Fort Victoria was established in 1843 as a Hudson Bay Company trading post by the British and has retained its British heritage ever since.  Considered Canada’s most ‘Bristish’ city, Victoria showcases elegant Victorians and Edwardian era mansions and impressive architectural landmarks that define its British style.  More British born residents live in Victoria than anywhere else in Canada.

While in Victoria you may want to induldge yourself in one of the British traditions reflected in its brews…and I don’t necessarily mean tea!  The city is home to four breweries and three brewpubs and many more authentic drinking establishments.  You can tour these fine purveyors of liquid refreshement on the Victoria Ale Trail.

Many visitors to Victoria experience the tradition of high tea at the Empress Hotel, the grand dame of hotels.  Since 1908 royalty and dignitaries, as well as visitors, have savored tea,scones and clotted cream, served in the breathtaking lobby overlooking the picturesque harbor.  Victoria’s most visited attraction with over 1 million visitors a year, Butchart Gardens, also offers a high tea after walking through the 55 acres ofmagnificently landscaped grounds at this century old quarry.

Victoria is know as the “City of Gardens”.  No matter the season the city is always in bloom.  Cherry blossoms, tulips, liliacs, regal roses and so many more, both fragrant and beautiful.  As we strolled the shopping streets today, the city’s most noted trademark, its hanging baskets were prominent everywhere.  Over 1600 flower baskets adorn the lampposts in a myriad of colors.  Flower boxes and shrubs line the sidewalks and street corners. A virtual rainbow of flowers.

Throughout the city, Victoria boasts numerous botanical sanctuaries, both formal and exctic, and everything in between.  Beacon Hill Park, Victoria’s oldest municipal park, is located in the center of town.  It’s the perfect place to stroll along manicurred lawns, quiet lakes, and sparkling ponds.

Next to the Empress Hotel is, Totem Park, with an indina clan house and about a dozen totem poles.  There is something for everyone in Victoria.  This is truly a beautiful city.

Until tomorrow,
Bon Voyage

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Ole Nordhavn, Cruise Holidays, “your personal cruise expert.”
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