9.18.2015

Travels to Canada

We were up early this morning and on the ferry to Sidney, British Columbia.

It was a smooth ride, although we slowed once to avoid a pod of dolphins and again, when we passed into Canadian waters, to switch flags.
Once past the very chatty (and slow) Custom's agent, we broke out the old-school navigation system - no cell phones or data plans for us for the few days we are in Canada!
What should have taken us 15 minutes from the ferry terminal took almost an hour, and we were well past Butchart Gardens before we realized our error.
But we made it and it was well worth the effort. This sunken garden was originally a cement quarry.
It sure looks better today! The grounds are filled with statues,

art works,
- this snail was my favorite -
water features,
hidden paths,

and gorgeous flowers everywhere.
Although the sky was grey and overcast, the rain held off while we were there.
But it was obvious that hadn't been the case earlier.
It didn't seem to bother the bees,
one way or the other.
Next stop was Craigdarroch Castle in Victoria.
Built for the coal-rich Dunsmuir family in the 1880's,
the exterior is beautiful . . .
but the interior is stunning.
Stained glass in almost every window, on every floor
All four levels have inlaid wood floors,
detailed wood ceilings,
and gorgeous banisters, walls and curved alcoves - all in beautiful dark hardwoods.
Hubby was in heaven. It really was an amazing house.
We both want to know how they got a 6'x12' billiard table up those winding stairs to the third floor!
Tonight we are staying in Victoria,
around the corner from Parliment,

a block from the harbour,
across the way from the Empress.
We've been really lucky with the weather so far, only getting sprinkled on tonight as we walked back from dinner. Hope our luck holds!