We spent two very full days in Victoria, and I’m certain we still missed a lot of great sights there. The Rolls Royce shown above was parked near the Royal London Wax Museum (which sadly, I just learned, was closed in September 2010); we didn’t pay to go inside, but I was entranced by the figure of a young Queen Victoria standing proudly in the lobby — so much so that my dad agreed to return the next day just to take a picture of her (his photo turned out a bit dark, so the image below is one that I took myself the following year). I also managed to snag a copy of the wax museum’s Souvenir Guide Book before we left.
Most of Friday was spent exploring the magnificent Provincial Museum. The highlight for me was the modern history floor — the 1920s were brought to life with cobbled streets and a variety of shops, including a blacksmith, a garage, and a telegraph office. There was also the Roxy Theater, running silent comedies. On other floors we learned about the native Indians, Captain Cook’s voyages, and the history of coal mining, complete with a Cornish water wheel.
Very near the Provincial Museum was the Parliament Building; we were treated to a 30-minute tour by a young man named Colin Stewart. We ventured into the lobby of the wonderfully impressive Empress Hotel only very briefly — as I wrote in my travel journal, “it was so fancy and beautiful, and we were in our camping gear.”
On Saturday we walked over to Ogden Point to visit the two Japanese sailing ships we had seen from the ferry, the Nippon Maru and the Kaiwo Maru. They were there to help celebrate the British Columbia Captain Cook Bicentennial.
Although we missed out on a chance to board the ships, we did meet one of the crew members — his name was Tadao Ikenobi, and he was a ship’s carpenter. He told us he was from outside Tokyo and had three children. He enjoyed listening to my dad practice his Japanese (from his time stationed in Japan during the early 1950s); before parting, we exchanged addresses, and our new Japanese friend told us he would expect a Christmas letter.
Our next stop on the trip was The Butchart Gardens, and I’ll share that with you next week!