We flew via Vancouver connecting straight to Victoria, and before we knew it, we were having afternoon tea at the Fairmont Empress Hotel! A great way to start my holiday, and an excellent location for the city sights and the harbour. To get our bearings and quickly learn something about the culture of this area, we spent a short time at the Royal BC Museum. Two of the main highlights of Victoria came next – first an exhilarating 3-hour Zodiac ride, out into the harbour looking for whales… although we didn’t get to see the allusive killer whale this time.

Second, a visit to the famous Butchart Gardens, easy to stroll around for young and elderly alike, and the gardens are beautiful at any time of the year.

cutler - buchart gardens
After a couple of days we returned to Vancouver, this time instead of the short flight we took the Pacific Coach line bus and the Swartz Bay Ferry, a lovely scenic trip. It was great to be in Vancouver! A fabulous city for shopping, but there are also lots of activities at the harbour and Vancouver’s Stanley Park. I tried the very Wobbly Capilano Suspension Bridge, and visited Grouse Mountain, had a closer look at the resident bears, climbed a Wind Turbine for amazing views, and enjoyed the chair lifts!
I really got into the swing of Vancouver! Walking along the harbour wall, and cycling in Stanley Park. I went up to the Vancouver Lookout and finally saw whales at the aquarium. I took the Aquabus Ferry to Granville Island, where the sun was shining and a band was playing while I browsed in some great craft shops for souvenirs. The wonderful thing about Vancouver is the laid back atmosphere even though it’s such a big city, Canadians are unstressed and know how to take it easy!
Leaving Vancouver, it was “All Aboard” the Whistler Mountaineer! A delightful and very scenic journey up to the mountains.
Whistler was the centre of the Winter Olympics, and after a walk around the village I took a chair lift up to the Peak2Peak gondolier, spying for ears on the way!
Up there it was still snowing on Whistler Mountain, I went to see the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre, listening to First Nation music and hearing some more about how they lived on this mountainous terrain.
There are some exciting summer pursuits up here in Whistler including hiking on Blackcombe Mountain and canoeing on Green Lake – just amazing in all that clean fresh air!
What a fantastic trip! Canada is friendly, and all the trips and tours are well-organised. And the landscape? Well, it’s just…… Heaven!

If you’d like to know more email me: charmaine@hallmarktravel.com

Or meet me in the gallery!