The Fairmont Empress Hotel is impressive. Instead of taking in a traditional tea, the group of us went to the Bengal Lounge for Pimms. Leather chairs, a ferocious tiger above the fireplace, Indian curry on the buffet.... I felt as though I had stepped back to Colonial India. The cocktails tasted of herbs and were garnished with cucumber (Pimms Rangoon?)
A group of us stayed at the Huntington Inn, right inside the Inner Harbour, and an easy walk to downtown.
What truly astonishes me about Victoria though is how close it is to such majesty. The forests are amazing cathedrals, the ocean is humbling. Everything seems larger than life. Wilderness is only an hour's drive from the capital.
Goldstream Park, French Beach, China Beach.... time spent gazing in wonder at just how green a fern can be, or how much a cloud can look like a wave (or is that vice-versa?)
My bags came home weighted with souvenirs - rocks collected along the beaches!