Apr. 21st, 2005

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Darth Fiddler vs. the Murloc
(and Other Stories from Victoria)

Well here is the story of Aurora's and my trip to Victoria, BC. After the wedding we stayed at the Fairmont Olympic in down town. The only 5 star hotel in Seattle and it showed! If you have money to burn or want a really nice stay it is the place! After a bit of a rest we were off to Canada.

We drove up to Tsawwassen just over the border and caught the ferry to Vancouver Island. We cut it close and were among the last few cars that made it on. If you don't know the ferry service in BC is famous for actually serving good food, unlike the Ferries around Seattle who have given up serving food at all. After the hour and a half ride we made the last 25-minute drive into Victoria. We stayed at The Royal Scot. If you don't mind a bit of old plumbing it is a great place to stay with a pool table, a pool to swim in, and rooms with the ability to store food and cook.

We were on our way to the royal BC Museum when the guards at the Parliament building asked if we wanted a look around. It was great and we got some good pictures. They had a picture gallery of all the leaders of Victoria going back to before WA State existed.
Parliament building pictured here and here

After this we made it over to the Museum. It had this great exhibit on Tibet. As I know next to nothing about Tibet it was fascinating. Too bad no pictures were allowed, as there was some great stuff. If you want to know more about the exhibit just ask. The Royal BC museum is effective because it immerses you in its exhibits. I liked "old town" which was a mock up of a town around 1899 that you could explore. For a layout of the museum check this out: http://www.royalbcmuseum.bc.ca/visit/location/gallerymaps.html

Here are a few pictures of odds and ends at the museum John Lennon’s car and a poster of Mr. H.

The next day we went to the world famous Butchart Gardens. Two different areas pictured here and here. The garden was started over a hundred years ago at the site of an abandoned limestone quarry. Indeed one of the more striking gardens is the "sunken garden" which was created out of the quarry its self. In addition there was a rose garden, a Japanese garden, and an Italian garden. If you get a chance you really should check this place out. After the Butchart Gardens we headed over to the Butterfly Garden and I found a friend who liked my blue shirt so much he tried to escape with me out the door.

Some other high lights from the trip were the Craigdarroch Castle, the maritime museum, Chinatown, and tea at the empress. The castle was built for a coal baron named Robert Dunsmuir and completed in 1890. What stands out the most for me is the intricate woodwork. You just don’t see this kind of thing anymore. For more information you can check out http://www.craigdarrochcastle.com/

The maritime museum of British Columbia had many models of various ships. It had old charts, cannons, and other bits from ships as well as a restored maritime courtroom. For more look here: http://www.mmbc.bc.ca/

The Chinatown of Victoria had the customary gate. We found some odd shops in Chinatown including a record store where Aurora found some 10-inch LPs.

High Tea at The Empress was wonderful! (The Empress on a cloudy day.) The Empress is a famous hotel on the water in Victoria. It serves English high tea over the space of an hour. This tea is more of a meal with the small cakes, sandwiches and other goodies. Speaking of food, out of all the good food we had on the trip. Greek, Japanese, Italian, English (fish and chips), it was the Spanish that was the best. The Tapa Bar gets a special mention for food so good I almost could not get up from my chair.

Part way through our trip we saw a totem poll that had what looked to be a Murloc, of WoW fame, anchoring the poll to the ground.
Now if you think we found that a bit odd, imagine when we ran across Darth Fiddler. Near the end of our trip we were just crossing the street when diagonally behind us we hear a Darth Vader-esque breath then a few notes from a fiddle then another breath. We turned around just in time for Darth Fiddler to start playing a song. After a great deal of laughter I snapped this priceless shot. It still makes me laugh. Hehehe.

Our honeymoon had many cool things to see and many good things to eat but most important is that we got to spend quality time with each other. We are married and loving it. Thanks for reading!


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