It has taken me a little while to get into travel mode but I have finally hit my stride. On Saturday (21 April) I headed out of the city. After a rather epic 6 hour journey, which includes time waiting around for the next mode of transport and having the bus driver forget to tell me where to get off, I finally arrived at my destination, Victoria, on Vancouver Island.
I stayed with a lady I met on Hospitality Club. Her house was about a 20min bus trip from the centre of town and in a lovely suburban part of town. A short walk from her house was a small Tudor village which didn’t resemble anything Tudor at all. My host was lovely and helpful and really informative which was everything I needed at that time.
The next day, Sunday, was a beautiful day weather wise and I had a great time wandering around. My first stop was tourist information. I asked about the Harbour tour and if there were any walking tours. The girl gave me a load of self-guided maps and I was an hour early for the first harbour tour. I brought my ticket and had a little walk around. The harbour has two grand buildings overlooking it, the legislative or parliament buildings and The Empress hotel. It is a lovely area and there are flowers everywhere.
The harbour tour was on a little boat and the guide was really informative. It was a great was to get an overview of the city and its history. After that I had a cup of tea and read my maps. I had a little wander around the shops then went a little further afield. I chose one of the suggested routes and followed it through the suburbs to Emily Carr’s house.
Somehow on my travels I tend to be drawn to literary places, this is my first one. Emily Carr’s house is her birthplace. She is a local artist and author who documented the lives of indigenous people first through her art, then through her writing. She lived from 1871-1945.
I kept walking and wandered through a park that looked across to the Washington Mountains and the waterfront. I walked along the waterfront which is popular with dog walkers, and to my surprise cat walkers. It was funny to see a cat on a lead being walked through a dog park. I kept walking til I returned back to the city. I stopped for lunch then continued to wander around.
Being Sunday, the buses only run every hour so I checked the timetable and had 45 min til the next one so walked to the castle, which is really just a big house, but still looked nice. I had a general idea as to where I was so just continued to walk til I got back to where I was staying. The houses in that area were lovely and reminded me of Haight Ashbury, which I guess makes sense. A lot of miners came up from San Francisco in 1858.
Monday was travelling day. I had a lot of boring things that I needed to do so I thought I’d go to a boring town, Nanaimo. I took the first bus and slept the two hour trip. I made it to the hostel and did my laundry and posted for my course and generally got organised. I didn’t leave the hostel as there was no need to.
Today (Tuesday) I spent most of the morning working on my assignment, then went for a wander around town. After 2 hours I returned. Really, there wasn’t that much to see. Nanaimo was a coal mining town, it kind of looks like a stopping off point when you are on your way to somewhere else. There is a small harbour, a park a few old buildings dated from around the 1850’s so not very old at all. There isn’t a real lot to see or do. But it’s not a bad place to stop and catch up on things, which I have managed to do.