Day Twelve – Victoria – 50 years of change

Our last port and the most nostalgic for me.  The ship has docked and it’s 7 PM.  A rather strange time and we’ll be gone at midnight (??).  Five hours with only two until the streets roll up.

That’s not really true of course.  Although most stores close at nine, the streets themselves are still very much alive with various activities.  A short shuttle from the ship to downtown, two blocks north of the grand Empress Hotel.  If you’ve never seen this hotel, should you go to Victoria, make a point of stopping by.  It’s been around forever, is way too expensive for most people and is totally impressive.  And yes, the ivy is real, not glued on and is as much a part of the hotel as the location and the name.

Edmonton has (although they seem to be disappearing) its cows around town.  Victoria has their dolphins.  It also has its one man band, 24 Karat Kutlass (pimp mobile??) and what appears to be its own Pantheon.

We spend a couple of hours walking around just taking it all in, passing time while waiting for the lights on the parliament buildings to make their nightly appearance.  And there they are, all three thousand six hundred of them.  Should I email them pointing out where some need replacing?   Nah…not my job and not really that visually distracting.  🙂

On to the shuttle for an early return to the ship.  Our return route has been diverted due to road construction.  As it turns out it takes us through my old stomping grounds.  Fifty years ago (and I just realized that while on the bus) I lived in this very area – James Bay.  Two years I spent (part of grade two, grade three and part of grade four) running through Thunderbird park (home of some rather magnificent totem poles) with my best friend who was one son of the large Hunt family (carvers of the totems).  My mother worked at the parliament buildings, my father was in insurance.  Almost every weekend we would picnic in Beacon Hill park.  Two important things I learned in school was how to write and how to square dance.  The dancing was important cuz there was this one girl … ahhh…that’s another story altogether.  Besides, what does a seven-year old know?

A nice lazy day and fond memories brought to the fore.  However, we were going to find out things were not as uncomplicated as they appeared.

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