In mid-July, Sheena and I had a few days off and decided to drive to Victoria, BC. Sheena’s sister and husband live and work in the city. It was our longest trip from Calgary so far, adding up to a 12-14 hour trip. The driving was an adventure itself, having left right after I got off work Friday morning. It was quite funny actually, Sheena drove for the first 5 hours to Kamloops area — going through Roger’s Pass, Revelstoke and all the scenic, yet windy Rocky Mountain towns. And myself, well, I slept in the back of our spacious Matrix (although I felt a bit like a log in a tumbler due to the roads). At Kamloops, I took the reins and gave Sheena a break. We made a stop in Merritt for lunch — another interesting spot. At the time, Merritt was in the midst of the Rocky Mountain Music Festival…so the place looked like a mix of Calgary and a Carribean beach, between the country music, swimsuits, and skantly clad festival goers. Apparently, lots of country stars do make it out though, including Brad Paisley and those sunglasses American guys, who’s name escapes me at the moment. From Merritt, it was literally downhill for 2-3 hours to the sea and the Tswassen Ferry. Along the way, I was amazed at the remoteness of the BC interior along Hwy 5 to Vancouver. I also thought of the reservations I’d have travelling the same highway during the winter, it must be a challenge to behold!
After a couple of hours wait for the ferry to south Vancouver Island, we crossed the straights and were in the last leg of our trip from Sidney to Victoria. Along the way, we couldn’t help but notice how much Vancouver Island reminded us of the Maritimes and Nova Scotia. It made us excited, but strangely homesick as well. In our initial impressions though, Vancouver Island was beautiful. Sheena of course was excited to be within 15 minutes of her sister as this video shows. I couldn’t help but laugh. When we got to Sabrina’s house, Sheena and her had a nice reunion. Doug and I watched the surprise, laughter, tears, laughter, tears, surprise. Kinda cyclical actually.
Later and throughout the trip, we would make several trips to the beach nearby their apartment, just taking in the ocean, sand and sun. It was such a treat to be at sea level again, lots of oxygen and the smell of the salt air. It’s amazing how much you miss it. We also made an evening trip to French Beach Provinical Park . As seen in the pics, the beach was very enjoyable. Located off the Western Coast of Vancouver Island, it’s a nice getaway from Victoria — probably the same distance as from Halifax to Peggy’s Cove. Very similar winding roads as well!
When our hosts had to work on the following Monday, Sheena and I skipped town to visit Cathedral Grove and Little Qualicum Provinical Park. Both were interesting….Cathedral Grove is an old growth forest, with HUGE trees..the largest I’ve ever seen in my life. Some trees dated 400-700 years old. The oldest was over 800 years old and probably had a trunk the size of a truck at its base. Impressive. Little Qualicum Falls was also a treat and we finally got in some fresh water swimming.
Throughout our trip, we took many pictures. I think this album has more than 130 pics, so beware! Enjoy them as well of course. =) Victoria is a vacationer’s paradise. We’ll be returning for more visits — the lifestyle is relaxing. I can only imagine those living there. Thanks Doug and Sabrina, we appreciated the fact we could stay with you guys on our visit!