Last Alaskan Cruise Stop–Victoria

Our last stop on the Alaskan cruise was in Victoria, British Columbia–the southernmost major city of Western Canada. Victoria is in the top 20 of world cities for quality of life and it was easy to see why.

Since Victoria is known as the “The Garden City” it only made sense that we would take one of the excursions to The Butchart Gardens. There were many variations to choose from, but we decided to see the highlights of Victoria, which included a visit to the Gardens and a fireworks show. We passed by many of the highlights on our way there.

Upon arrival at Butchart Gardens, I realized I had underestimated on my expectation of “gardens”. This place was absolutely gorgeous–55 acres of gardens divided into theme areas of the Mediterranean Garden, Italian Garden, Japanese Garden, Rose Garden, and the Sunken Garden.

There were flowers

and more flowers

and gardens

and trees

and roses

and fountains

and it was all incredibly beautiful–overwhelmingly beautiful. We walked through almost all of every garden while waiting for sunset. Along the way, we learned the story of Jennie Butchart and how she transformed a gigantic limestone quarry pit into the spectacular Sunken Garden which spiraled into the other garden additions. You can download The Story of Butchart Gardens to your Kindle E-reader for the rest of the story.

Once darkness fell, the fireworks show, which included aerial and ground displays began.

The show was set to music and lasted about 30 minutes. After that, it was time to head back to the ship.  We did get a nice glimpse of British Parliament along with a lesson from our driver about what items cost in Canada.

British Parliament Building
The gist of the lesson was that if you want to eat fast food, drink alcohol, or smoke cigarettes, you will be taxed heavily on it–as kind of a toll for your free health care. Luckily that ride didn’t last much longer.

We were so happy that we decided to check out Butchart Gardens.  I would recommend anyone visiting Victoria, BC set aside some time to visit.


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