The city of Victoria itself is fascinating. It has a sense of age and dignity like Ottawa (as well as a sense of its historic connectedness to Britain), but it is different in that it is a port city where the tall ships come sailing into the harbour and the float planes buzz back and forth in the air like giant dragonflies. Cruise ships from Seattle chug in and out of the harbour, and enormous cargo monsters plow about as well.
The old, stone parliament buildings down-town are lit up at night like a giant, glowing gingerbread structure. Whole areas of historic homes in the city have stained-glass in the windows and many back-yards are filled by private and community gardens. Recently there was a book festival in the city, in which people left novels lying about in random places (picnic tables, bus stops, benches, etc.), and anyone was free to pick them up and then put back when they had finished reading them. There are little coffee-shop nooks and long paths for wandering near the ocean. People in general are friendly and eager to help, and there is a laidback-ness here that must come from being on an island in the pacific!
The lovely gardens of the rosy city!
Fernwood: One of the funkier areas of Victoria
I'll try to post more stories and better pictures soon.