BC is no longer predominantly British but Victoria the provincial capital, which began as the Hudson Bay Trading Co in 1843, still retains some elements of British life - a gentle pace, traditional afternnoon teas and a sense of order. With its historical buildings, colourful Chinatown and colourful parks and gardens the centre of Victoria is very picturesque. Everything is set around the Inner Harbour with the usual Chateau taking centre spot. The harbour itself is full of activity with harbour tours and whale watching trips setting sail. As we were there on a holiday weekend the place was very busy with people sitting on the grass outside the Chateau watching the world go by and generally milling around town.
During the afternoon people were thronging into the centre as it was their 20th annual symphony splash which meant the Victoria Symphony Orchestra were performing a free concert on a barge in the inner harbour. By 2 p.m. chairs and blankets were lining the harbour with locals and visitors alike already taking their seats for the concert. We went back to the campside a 20 min bus ride and came back later on our bikes. a bike path took us right into the city centre and we were in the midst of the activity within half an hour. By now the whole harbour was full of people enjoying the warm sunny evening. The concert was excellent and so was the scottish band which marched through the streets in full dress complete with huge St Bernard mascot. There were quite a few Japanese families (who now live in Vancouver) all out in their national costume from grandmas to small children it really was a ccosmopolitan atmosphere with people from all over the world. We had to leve before the fireworks though as we didn't have liights on our bikes and we had to get back before it went dark.
Tomorrow we leave Canada and return to the U.S. by ferry from right here in Victoria to Washington State, USA just north of Seattle. It is easier to get a ferry from here to the States than a ferry back to the mainland which involves an hours drive north out of Victoria to the Sydney Ferry Port rather than right out of Victoria Harbour!