Before we forget all about it, we should really tell you about our little visit to Victoria and Vancouver in British Columbia.
Getting into Victoria by ferry from Seattle was really nice, and arriving in Victoria felt quite a bit like coming home. It feels very similar to Wellington, with its Victorian style houses, and its seaside setting. Once you’ve done the touristy stuff around the waterfront, it’s probably a good idea to head towards Fernwood, up the hill.
Cornerstone Cafe (cnr Gladstone Ave/Fernwood Rd), run by the “Fernwood Neighbourhood Resource Group“, is a good starting point to explore the Victorian neighbourhood, around Gladstone Avenue and Fort Street. Apparently, Italianate and a Folk Victorian houses still live peacefully side by side here:
Downtown Victoria is quite cute and has nice Cafes and Galleries and shops, especially around Pandora Ave and Government Street. Smoking Lily (569a Johnson St) is the tiniest store in Victoria, literally a whole in the wall, and has great, locally made clothing. Next street over is Solstice Cafe (529 Pandora Ave), which has free wireless, which was a lifesaver for us ;).
Next street over again is Victoria’s China Town (or should I say “China Street”?). Walk through the cute Fan-Tan Alley, where you find Boucherat Gallery, which had a fantastic exhibition on when we were there. “Seeker teacher dancer dreamer”, by Vancouver’s Peter Taylor; beautifully made, enticing drawings:
Victoria also has its own nood shop, 546 Yates Street, and Capital City Cycles, 1419 Broad Street, which sells nice dutch style city bikes. Aah, so much to see/get and not enough time/money/baggage allowance.
Alright, if you do want to get out of the city a bit, go to East Sooke Park. It was a drizzly day, but seemed to be perfect for sea wildlife – we saw whales, seals and a sea leopard, all in one afternoon.
Ok, it was off to Vancouver for us after a few days, and unfortunately we didn’t have much time at all left for Vancouver. Our main goal for the afternoon we had was to find a nice, cheap (as we had 20$ left) place to eat, and we were rewarded by stumbling upon Donburiya, 1329 Robson Street/West End. Absolutely yuuuuummy, friendly, and affordable! And their lamps were a true craft-work, made out of bowls with their bottoms cut off:
We walked once around the waterfront, and came across red men and a snowy wonderland. We left just before the storm hit, knowing we’ll be back in the creative Northwest again sometime.