Thursday, May 26, 2011

Hit the road, Jack

May 3rd: Day 4

The weather's got its act together and is fine again. This has come as a great relief because today we picked up the hire car from downtown and gingerly drove back to the hotel to collect our luggage. We had a straightforward drive to the ferry port at Tsawwassen, if you discount getting lost in Richmond. The road signs aren't all as clear or as obvious as they could be to strangers. The road use, once you've come to terms with being on the wrong side of the road, is slightly different too. When the traffic lights are red and you want to turn right (so not crossing the carriageway) you can ignore the red light. However pedestrians will have been given the signal to cross, and you must give way to them. Luckily the speed limits are low so you don't feel hassled - and the other drivers are remarkably courteous - horns are hardly ever used.

Another slight hiccup was that the ferry company had never seen a travel voucher like ours, but after a phonecall to colleagues all was well (managed very efficiently and in a friendly manner). Phew! We're starting to feel like guineapigs for this tour company. They really haven't got their act together.

We reached the hotel in Victoria relatively painlessly; our room is on the 16th (or 15th when you take into account the missing 13th) floor and has a fine view over the southern part of the city.

The coffee-making facilities have improved and include a cooker, microwave and fridge!

We decided to make the most of the fine day and braved the chilly breeze to have a look around.

The Parliament building

Another hotel

We made a start on a multicache (geocaching is an excellent way of touring an area you don't know) but involved visiting brewpubs for clues (Swans and Canoe), and it would have been rude not to sample their wares (and get treated to free tasters of various unusual gins); we decided to complete the cache tomorrow!

We had dinner at The Wharfside which is supposed to do the best seafood in town. It was good, but not great.

What we find really annoying is the way purchase tax isn't included in the display price of goods. You budget for the advertised price and find the final bill comes as quite a shock. Thank goodness we don't do it that way.


omally said...

I is well jellus ;)

Trouty said...

Me too. When I was in Vancouver, we didn't make it over to the island. We went the other way - to the Rockies.
Can't wait for the next episode. I want to know if you went whale watching.
Ned looks very relaxed in the piccy.

silver horde said...

In counting the floors do they have a ground floor like England or is that the first floor like in the usa?
The purchase tax is a pain! I still get caught out by it!!

Jeangenie said...

Confusingly, it varies, Jane, but most seem to have a ground floor.