I live in the Fraser Valley so to get to Victoria, I catch the ferry in Tsawwassen to get to Swartz Bay. To get here, you have to drive through Ladner. I usually end up seeing a bunch of eagles as we drive through the farm lands.
I get so excited when I see all these eagles. My head is always on a swivel when driving through these parts.
It was a gorgeous December afternoon. I got caught in the shadows while we were out on the deck of the ferry.
One of the days during our time in Victoria, it was very windy and we went down to the Ogden Point area to see the waves. I am so glad we did! The waves were huge and smashing again the rocks. I wanted to get out and walk the Breakwater but I was not brave enough to brace the cold and wind.
Jam Cafe is an insanely popular spot to eat when in Victoria. They are open til 3pm daily and are first come, first serve. They usually have a line up outside. Their style is ultimate comfort food. Pictured above is a favourite of ours here, the King Chicken sandwich. The above photo is of their huevos rancheros.
I like checking out local bakeries when I am on holiday and my favourite here that I discovered on my last Victoria trip is Crust Bakery. This popular spot on Fort Street tempts you with its incredible window displays of beautifully crafted sweets.
Victoria is full of history and this is one of its iconic places, the Hatley Castle at Royal Roads University. It takes about 25 minutes to get here from downtown Victoria. I visited its sister castle, Craigdarroch, during my last Victoria holiday. They belonged to the same family, the Dunsmuir family. You may recognize this castle from movies like X-Men as it was filmed here.
That was the back side of the castle, where you would park your vehicle. This is the front entrance.
Since we were here in December, it was very festively and decorated very nicely. Now that I have been to both castles, I can say that there is more to see on the inside of Craigdarroch as it is filled with artifacts and lots of information. Hatley Castle is partly used for the administration of the university so there is not as much to see on the inside of the castle but the grounds and gardens are immaculate.
Admiring the grounds at Hatley Castle.
The Japanese gardens were one of my favourite parts here. Everything was so perfectly groomed and very well kept.
There was lots of wildlife to see on the grounds. We saw lots of chipmunks as well as peacocks. This male was trying to show off to some ladies.
A newly opened spot for sweets in Victoria is Chocolats Favoris. They are a Quebec based chocolate company and their specialty is making chocolate fondue. At their shop, you can have soft serve ice cream dipped into a variety of fondue flavours.
I had to have the orange dark chocolate one.
My husband really liked the milk chocolate one. The chocolate shells were very thick and decadent.
The Parliament Building looked so nice all light up and with its Christmas decorations.
We checked out the Royal BC Museum. It’s always a great thing to do when in Victoria. They have an IMAX theater here as well that plays short films on a very large screen. There was a wooly mammoth feature on. I could not believe the museum had an actual baby wooly mammoth on display. It was fascinating to look at it. This baby was very young when it died and it was one of the best kept mammoth specimens known to exist.
There were other replicas of animals that were alive at the time of the wooly mammoth as well. All the predators were so large back then!
When we were coming home on the ferry, I took this picture of mountains in the distance that were illuminated by the sun while they were being rained on. Its one of my favourite pictures from this trip.
Victoria is a great spot for a getaway. Its quick to get to once you get off the ferry and its a nice change of pace from Vancouver. There are so many great places to eat in Victoria. My list was endless and I did not get to go everywhere I wanted to. Its only one of the reasons why I like coming back here.