Parliament.
Market Square, an example of some of the fun older commercial architecture downtown.
Isabel taking a drink at a fanciful water fountain.
Swan's Hotel, looking very English.
Entrance to Chinatown, which is still full of tiny, strange stores in tinier alleys.
The family at a formal tea at the Empress Hotel.
Another view of the Inner Harbor on a beatiful day.
The Olympics in the setting sun, across Puget Sound from our hotel room.
Queen Victoria herself.
Butchart Gardens, created in an abandoned quarry.
A fountain among the flowers at Butchart Gardens.
Another view of the Gardens.
On the jet-powered ferry back to Seattle.

These pictures were taken with a Canon EOS 10D digital camera. Images were cropped, balanced, etc. with Adobe Photoshop Elements.