August 12th, 2004
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Woke up too late for breakfast so we headed out for Bouchardt Gardens. Very large and very lovely. The gardens would be quite peaceful if they weren't so crowed. Its a Thursday and the place was packed.
It makes the whole relaxing stroll through a wonderous garden into a push shove, wait for someone to take their picture, and then have people who speak another language just Stop in front of you and block the walkway as you try to progress in a carefree stroll through these historic gardens...
Unfortunately the Dining Room (in the Bouchardt home) was closed for a private party when we first got there and we had to wait until 1:30 before we could sit and eat, so we went to the italian and japanese gardens and gift shop. We rushed through the rose gardens, but there were so many people, it was hard to move anywhere quickly.
The gift shop had lots of odd maple sweets. We bought sugar candies, lollipops, cookies and maple butter.
High tea was neat. Little finger sandwiches, quiche, cornish pastoes, scones, tart, cookies, chocolates and Teaberry tea. Bryan had water and chicken breast with hoisin sauce
After, we left Bouchardt and went to the butterfly gardens. Ok, so I took lots of pictures and used a lot of the camera battery, but the butterflies wouldn't sit still and pose properly. There's a lovely waterfall and "river" that runs through it for the koi to swin in. Koi are always nice to watch.
Very peaceful. The whole place could have been a wonderful zen if, again, it wasn't so crowded, but I did get to see lots of other pretty flutterbys.(Not as tattered as the ones at the Crystal Conservatory) I found a few stuck to a t-shirt, so I bought that for my mother.
Next stop: Craigdarroch Castle Its not wide, but it is 5 floors tall. Owned by the Dunsmuir family. Lovely wood paneling and stained glass. I got a book on Victoria's Castles and candies and postcards. Too bad we ran out of space on the camera's memory stick. Would have liked more photos.
I also wish we had more time so we could go to Hatley Castle...
For some reason blackberry has registered my handheld 4x today??? Go fig.
7:30: haunted tours. Ghostly Walks by John Adams. Man has real personality and a sense of show. For his stories see other notes. Bought his book "ghosts and legends of Bastion Square" from him. Talked about places Bryan and I have stayed at along our trip. I gave him the flyer from my purse on Winchester Mystery House. (He hadn't been there yet)
Back to the room, eyes burned by mild winds and heat, legs sore.
Got started late, and we had a lot to do so we hurried and drove to Bouchardt Gardens with the hopes of being able to eat there. Got there, parked and went inside looking for someplace to eat.
Kryis did not want to eat at their cafe type restaurant, she wanted the fancier one, but when we went there, even though the hours said it was supposed to be open, there wasa sign on the door that said "closed."
We wandered around a little hoping to kill some time so that when we went back to the restaurant it would be open and we would be able to eat.
We go back and are told that the only opening is in a few hours... How could they go from being closed to being booked for the next few hours in only about 30 minutes? Apparantly, the first time that we got there they had had a big party taking up a lot of the restaurant and put the closed sign out.
By the time we got back they had taken down the sign and started taking reservations for later. So, as hungry as I was I needed something to eat to tide me over. We went to the Coffee Shop and I had something to drink and a Rice Crispie Treat. We checked out the gardens while we waited.
They were beautiful. It is amazing that this place used to be a rock quarry. I think I liked the Japanese Garden the best out of all of them. The biggest problem was how crowded it was. The number of people and the noise that came with them detracted from the serenity and beauty of the gardens. Oh well, got to pay for their upkeep somehow.
Afterwards we went to the Butterfly Gardens that is just a little ways down the street. There were a great many different types of butteryflies and some tropical birds and koi as well. It was pretty.
It was not as big as I had imagined based on the descriptions I was given from other people I know that had been here before... but it was still very cool. Kryis took a lot of pictures both here and at Bouchardt. It was a good thing we had all of our memory sticks empty at the start of the day.
Afterwards we went to Craigdarroch Castle. It was very nice, but we were running out of space on our memory sticks. I conservatively took pictures of the house. Rationing them out as best I could so that I could get pictures of most of the cool rooms in the house.
I enjoyed reading the history of the family and their rise and fall from fortune in the room that told the story of the house and of the family. I spent a while in there while Kryis went and wandered off somewhere as I continued to read. After we explored the house, we dawdled in the gift shop for a while.
We headed back to the hotel to vacate some space on our memory cards for the night. We went on a "Ghostly Walk" with John Adams. A local haunted story expect. He had a very good presence and delivery as we walked around downtown Victoria. He pointed out different places where ghosts are said to inhabit and stories of how and why they were there. It was very good. But being so late, we did not really take many pictures. ShruG.
After a long day, it was nice to get back to the room and collapse. Had to be prepared for the next day when we were going to be waiting for the ferry.