Friday, May 2, 2014

Vancouver 2014 – Day 3. Crossing the Georgia Strait

Today was glorious. The sun was shining and there were enough clouds on the sky to make it interesting. I was glad because I had a ride of about 40 km to get to the small peninsula (Tsawwasse) where I had to take the ferry to Vancouver Island. It was highway riding, which in my little scooter is less than fun, but I finally got there around 10 am, in perfect time to catch the 11 am ferry.

The crossing of the Georgia Strait was uneventful. The ferry is enormous compared with the little Vietnamese ferries I am used to, so the deck is steady and large enough for one to run laps. The view becomes fascinating once the boat reaches on the other side of the strait and begins weaving its way through the San Juan Islands. Surprisingly there is a large number of people living on the islands, in attractive large estates. Talk about being isolated!

Once on firm land I went for less than 5 km before stopping in the little town of Sidney for lunch. It is a cute, well-kept Canadian town that I will remember for the large number of bookstores I saw in Main Street. I did stop on a couple of them, but kept repeating Annie’s mantra that I cannot buy anything because I don’t have any place to carry it.

I made it to Victoria sometime around 2:30 pm, and by the time I had arranged for a bed at the hostel it was definitively mid afternoon. Downtown is developed around an inlet, around which are the beautiful buildings of The Empress Hotel and the Parliament of British Columbia (I didn’t know that Victoria is the State Capital of BC). Following the inlet eventually took me on a scenic tour of the peninsula where Victoria is located, mostly looking at houses that were to die for, not for their opulence but by their perfect design and very manicured appearance. Annie and I noted this in our tour of Quebec: Canadians seem to enjoy living in perfect houses, and must put enormous amounts of time making sure they remain perfect.

I had the second part of my lunch sandwich and an apple sitting on a bench overlooking some coastal cliffs, so when I came back at 6:30 pm I was not very hungry. I was debating whether to look at TV for a while, when a sign at the hostel informed me that this was $5 Tuesday at the movies, so I just had to go to see another movie: Captain America. It was a great movie, and I was quite happy I had gone, but with the $3 surcharge for it being 3D, and the $6 of a tub of popcorn it ended being not much of a bargain!    

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