Saturday, August 27, 2011

City of Victoria Tour

Just over a week ago we used a Groupon 'City of Victoria' bus tour... and we saw and learned several new things about our home city.

After driving around through Chinatown and past several sites the tour bus took us to the top of Tolmie Mountain, where we could see a fabulous 360 degrees.

The crane silhouetted against the ocean is for the construction of the Oak Bay Beach Hotel.

The island in the foreground with vertical cliffs is James Island... and behind it is Pender and Saturna Islands.  We had hoped to be able to see Mayne Island... but Pender, which is higher blocks our view from Victoria.

I enjoyed seeing these girls having fun capturing creative photos at the parking lot on the top of Mt. Tolmie.

We have been fascinated by the Garry Oaks in this area... and Mt. Tolmie has the largest group of the most beautiful protected specimens we have ever seen.

We drove thru the most exclusive areas of Uplands and Oak Bay.

This plant sculpture was located on the corner near the Empress hotel.

The Butchart Gardens have this antique car in front of the Empress Hotel.

Tour buses stop in front of the Empress... a great spot for tourists to take some cool photos of the capital buildings and inner harbour.

It is no accident that the Butchart Gardens is the most visited tourist attraction of Victoria.

Victoria is a city of flowers.  Over 25,000 hanging flower baskets are hung on lamp posts thru out the city... and many, many flower beds.

The inner harbour is always busy.  Water taxi's and tour boats leave from here to go whale watching.  Ferry's leave from here to the USA... and float planes are landing and leaving all the time.

As we headed back to the truck, we were drawn to this orca sculpture.  In 2004 the BC Lions Society did a fundraiser and had 50 different artists decorate identical orca's, which were displayed all around the city.  At the end of the campaign these were all sold by auction and brought in between $3,000 to $28,000.  It was a very successful charity project.  You can see the different orcas here.

We look forward now to going back to Victoria and checking out some of the cool things we learned about that we didn't know even existed... and we will keep you posted of our new findings.


  1. That was a pleasant morning...we learned a lot and we had the full attention of the driver. We were the only ones on the entire bus! So we could ask what we wanted...we even told him some experiences we have had so it was quite lovely.

  2. that killer whale sculpture really caught my eye.

    Oh, and the saying at the top of your blog? Have you ever seen the show Curb Your Enthusiasm? They did an episode recently about that very idea :-)

  3. I just discovered Curb Your Enthusiasm a few weeks ago and really enjoyed it. My wife thinks I should curb my enthusiasm as well!

    The other side of that whale sculpture has a baby whale with mother... very cute.