Day 8 found us driving to Tsawwassen to take the ferry, through the glorious gulf islands region with towering Douglas fir trees climbing the hills on all sides to Swartz Bay, to Vancouver Island and the last stop on our adventure, the capital of British Columbia, Victoria. Named after Queen Victoria of the UK and, at the time,British North America, Victoria is one of the oldest cities in the Pacific Northwest, with British settlement beginning in 1843.
Our first stop was The Butchart Gardens where we spent a couple of hours, while our courier and driver took our luggage to the hotel and booked is in.
Empress Hotel, one of the oldest and most famous hotels in Victoria. Located on Government Street facing the inner harbour, the Empress has become an iconic symbol for the city itself. It has been designated a National Historic Site of Canada due to its national significance.
The Parliament Buildings looked magnificent too, all lit up. The Neo-baroque buildings face north on Belleville street facing the Inner Harbour and diagonally across from the Empress Hotel. 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.