The Intrepid Trio goes to Victoria, BC

September 2015

Michael Broschat, text and photographs

This adventure of the Intrepid Trio (Ed Lohoski, Susan Meffert, Michael Broschat) was occasioned by the fact that Michael cannot afford to travel as he did during previous Trio excursions, so the Dynamic Duo came out to the West Coast to form the Trio that then made its way up to Victoria, British Columbia.

My most recent trip to Victoria was, evidently, back in 1974 when Meriko Maida took Lynn and me there shortly after we had established residence in Seattle. She had run across mention of the English Hotel, which probably looked something like this back in 1974.

I remember that trip reasonably well, considering its distance in time and shortness of duration, and was ready for a rematch.

We drove up to Port Angeles, via the “western route” (ie, not through Seattle), a first for me and a lovely drive. There we boarded the MV Coho.

    

A pleasant ride of about an hour put us into Victoria Harbour, and our hotel was a short drive from there. Many people come without a car, as Victoria is small enough to satisfy normal walkers, but we had plans that involved a bit of travel north of the downtown area.

We were booked into the Coast Victoria Harbourside Hotel, which turned out to be just fine. Lovely hotel with great service and friendly staff. There were several other guests from outside Canada, including a large group of Germans. I hope they had as good a time as did we.

Photographs from our hotel room or around town:
    

It’s always useful to note what there is to do when visiting some place that is not your home. Victoria—especially with its Victorian architecture—is an easy and rewarding place to just walk around. You’ve always got the water, but there are also stores and other tourist destinations that we all find pleasant to encounter. Someone noted a contrast with Vancouver, which doesn’t exist so much as a tourist destination as a place of business and residence where so many people live that the space has more intrinsic interest than, say, the small town in which I live. In a sense, Victoria is then kind of a naturally occurring theme park. A Disneyland with, perhaps, more human scale.

And in fact we just strolled around a lot. And we read a lot. At least in the hotel room of the boys, the TV was never turned on. I compare this experience to my visits to Colonial Williamsburg. After two or three visits to familiarize myself with the place, I would then schedule three-night visits around some project I was working on. At least one year, I even did some serious coding, although whether for work or my own interests I don’t now recall.

But the big destination is the much advertised Butchart Gardens. Whether this would be a wise destination for you perhaps the following pictures can help determine. There is little else there but what you see pictured here. One thing there most definitely is, however, is visitors. Nowhere else in Victoria did we have reason to consider our English-speaking selves an anomaly.

Photographs from Butchart Gardens, British Columbia: