12.08.2012 - 15.08.2012 30 °C
G'day everyone from Vancouver International Airport 11-30am Wed 15th August.
Cant believe we are waiting at the gate for our depature to Shangai in China for our return to Sydney on Friday after what I can only describe as the best holiday we have been on.........more later and now back to Sunday 12th .............
Sunday 12th August 2012 day 30
After a lovely dinner the previous night at a Kelowna restraurant, we were up early for brekky as we had a deadline of 3pm in Vancouver to catch our ferry to Vancouver Island, and we were still 400k's away and not sure of the lie of the land regarding boarding etc. Brekky was on the deck of our B and B overlooking the lake and town and after bidding farewell to our hosts Steve and Christine we hit Trans Canada Highway 1 towards the west. Arriving at the ferry terminal about 1-45 pm we were confronted by long lines of cars waiting to board, however , because we had booked in advance in Sydney we were directed to the reserved lane, bypassing hundreds of cars to be only about 10 from first on - marvoulous I say..............
Still had about an hour to kill so waited in the departure lounge and watched closing ceremony from London games.
Boarding the ferry is a sight to behold - talk about effeicency......... people directing cars everywhere and soon we were in the lounge (dry ship)for 2 hour trip to our overnight stay in Nanaimo, a lovely harbour city on the eastern central coast side of the island . Digs were excellent as usual and after coming home from dinner, our host greeted us by singing Waltzing Matilda as we came in the front door, (he had spent many years of his childhood in Nth Queenslandand and remenbers singing it at school assembly). He could really sing as well - amazing).
Monday 13th August 2012 day 31
We decided to drive north along the coast exploring the island and around lunch time headed south for our next stop of Victoria, some 120k's south of Nanaimo. Victoria is the capital city of the province of British Columbia, and is also the home city of the fabled Butchart Gardens.
Arriving around 3pm we checked into our digs in downtown Victoria and headed straight to the gardens about 20k's north. All I can say is that we left the best to last here, some of the most amazing collection of plants, flowers shrubs, landscaping and manicured lawns we have ever seen anywhere in the world. Leonie (aka Donna Burke ) was in her finest form here naming and describing many plants and flowers. After wandering around for nearly 2 hours we had dinner in of three restraurants, then the girls had their Carousal ride, and then watched a local group playing folk music while we waited for nightfall.
The gardens at night took on another personality and where amazing with lights in the various plants and the fountains lit up etc...............running out of words - one of the best..(Heather and Lynee Keane thinking of you both)
Tuesday 14th August 2012 day 32
Had brekky at the Lady Marmalade Cafe recommended by Blythe from our BBQ restraurant in Canmore and then walked down to the harbour of Victoria ( Mick Jenkins - I can remember you telling me about this city and you described it perfectly. Yes, you are transported back to any city in England situated by the water, beautiful sunny day, walking through the old town, onto Parliament House for a guided tour (no security check of any type!!!!!!!!!!! Would not happen in Oz or the States) and then onto an refurbished Scottish Pub called Bard and Bank Hotel (thought of DC here), after a couple of well earned Lighthouse Lagers, it was onto the Fairmont Empress Hotel for 3pm High Tea, this is a Grand old English style hotel where the Queen stays while visiting British Columbia.
After fillng up here we headed for our last stopover on the island to a town called Swartz Bay (Near Sidney) for our depature on Wed morning on the 8am ferry to Vancouver Airport. Again, no problems coming over and another warm sunny day about 27 deg, and after checking in, here I am sending you this.
Nearly boarding time, so will wrap up when we get home home on Friday and let you know all about China!!!!!!!!!!!!!and a summary of our trip .
Loved the USA and Love Canada even more..............!!!!!!!!!!
Love to all
Pete and Leonie