Gary was vaguely aware there are some noted gardens somewhere in Vancouver, Canada. Upon further research, we became aware that there are very renowned gardens but they are not in or near the city of Vancouver which is on the mainland of the Province of British Columbia; they are on Vancouver Island, which is where the city of Victoria is, the capital of BC.
There is no bridge to Vancouver Island. You either fly in or ferry. In part we stayed on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State so we could take a ferry to Victoria. Even from the Olympic Peninsula, it was another enormous day. We were up at 5:30 a.m. and by the time we had driven an hour to Port Angeles, Washington, taken the ferry, ridden the city bus to the gardens, toured the gardens, bussed back to Victoria, seen a bit of the city, ferried back, and drove back to the motor home, it was after 11 p.m.
We chose to go to the Gardens on Gary’s birthday as somehow he had discovered that the ferry line gave free round trip passage on birthdays. That was a $35 savings for us. Quite the birthday present!. But with my $35 ticket, our $32 tickets each to the gardens, the bus fares, parking, and some eats, it turned into an expensive as well as a long day but again was one that was totally worth the time and money.
The Gardens were developed over 100 years ago. The Butchart family owned a limestone quarry and made cement. As the limestone became nearly mined out, Mrs. Butchart came up with the idea of repurposing the spent quarry into a garden. There are many areas to the Gardens. There are the sunken gardens in the depths of the old quarry, there is a rose garden, a Japanese garden, an Italian garden, and simply flowers, fauna, fountains and statuary everywhere. The walls of the old quarry are barely seen as they are covered by ivy and other ground covers.
The Gardens still are owned and operated by the Butchart family. Over a million people a year visit them. Most sources rate these Gardens as the finest in the Western Hemisphere.
The greater metropolitan area of Victoria has a population of around 350,000 people. Much of the activity of the city is around the inner harbor area where the ferries dock and the location of the capitol of the BC Government. They have cute little water taxi boats that ply the harbor as well. There are historic areas and buildings and lots of flowers in the city too. We enjoyed the hospitality of Victoria
We are way behind on our picture albums, but we couldn’t post about the Butchart Gardens without providing a link to our pictures of them. And if we say so ourselves, this is an album well worth visiting. https://picasaweb.google.com/116107386675555024952/VictoriaBCButchartGardens