A city by the sea

The Trans-Canada Highway runs right across Canada from Victoria where I was headed on the west coast, to Newfoundland on the east coast, nearly eight thousand kilometres. Not surprisingly, it’s the longest national highway in the world. I had been to its eastern extreme so was keen to visit the highway’s starting point. (featured image)

But that’s not all I wanted to see while in British Columbia’s capital. Victoria, situated on Vancouver Island, was surrounded by bays and inlets so I took a ferry around the Inner Harbour that passed float homes. Close to shore a seal popped its head out of the water as we ferried towards the bay leading to Juan de Fuca Sound with Mt Olympus in U.S.A. in the distance. I noticed a boardwalk that circuited part of the harbour and after the tour, hiked around West Bay Walk where in places, arbutus trees provided shade.

My next stop was B.C.’s parliament building close to the Inner Harbour, that had been constructed over a century ago. Inside I passed the high dome discovering grand doors that encompassed detailed scenes. There weren’t any plain glass windows that I saw—many were stained glass depicting typical themes from the province and its British connection. Originally, there had been some derogatory Aboriginal scenes painted on walls that have since been covered over.

My final stop before I headed to the western side of the Vancouver Island was Chinatown. Tucked away in a corner of this relaxing city was one short street with a grand entrance, but apart from the entrance, only a Chinese school and Fan Tan Alley—a dark, empty alley remained from its Chinese past.