Passports in tow, Canada we're ready to go!
We love travel, we especially love travel outside our country. For us to be able to expose the children to other cultures, diversity is unmeasurable. The gains are never ending. Canada has always been a stop on our tour - it was just a matter is selecting which part of Canada.
We got to experience another Ferry, only this time it was a little over 3-hours. We were excited about this since our first Ferry adventure was only 30 minutes. This way we could relax, tour the Ferry, take in the views and play a couple of wicked card games!
Victoria is the capital of British Columbia. The city sits on the southern end of Vancouver Island. The parkland is plentiful here in Victoria. We started in Beacon Hill!
Beacon Hill Park is located along the south shore of Victoria and the Juan de Fuca Strait. It has been a park belonging to the city of Victoria since 1882. A trust was then established for the 62-acre site.
Beacon Hill Park was originally called Meeacan (the Salish name for belly) by the First Nations people because from a distance, it looked like the belly of a large man lying on his back.
In 1956, Chief Mungo Martin and carvers David Martin and Henry Hunt created the world's largest totem pole (160 feet) from cedar. The pole was raised during ceremony with thousands of people, including First Nations' leaders and civic and provincial leaders.
Why the name? Beacon Hill Park is named after two beacons that were used by sailors on the Strait of Juan de Fuca to avoid hazards in the area as early as the mid-1800s. I find it fascinating that the people in Victoria are making good after thousands of years. Here below is the future site of a longhouse to be built in honor and memory of the Native residents who once lived in this area.
Rich in cultural history and natural beauty, the park is within walking distance to downtown and is a must see for any visitor to Victoria. Look our very own 'Moana' movie character!
We loved how close everything is in Victoria, we were able to walk to almost everything in one day! Next stop, the Parliament Buildings, stunning!
The British Columbia Parliament Buildings are located in Victoria and are home to the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia.
The Neo-baroque parliament buildings face the Inner Harbour and diagonally across from The Empress Hotel makes for a stunning first impression!
A statue of Queen Victoria stands on the front lawn as well a statue of a soldier to commemorate the province's World War I, World War II and Korean War dead. Atop the central dome is a gold-covered statue of Captain George Vancouver.
British Columbia’s nine official symbols were chosen to highlight unique elements of the province - We were lucky to see the beautiful display of their coat of arms.
You can't possibly do Victoria without the infamous harbour! The Victoria Harbour - including the Inner Harbour - is one of the most beautiful harbours in the world. The harbour has had a long history, starting with its use by First Nations. Recreational vessels and small cruise ships can moor in the centre of this famous heritage city, just steps from its historic streets and distinctive architecture.
The harbour also serves whale watching and ecotourism businesses, float planes, an International Ferry terminal with connections to Port Angeles, Bellingham and Seattle, and a water taxi service.
We only had 24-hours in Victoria, so we crammed as much into it as humanly (and dog) possible. Here we stumbled upon the City's beloved artist - Emily Carr.
This bronze statue honors the renowned Canadian artist Emily Carr. It features a seated Emily Carr with her sketchpad. Emily's Javanese monkey 'Woo' perches on her shoulder and her dog 'Billie' stands nearby. The statue was erected along Victoria's Harbourfront on the grounds of the Fairmount Empress Hotel was unveiled during Women's History Month in Canada, on October 13th, 2010. Appropriately placed, right across the street is the BC Royal Museum.
Within the museum you can see most all of British Columbia, a world-class museum of natural and human history. Again, running out of time we couldn't explore the entire museum, but got a glimpse of it via the Terry Fox: Running to the Heart of Canada. After losing part of his right leg to bone cancer Terry Fox embarked on a cross-country “Marathon of Hope” to raise money for cancer research. He inspired a nation and established himself as a hero through his courage, hope and determination. This was quite fitting for us in more ways then one. But alas, Canada made quite an imprint on us.
The day came to an end too fast, but we were pleased with what we experienced.
O Canada, you are beautiful, kind and definitely worth a return trip