Leaving Whistler behind we set off on our expedition (yes, really!) to Victoria. Being on a budget, the one way fee to drop off our rental car on Vancouver Island was way too expensive to justify so instead, we chose the economy route. We began by driving our car to Vancouver airport to drop it off. We then sat around for an hour and a half at Vancouver Airport Arrivals (because Katy insists on being early whenever there is public transport involved!), before picking up the BC Ferries Connector bus from the airport to the ferry terminal. We then had to change buses at the terminal, get on the ferry then, get back on the bus before docking to take us to downtown Victoria. The whole process took us nearly 8 hours so by the time we arrived in Victoria, we were absolutely shattered! We arrived at Victoria bus terminal at 17:30 and, after a walk, checked into HI: Victoria Hostel, with lovely staff and a modern kitchen & living room we thought our luck was in. However we reached our very cramped, dingy room and Craig went off to use the male bathroom only to discover it was contained within a 40 bed dorm. We were beginning to discover this definitely wasn't a typical youth & backpackers hostel!
As we were heading out for a quick dinner we passed 3 gentlemen in the corridor outside of our room that were definitely from the homeless community which unsettled both of us. Over dinner, we debated whether or not we would book in to somewhere different however, as it was Labor Day weekend, everything was extremely expensive and we would have to forgo other activities if we moved to different accommodation. So after a couple drinks we decided to chalk it up to experience and, if nothing else, it would make a funny story so we decided to suck it up for the 3 nights!
The next morning, after not such a restful nights sleep (Craig's Fitbit didn't even register that he had slept at all!) we set out on a walk up to Beacon Hill Park. We enjoyed the sights including; the worlds tallest free standing totem pole, Canadian geese, ducks, beautiful flowers and a family of deer. There was even a free mini-golf course but both of us had forgotten our putters!
After Beacon Hill Park we walked along the coast back to Downtown Victoria for some lunch at the Sandwich Corner Cafe. After lunch we walked along the river to the Selkirk Trestle bridge, an old railway bridge that has been restored and converted into a walking trail.
After a day of walking we were delighted to grab a bite to eat (and a few too many drinks) at the El Furniture Warehouse across from our hostel followed by some ice cream for dessert from Perverted Ice Cream and then back to the hostel for an early night!
The next morning we had an early start as, having scrapped booking in to another hotel, we were heading out whale watching with SpringTide Whale & Eco Tours. We had heard that Victoria was the best place to see Orcas at this time of year and seeing them in the wild had long been something that was on Katy's bucket list. Thankfully the zodiac tour did not disappoint, we were just out of the harbour when Craig spotted an incredible Humpback Whale that we stayed with for quite some time to ensure he safely passed the harbour. Then, we got word from another tour that there was a pod of Orcas about 8 nautical miles south of the harbour, so we set off to find them. We arrived to find about 12-15 of them and watching them was just incredible, sorry Sea World, but they definitely seem to have way more fun in the wild!!
After whale watching, we both had a much needed afternoon nap. Later that evening we made our way to the Capitol 6 cinema to finally see the Lion King! With electronic recliners and foot rests it was definitely the most comfortable cinema we've ever been in! Given we both love the original Lion King we were a bit apprehensive however we loved it, especially Timon & Pumba!
Back to the hostel to get packed and it's time to be on the move again. Next stop Tofino!