Sunday, May 10, 2015

Friday - Victoria - All Day and All Night

The Coral docked with us around noon
I wake to the sounds of docking... oh I won't miss that noise.

Then Bernie informs me he is not feeling well.  He has abdominal pain and a headache.  It may be something he ate, it could be allergies, it could be so many things.  I tell him to just rest in the cabin today as I will be just fine on my own.  -- footnote, after getting home a few days later he ended up in emergency with worse pain, they have ruled out appendicitis, and it looks like it is his gallbladder and will probably have to come out soon.

We are in Victoria today and it looks like a beautiful day. We had to fill out the Canadian Customs forms prior to arrival and hand them over to the Purser's desk or our steward.  We don't have to clear customs here at other than that form.  Nice and easy.

Today I have arranged to head ashore with some crew who are close to us.  Mark (our waiter), Giovannie (our assistant waiter), Victoria and her husband Jason and Riza (all waiters/assistant waiters).  We meet up on the pier at 11 and we walk to the harbour.

Walking around Victoria is very very easy and the walk to the harbour is about 20 minutes.  But there are shuttles from the pier to the harbour for $10 US or $12 Canadian (roundtrip - $6 one way).  There are many taxis and pedicabs too and even horse drawn carriages.

I take them to the grounds of the B.C. Legislature and I explain our government to them.  I show them the totem poles and we pose for pictures.  

We head into the Legislature and I show them around the stunning building.  They tell me later that they had no idea you could go inside and are amazed.

A short stroll across the street and we walk into the Empress Hotel, again the grandeur of the building blows them away.  Sadly I find the Empress is not as nice as it use to be before they renovated it. Now it is hard to see the beauty unless you actually dine there.  You can however walk thru the south end and see some beautiful wood work.  
We exit via the Victoria Conference Center, which has stunning aboriginal art in the public spaces to view.

My main goal today is to take them to a Filipino restaurant. I had gotten a recommendation from a friend, made note of it, found it on a map and headed there.  As we find the place I glance at my map, and back at the building, back at the address I have and back at the address on the building. Nope this is NOT a Filipino restaurant.  It is now a coffee shop (as if we need another coffee shop).  I ask a guy there and he said the restaurant closed around four months ago.  

Darn!  I feel so bad.... but the guy does say there is a good Filipino store in the next block.  So we head there cause the crew will be in Victoria for two weeks while in Dry Dock and they could always come here for a taste of  home at least. The store doesn't disappoint

We end up at a Thai restaurant and enjoy a lovely meal.  It is nice to spend time with all of them away from the ship in a more casual atmosphere.

After lunch we walk over to the mall so they know where it is and they can check out some costs for sim cards for their phones so they can have access to their phones during dry dock.  

Back out on Government Street we spot the ship's shuttle but at a cost of $6 one way it is cheaper for them to just take a taxi back to the ship.  

I decide to wander around a bit and make my way back to the ship on foot later.

When I get back to the ship around 5 pm Bernie is still not feeling well and he is just wanting to rest. I am restless and since so much on board is closed.  Note the shops and casinos closed last night and will be closed all day today cause we are in port.  You had to close out your casino accounts last night.

Restaurants on board are doing open seating.  Amazingly there are a lot of people on board still.  I don't really want to stay on board for dinner and it is a lovely night and since we don't sail till very late I have lots of time.

So off I go again ashore and head back to the heart of the city and head to my favorite noodle restaurant.  Noodle Box it is called (there is one in Vancouver too), nothing fancy but I like their philosophy and the food is good and quite reasonable.  When I use to teach in Victoria for a few days I would mainly eat here and just bring it back to my hotel.  

After a full belly I decide to walk back via the harbor and the sea wall.  This is a lovely stroll that is easy to do and takes a bit longer than cutting thru the residential area, but offers great views of the harbour and inlet.  Although cutting thru the residential area is lovely too, residents take pride in their homes and have cute gardens blooming with all types of flowers.  The locals are friendly and it is okay to say hi and how are you, and if you need help just ask away.

Here are some links you may be interested in when visiting Victoria:

BC Legislature

Empress Hotel

Butchart Gardens 

Victoria Tourism

If you like chocolate visit Rogers' Chocolates on Government Street

Cruise Shuttle 

Walking route - note they say it is 40 minutes but you would have to walk slow to take that long

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