Vancouver Island
Back to Canada
Captains Table where lunched
Chinatown
Coho ferry (1999)
Empress Hotel
Deer Lodge, Sept. 2000
Conner & Yvonne 2005
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Vancouver Island is one of the largest islands in the world and is situated just off the coast of Vancouver. The only way to get there is by ferry, from a number of destinations. We have come directly into Victoria, the capitol of British Columbia, by ferry from Port Angeles in Washington, and also into Schwartz Bay from the ferry that leaves the Vancouver ferry port. We have also caught the ferry in Nainamo and gone back to Vancouver another route which lands in Horseshoe Bay.

The ferries operate frequently every day and the trip on the normal ferry takes roughly 1 1/2 hours. There is (or was) a fast ferry that halved the time, but I am not sure it is still operating. One can park ones car nearby the ferry port and catch the ferry as a passenger, but Schwartz Bay is far from Victoria, so you will need transport to get into the city.

The approach to Schwartz Bay from Vancouver is a very scenic route, the ferry travels between many islands of all shapes and sizes, the islands are almost idyllic in their tranquillity. Many famous people own islands in this area.

The approach from Port Angeles is equally as scenic, but different. One enter into the port of Victoria, which is very pretty with its impressive and modern condo's lining the port to one side, and the famous & elegant Empress Hotel directly in front whilst the Houses of Parliament are placed just to the right.

Victoria, although a modern city with all possible amenities, retains its old world charm. It is a great place just to wander around, take in its atmosphere in the harbour area and in the many charming streets.

Chinatown is fascinating with its many little arcades that appear to run between the many stores. The local museum is well worth a visit - it charges an entrance fee. This is one major gripe I have with museums in certain countries, in my view any institution that is a learning institution, funded by taxpayers in the first place, should be free.

One of the best museums in the world, the Smithsonian Institute museums in Washington D.C. are free - and that's the way it should be.

The Houses of Parliament are also well worth a visit, it is an interesting building with a few really good stained glass windows.

From one of the many restaurants near the harbour area one can watch sea planes landing and taking off all day.

A very good restaurant is the Captains Palace, which overlooks the harbour, one can sit for hours and watch the boats arriving as well as watching seaplanes landing in the main harbour.

We went to Vancouver Island about 11 times, over a few years.

In 1999 we also spent a fair amount of time near the little town of Cobble Hill, which is about 35 miles north of Victoria.

We stayed at a hotel called the Deer Lodge Inn, which was very good. The views from our hotel room were stunning, especially the sunset, which absolutely fantastic.

This area is very scenic with many secluded beach areas and little marinas.

Just further north is the town of Duncan, it is known as having the most totem poles in Canada.

The island is a great place to visit and I should imagine a great place to live - we very nearly bought land near Cobble Hill, on one of the many bays.

Yvonne & I have very fond memories of Vancouver Island.
 
In 2005/6 I took Yvonne, Scott, Dee & Connor to Vancouver Island for a couple of days. We stayed at a really pleasant hotel called Admiral's Inn, situated not 2 minutes from downtown Victoria. After a 2 days there we drove to Cobble Hill to visit a friend, then onwards north through Duncan to Nainaimo, where we caught the ferry back to North Vancouver.
1997, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2012