For the past 2 1/2 days we’ve seeing the sights of Victoria, and the experience has been in stark contrast with the wilderness surroundings we’ve been in for most of the past 6 weeks. Much of Saturday is devoted to a visit to the Royal BC Museum, located just across the street from the Parliament Building. This is a first class museum, currently featuring a temporary exhibit on the Mayan Civilization, and it’s outstanding. The permanent exhibits present the natural and human history of Vancouver Island, and they are exceptionally well done. The First Nations cultural artifacts, artwork, and interpretive displays provide really highlight the lifestyle, artistic achievements, challenges, and hardships of these people. The natural history section is beautifully done, and the diaramas are so realistic that you really feel like you’re in the various environments. We also viewed the Imax movie on the Great Spirit Bear Rainforest, which has some incredible wildlife footage. In the evening we walked over to Chinatown for dinner. Guess what, we had Chinese food.
Today we met up with a friend and watched the Water Taxi Ballet, which is held in the inner harbour, in front of the ferry dock. To the tune of ballet music, piped out over the loud speaker system, 5 of those cute little water taxis paraded in tight formation, performing intricate drill team type maneuvers. It was a very colorful show, much appreciated by the crowd gathered around the surrounding railings. We then walked over to Fisherman’s Wharf, a colorful collection of floating homes, bed and breakfasts, restaurants and gift shops. We had lunch there, and afterwards, caught a ride on a water taxi, back to the Red Fish/Blue Fish dock. Greg and I paid a visit to the Victoria Bug Zoo, an interesting little place which houses a fascinating collection of live insects, spiders and other creepy/crawly things. Adults are permitted to handle one of their vary large, yet very docile, tarantulas. For the sake of his grandkids, Greg volunteered to hold the big spider. It’s a fun place to visit, and worth it just to see the reactions of the little kids and their moms, to all the creatures in there.
Right now, we’re just hanging out in the cockpit, relaxing and enjoying the scene as the sun lowers in the sky. Victoria is starting to settle in after a most pleasant summer day. The big passenger ferry has just left on the final run of the day, the whale watching boats are all tied up for the night, the rental kayaks are locked up on their dock, the float planes have finished their noisy flights, the harbour patrol boat seems to have given up the scene, but the hard core fish and chips fans are still lined up well past the 30 minute wait line at the Red Fish/Blue Fish serving window. The line won’t go away until their 9pm closing hour. Our Victoria visit is nearly at an end. In the morning we’ll depart and head across Haro Strait toward the US/Canadian border. The finish line is within reach.