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Saturday, September 24th, 2005

Time Event
4:15a
Trip Report 5 -- Victoria and Butchart Gardens
Today we got up far too early and took a tour through Victoria to Butchart Gardens. This is a privately owned garden north of the city on the site of an old lime quarry and cement factory. Our bus driver told us a lot about Victoria and Vancouver Island on the way, sometimes several times to accommodate a few less-than-sharp passengers who somehow missed the first couple of times he said something. [eyeroll] But it was interesting anyway. Apparently the Victoria area has the best climate in all of Canada (at least according to the people who live here) because of the ocean and the currents and such. It doesn't snow here, or hardly at all, and doesn't get cold enough for the lakes to freeze (on the way back we saw the lake where the Canadian national rowing team practices because they can do it all year round) so it's a favored retirement spot for Canadians. Because of that, though, housing and land is very expensive, for Canada, although those of us from California failed to gasp when he gave us some prices. :P The city is really beautiful, though -- the architecture on the older buildings is absolutely gorgeous, especially the government building, and the Empress Hotel across from it. There are parks all over the place, and all the streetlights have hanging flower baskets on them. It's a beautiful place and I wish we'd had time to actually walk around downtown.

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