We just returned from a quick trip to the Olympic Peninsula and a short getaway to Victoria, B.C.

I went to Victoria a few times in my younger years.  My parents took me there on the Princess Marguerite in 1962.  My meilleur ami and I also sailed on the Princess Marguerite to Victoria with some other friends just before we started college.  Here is a link to an article with memories of that ship.

I remember Victoria from those days as a quaint town with ‘British vibes’.  There were several shops selling fine china and other imported goods from the British Isles.

My husband and I rediscovered Victoria when we moved to Port Angeles, WA in 1979.  The Hood Canal Bridge collapsed earlier that year, cutting off the main route to Seattle.  We took various ferries to go to Seattle, but it was quite a journey.  That is when we started taking the MV Coho ferry to Victoria.  The Coho has been sailing since 1959 and it is a 90-minute ride across the Strait of Juan de Fuca.  Victoria became my urban lifeline.

Since moving away from Port Angeles, we hadn’t been to Victoria for a number of years.  We  ‘rediscovered’ it last year.  This is our third trip.  Victoria isn’t the quaint British town of my earlier memories.  It has it shares of touristy shops with mass produced merchandise.  But it still has some charming features.

Our travel weather was perfect: crisp, clear, and a little cold.  We embarked on the MV Coho at 8:20 AM and were in Victoria by 10 AM.

Some highlights from our short stay:

And no trip to Victoria would be complete without a stop at the venerable Empress Hotel.  It was very festive for the holidays and we had to finish our journey with a martini made with Empress 1908 gin (highly recommended).

We were back in Port Angeles by 5:30 P.M.  and both of us thought it was a perfect holiday getaway! We love Canada!

Canadians are more polite when they are being rude than Americans are when they are being friendly.

Edgar Friedenberg



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