Some more sightseeing! In the morning I met up with my aunt and we had a great breakfast. We agreed that it had been at least 10 years since we’d talked. Afterward I headed off for Victoria, which is a very involved process, as it turns out.
I drove to the Ferry terminal (about 30 minutes south of downtown Vancouver). Taking a car across costs $30 each way, so I had pre-planned not to do that. The ferry ride is about 1.5h, even though it’s only about 35km. The ferry is enormous though – apparently it’s used to get nearly everything over there, as judged by how many huge trucks they can (and do) load unto it, I’d estimate at least 50 trucks fit on the bottom deck. Then there is a deck of passenger cars which they also fill, likely a few hundred cars. And then they can take as many walk-on passengers as show up, I’d estimate capacity at several thousand, which they didn’t approach. It’s a super scenic journey. Once on Vancouver Island (which is where Victoria is?), the bus ride is about an hour more to reach downtown. For those of you adding it up, that’s a 3 hour commute if everything goes perfect, realistically more like 4h by the time you add a little waiting at each step…
Anyway, once in Victoria I met up with a friend of a friend and had an awesome time talking about his efforts towards a hackerspace in Victoria, the upcoming Ideas conference, and the awesomeness of lawn bowling! I also got to walk around the downtown, take photos of the old hotel, etc.
On the return cruise, it was sunset, so I got many really awesome photos of the sun setting against water and the various islands, check out my awesome Flickr Set.
The next day I checked out Stanley Park (which was actually pretty scenic, I can see why they recommend tourists check it out), and drove all day to Banff. I had an evening in Banff, so I just walked up and down Banff Ave, which actually kind of reminded my of Disney Land, it’s almost a parody of itself. Nice, but way too commercial and fake. On the other hand, the next morning I checked out the old hotel that was really the beginning of Banff as a tourist destination, and that was amazing, nobody builds stuff like that anymore! Flickr Set.