Victoria is a unique harbor city which holds a significant historical background. Somehow the name of the city itself fascinated me to visit the Victorian settlement. We traveled to Victoria from Seattle in about two hours by a high speed ferry called the Victoria Clipper. It might not be the cheapest way to get to Victoria but it definitely saves a lot of time and is very convenient in terms of location.
As soon as we reached at the harbor of Victoria, we could spot our Hotel Fairmont Chateau which was in the heart of the city. With the hustle of the musicians, horse carriage rides and fresh smoothie stalls. the harbor city looked just lovely and bright. While we enjoyed sipping on our fresh orange juice, the friendly people in the city guided us all about things to do out and about the city.
The season being spring, Victoria blossomed with all kinds of wild and fragrant flowers. All we did was walk, walk and walk to explore the city. We walked through scenic trails which led to the cute little Fishermen’s wharf, where the colorful floating houses welcomed us right in. The picturesque scenes with guitarist playing melodious tunes is still vivid in my memory. While we enjoyed our fresh seafood tacos at one of the restaurants in the floating deck, the private jets landed on the harbor. We had a great time just soaking in this mini Venice.
We did try out the street food in Victoria and they turned out delicious. The mouth watering falafel wraps and scoops of chocolate ice-cream just spoiled us even more. As we walked through the city, the parliament on one side and the Hotel Fairmont Chateau on the other with harbor right in the center just looked lovely. As we stopped by at the parliament, we could see graduate students line up at the stairs for pictures.
Out of nowhere, we ran into the glistening blue pacific coast. Covered with lovely wild flowers and waves, the pacific ocean looked indescribably pretty. I did step into the rocks of the shore to get closer to nature. Being closer to nature has always bought me a sense of satisfaction and happiness. It has always helped me achieve a balance in life. After walking through the neighborhoods along the coast, we made our way to the harbor to catch the ferry back to Seattle.
Our trip was short but full of lovely memories to cherish. The city of Victoria surpassed my expectation and I would definitely recommend this little harbor city for a perfect weekend getaway.
Old Quebec is a classic fairy tale city surrounded by citadels and forts at every corner. The moment we entered the city through giant dome shaped gateways, I was already in the awe of the city. Every little street we crossed to reach our hotel had horse buggies running along the pavements bustling with tourists. Every nook and corner of the city was filled with street musicians playing guitar, piano, saxophone and all kinds of instruments. The music being soft and mellow was very soothing to hear.
Our first day at Old Quebec, we checked into the Fairmont Le Chateau that is a palace like looking hotel in the heart of the city. Located right by the Lawrence River, the Le Chateau looks no less than a historic mansion. As we walked out of our hotel, we started to make our way to the lower town down the stairs to the Champlain district which is also known as the shopping district of old Quebec. The shopping district was filled with little art and souvenir shops. As we walked, we enjoyed listening to the street musicians and stopped for a little bit to relax by the saxophone musician who had adorable dogs sleeping peacefully by him.
Exploring further we reached the square for lunch. The European style roofs of the square reminded me of Bruges in Belgium which I visited a few years ago. We also did take the funicular uphill to get panoramic views of the city surrounded by the Lawrence River. As we settled down with the day, the beautiful fairy tale night in the city had begun. Old couples dancing out to the musicians by the streets by the Italian restaurant which I still vividly remember. The caricature and art shops had begun to close but the hustle and bustle of the tourists in romantic restaurants was still a sight to remember.
I was very excited to see the horse buggies right in front of our hotel and really wanted to do the city tour in the carriage. Our carriage tour guide not only educated us about the history of the city but also added his own local entertaining stories which made us laugh all the way through the end of the tour. He did teach us a few French phrases and we loved making conversations with him. Our horse Bob was very friendly and did make multiple stops to drink water at the fountains around the city.
As our trip was coming to an end, we started to gather souvenirs such as maple syrup, fridge magnets and handmade soaps before we flew back home. As we stepped out of the dreamy land, the real life started to kick in and it was time to go back home 🙂
After living in the Unites States for about five years now , I finally got to visit its neighboring state Canada last month. Over the thanksgiving weekend I traveled to Seattle to spent a few days with my aunt and uncle. We made our fun road trip to Vancouver while I was there over the weekend. I was super excited for my first trip to Canada and it turned out more beautiful than I even imagined. After passing the US border, as we crossed the interstate bridge, I could see the city of Vancouver encompassed with cascades of mountains on one side and the River Columbia on the other. The alluring city was purely a natural bliss.
Our first destination as we entered Vancouver was the Capilano Suspension Bridge. The lush green rain forest with the bridge hanging right above the Capilano river was both fun and adventurous at the same time. The bridge was very bumpy as there were so many tourists walking over it. The evergreen tree tops, cliffs, gorges, canyons and trails in the woods was a treat to the eyes. The suspension bridges were attached to the old tree trunks and every tree was about 150 years old. Walking into the tree tops through the suspension bridges lit up with strings of lights was such a wonderful experience all together. My aunt called them flowers as the lights looked just like colorful flowers on the tree tops. We also enjoyed walking over the cliff walk which was a narrow walk way suspended over the deep canyon. After hiking through the park , we slowly made our way out as it was getting darker and we also had to check in into our resort.
After checking into the resort and relaxing for a bit, we had our cozy outdoor fine dining at Bricks and Mortar which I would definitely recommend to everyone who travels to Vancouver. Every dish we ordered turned out to be excellent. Our day went by so fast and it was such a good start to our trip.
Since we had only one more day to go, we woke up early in the morning to go for a morning walk by the bay in Vancouver. It was a walk of about five minutes from our Wyndham resort which was centrally located in Downtown Vancouver. It was such a great time catching up on family conversations with my aunt and it was definitely a walk to remember :).After the walk we took a dip into the indoor pool in our resort. We really made the most out of our small trip. After cooking and enjoying our breakfast at the resort, we headed out to check out Stanley Park which is a huge sea wall park in the downtown area.
We did not get to visit Stanley Park in the best of the weather as it started raining by the time we reached over there. We drove through the greenery surrounded by the bay and bridges. With moist rain drops all over the grass and the evergreen trees, it looked all the more pretty. After our visit to the park, we all were craving for some comfort food and hence decided to have some hot Vietnamese noodle soup for lunch. With the short days in winter our day was coming to an end and it was time to head back home. All in all we had a wonderful time in Vancouver and tried to make the most out of our short trip 🙂