The ship pulled into port bright and early, and we could disembark right onto the pier; no tender was needed. We didn’t have an excursion at this port, so we chatted with a tourist information staff member. She gave us a map of the town and made a few suggestions.

Port entry into Victoria Island, Canada.

Rickshaw Ride

As we left the information office, we passed several booths selling tours. We stopped at one and met a young man named Evan, who ran a rickshaw tour. He was a nice young man, but I felt weird about letting someone pull us around town in a cart. After a bit of a conversation with him, we signed up.

Our tour guide Evan.
Jim and Rosie in the Rickshaw.
Evan pulling the rickshaw.

We hopped in the cart, and off Evan went. He would stop now and then and give us the history of the location or area. He took us to a local park, where we exited the rickshaw and strolled the walking paths. As we walked along, Evan provided information about the different parts of the park, the origins of some of the foliage and water features, and the statues scattered throughout the park. Many of the spring flowers and shrubs bloomed; we even saw several peacocks.

Waterfall in park.
Artist painting in the park.
Peacock in the park sitting on a fence.

Initially, the tour was supposed to be one hour long, but we had such a good time in the park, so we asked for another hour. After we finished at the park, we headed to the old town area, where the tour ended. Evan was nice enough to recommend some great restaurants and shops in the area and a few unique attractions.

Water feature for the kids in the park.
Resting area in the park.
Covered walkway in the park.

Do I Hear Bagpipes?

The Highland games were taking place the following weekend, and a parade passed us, trying to bring attention to the event. What a bonus!

Scotsman with his bagpipes in traditional wear.
Bagpipers in the Highland parade.
Ladies carrying banner announcing the Highland Games.

China Town

The restaurant Evan recommended was in Chinatown, so we headed that way. The food was fabulous. It wasn’t Chinese food, which surprised us because we were smack dab in the middle of Chinatown. Maiiz Nixtamal is Mexican, but the short menu listed many things we had never heard of. Jim ordered something called Huitlacoche. Although the server assured us it was not meat, we really didn’t understand what it was. While we were eating, he looked it up online. It turns out that it is corn smut, a plant disease caused by a pathogenic fungus; it is considered a delicacy in Mexico. They also served grasshoppers.

Chinatown arch in Victoria, BC, Canada.
The inside of Maiiz Nixtamal in Chinatown, Victoria.
Jim's mystery lunch at Maiiz.

Shopping

Victoria is a shopper’s paradise. There were all kinds of shops and restaurants lining the streets. We wandered into this very narrow alley; it had shops lining both sides of it.

A street with shops in Victoria, Canada.
Small alley with shops in Victoria.
Shopping in Victoria, Canada.

Ice Cream

All that shopping wore Jim out, and he wanted some ice cream. Favoris looked like it was the place to be for the creamy confection, so we stopped inside. Wow, the creations at this place were impressive (and filling).

Inside of Favoris Ice Cream shop.
Entry to Favoris ice cream shop in Victoria.
Ice cream creation at Favoris in Victoria.

Evan had suggested we take the ferry back to the port, but after all that ice cream, we decided we needed to walk. On our way, we saw huge hotels, government buildings, and a marina. Those gave way to stylish neighborhoods, city parks, and community gardens. It was a bit of a hike but well worth it.

Government building in Victoria, Canada.
Marina in Victoria, Canada.

Time to go Home!

Victoria was the last stop on our cruise. We arrived in Seattle the next day and caught a flight home. We saw and learned so much on this trip, but there’s no place like home!

Jim and Rosie selfie.