For those interested in highways and roads, you will find the western end of the Trans Canada Highway in Victoria, at the edge of Beacon Hill Park where it meets the Strait of Juan De Fuca. The Trans Canada Highway between Victoria, BC, and St. John's, NF, is the world's longest national highway with a length of 7,821 km (4,860 miles). The "Mile 0" marker offers great significance, so be sure to stop by this spot and have your photograph taken.
Okay - so I'm a bit weird in that whenever I travel I like to search out the best ummm 'facilities' that I can. I call this being on the 'porcelain patrol'. Obviously this is a lot more fun, gratifying and often desperately necessary in places where public toilets are not a dime a dozen or quite as clean as we're used to here in the West.
So if you too like to look for the best in plumbing or just be able to say that you washed your hands in a ritzy hotel duck into the Empress and use the loo.
You've got two lanes of approach. Enter off of Douglas Street through the Conference Centre and use the bathroom outside the Bengal Room. Or enter through the below ground entrance (shown in the photo - it's to the right of the now unused main entrance which is below the name 'The Empress' on the front of the hotel).
No matter which facility you use make sure and check out the interesting archives that are downstairs at the opposite end of the corridor from Kiplings. Also don't miss the opportunity to check out the magnificent rosewood ceiling in the bar across from the dining room.
To get to this location go up the stairs near Kiplings (just one level) and go right and then right again. Look up - it's amazing isn't it.
Probably best to retrace your steps to the exit of your choice. Sometimes you can go through the tea lobby but sometimes you can't. Check out the art shoppes near the Bengal Room - they have some beautiful pieces (with prices to match).
St. Ann's Academy is the former convent and boarding school known as St. Ann's. This heritage building is now open to the public. Admission is by donation and guided tours are available for $2 per person.
The grounds are peaceful and full of very old and somewhat rare fruit trees (I just looked at the timeline and the trees were planted in 1873!) There is a lovely chapel and many other rooms and items of interest.
The story of the nuns of the order and the work they did for the sick, poor and disadvantaged of Victoria is inspirational and worth hearing.
Give yourself a couple of hours to wander around St. Ann's and soak up the atmosphere of contemplation and quiet joy.
Fort Rodd Hill and Fisgard Lighthouse aren't exactly unkown spots, but they are a bit off the beaten track. It's about 15 minutes from downtown Victoria. I took the bus, and the bus only went so far...so I had to walk the last 20-25 minutes to get to the park - I passed a frisbee golf area and a nice wooded area along the way...nevermind all the cars that were zoomin' by. Anyways, Fisgard Lighthouse is a working lighthouse and one of the oldest on the west coast. There's a lighthouse museum inside as well. Fort Rodd Hill shows off 3 big guns meant for shooting at passing ships, underground storage chambers, military living quarters, and so on. The two sites are right next to each other, and the walk along the beach between Fisgard and Fort Rodd is very nice. There's even a short hiking trail nearby. It cost about $5 (c.d.) for the entrance fee.
Not really off the beaten track as far as location, It's around the side and underneath the Empress Hotel, but it's not the first thing you hear people say is a Must See for Victoria. Miniature world is a museum of dioramas, scenes all constructed in miniature to the finest detail. There are 88 displays including a grand dollhouse display, scenery and towns including a wonderful one of a town with a circus and a display called Space 2001. There is a panorama of Canada along the railway, an Elizabethan Londontown, and a fantasy land where story book tales are portrayed!
The Harbour Ferries offer tours off the normal harbor routes. We took the Gorge tour - a 55 minute tour up one of the rivers. We were the only ones on the ferry, and it was quite fun! Our captain relayed some historical information along the way!
Most travellers would never catch a glimpse of the view from moss rock in Fairfield... it's a difficult place to find, but once you're there, you are guaranteed a great view of the city and shoreline! good for both sunset and sunrise, it's free to visit and well hidden between several houses on the back streets of fairfield. Basically, you head up Fairfield Street away from town (about 20 minutes walking distance), and look for the sign that takes you to moss rock on your right... if you arrive at Thrifty's food, you know you've gone to far... ask around for directions and good luck! When you find the rock, just climb to the top and soak in the view.
An interesting place to see is the Maritime Museum of British Columbia. A small museum, but interesting for lovers of the Sea.
Interesante también para españoles: incluye cartas navales, cuadros ... de las exploraciones españolas en la zona, en el siglo XVIII, y unas réplicas (a escala, claro) de las corbetas de la expedición Malaspina, cedidas por el rey Juan Carlos, cuando visitó la ciudad (no recuerdo qué año).
The harbour is an enjoyable place to watch life go by; boats, planes, and people. The Westbay Walkway which begins at the Johnson Street Bridge (the big blue bridge), follows along the harbour and gives you that chance. It measures 2.725 km, and you can follow your progress with the signs posted along the route.
Visit a 'Haunted House'. You can go by yourself to Helmcken house during the day (it is right beside the Royal BC museum) or you can take a guided walking tour in the evening. Tours run throughout the summer until Halloween. Go to Helmcken house or the visitor info center for more details.
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