Splitting Up Vancouver/Victoria

Jul 7th, 2005, 02:46 PM
  #1  
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Splitting Up Vancouver/Victoria

Another question for you savvy folks.

As mentioned before, my mother (in her 80s... healthy but can't hike tho can walk within reason) and I will see and then leave Banff/Jasper and fly to Vancouver in August. We'll get to Vancouver Sat evening (8/20) and then have 5 1/2 days to see it and Victoria.

The very athletic sights + hikes aren't possible but the gardens: definitely. Yes to fascinating museums and possibly govt buildings, esp if it rains. The Sylvia is booked but we'll stay nearby (Buchan)-- we're both frugal -- but were told there's no parking so use public transportation in Vancouver. I will rent a car in Victoria and we'll fly home from there, I think, rather than returning to Vancouver. (How's the Victoria airport?)

Any suggestions on how to split up the time given the above? My cousin recommended the hydrofoil rather than ferry for the view but must check the price and how strenuous this is. Sights, flowers, culture, people are the focus more than food and luxury (tho iced coffee and tea are super and clean sheets a must!).

There don't seem to be many senior discounts here during the high season. The Crystal Court Motel in Victoria offers this... ?

Your comments are great and yes, you'll get a trip report when we return. Thanks very much in advance.

Artzfan
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Jul 7th, 2005, 04:13 PM
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To start answering the airport question. If you have a choice the Victoria airport is a dream. It is small and really easy and just a delight when compared with the big city airports so definitely depart from there. I don't know where home is - but most flights from Victoria do have a plane change somewhere so that is something to consider.

They hydrofoil doesn't got to Victoria from Vancouver. The bus takes you right on the ferry and delivers you to the bus depot which is right downtown Victoria. As a matter of fact if you are staying at the Crystal Court it is within a block. I don't know if you have reserved there or not but I have been recommending the Shamrock Inn and Suites website http://www.bctravel.com/shamrocksuites/ It is wonderfully located (within a block from bus depot, Royal BC Museum, Legislature buildings). The rooms all have a small kitchenette which is nice if you want to have a cup of coffee, snack or whatever. More importantly the rooms are immaculate and it is right across the street from Beacon Hill Park. The rates there are very good compared to some of the other hotel/motels as well. You will not need a car but the parking is free. From the bus depot you can get a bus rather than an expensive tour to the Butchart Gardens. They are regularly scheduled dropoff and pickups so it isn't like having to get the city bus or pay for the tour to take you there to see the same thing. I would not rent a car ahead of time. Victoria is very visitor friendly and you can see so much within a few blocks in the inner harbour which is where the Shamrock or Crystal Court are located.
The Royal BC Museum is world class and very easy to get around. If your mother should need one they do have wheel chairs. You can have a tour of the Legislature which is the gorgeous building with beautiful grounds I am sure you have seen in pictures. They are free and leave regularly from the front door. The building is a must to see. I recommend that even if it doesn't rain!!!!!

You can always get good tea in Victoria, we are famous for it!! Iced coffee as well we have the usual Starbucks and other coffee houses.

Hope this helps - I will stick to the Victoria advice and leave Vancouver to others even though we live in both places. (Fortunate huh?) Let me know if I can help with anything else.
traveller69 is offline  
Jul 7th, 2005, 04:18 PM
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I forgot to mention that the ferry ride from Vancouver to Victoria is beautiful. You travel through Active Pass between the Islands. If it is nice weather there is nothing nicer than being on deck when you do that. The ferry is also very comfortable with coffee shop, cafeteria and if you do it at meal time they have a delicious buffet in a dining room as well.

Enjoy your visit.
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Jul 24th, 2005, 07:22 AM
  #4  
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Hi Traveller69,
Many thanks for these wonderful tips. Sorry... I just saw them! I'll check out the Shamrock today and compare it with the Crystal Court Motel (not sure if there are cancellation charges - they both seem ideal location-wise).

Thanks to Judy who posted elsewhere, we've got our informal tour schedule made and yes, plan to depart from Victoria homeward. My mother will head to CA and I'll return to the Virginia area. Glad to hear this airport is user-friendly tho I understand there are less flights. I seem to have found a few that will work tho have had some challenges booking online and had to deal with tech staff.

Very enthused about seeing all the sites in Victoria and before that, Vancouver (and before that Banff/Jasper). I hope we've allowed enough time in 2 days -- with Victoria's gardens, the govt buildings, Empress Hotel and tea, and Emily Carr House. And possibly museums.

Ha, does anyone know of a super podiatrist for mom there?!

I'll report back to you and Judy and on our return, provide a trip report.

Thanks so much again! I bet I'll be returning and at that time, see Seattle and Oregon. My cousin just moved to Bend, OR...!

Artzfan
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Jul 24th, 2005, 01:12 PM
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For Traveller69, Judy et al --

Just to let you know that I did get in touch with the very friendly folks at Shamrock. They sound wonderfully hospitable and perhaps on a return trip, I'll stay there. They are completely booked in mid-late August and about $45 more per nite than where my mother and I will be staying.

Good tips re the ferry and my last question (I think) may be a repeat of someone else's: how far in advance must one book the ferry (just us... no car).

For others who may be thinking of going on a semi-budget -- and I realize some of you stay in some very nice places -- here's what I'll report on when we return.

Drake Inn in Canmore (wonder if the music in the pub is an asset!)

Alpine Village, Jasper (mixed reviews)

Buchan Hotel, Vancouver (No A/C -- Sylvia was booked)

Crystal Court Motel, Victoria

So, now I'm ordering the bug repellent and leaving this super site for a while! Again, many thanks!

Artzfan
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Jul 24th, 2005, 03:39 PM
  #6  
 
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Thanks for updating us on your plans. I do hope you have a wonderful time. You don't have to book the ferry if you are taking the bus or walking on - it is only people driving their cars on that should reserve if time is tight. I know you will love Victoria and just peak at the Shamrock while you are there it is within a block from your motel. I am looking forward to your trip report on your return. By the way when you get off the bus in the terminal in Victoria just look for the sign (or ask someone) regarding the bus to Butchart. As I said - don't pay for a tour when they run a bus to and from the gardens at regular intervals.

Again - have a wonderful time!
PS - You certainly won't need your bug repellant in Victoria!!!!

I will find out about a podiatrist for you and email you.
traveller69 is offline  
Jul 27th, 2005, 04:04 AM
  #7  
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Hi!
Am having a bit of trouble w/ hotmail but will keep trying! (Judy has my email addresses... she's been amazing!) T-you again for the info. Am certainly hoping my mom WON'T need a podiatrist --she's generally AOK.

I need to read up on the ferry a bit more so thanx for the info -- to both you and Judy.

Good -- then we'll use up our bug repellent in Banff/Jasper -- I imagine Victoria is like DC in re insects (DC is swamp land so we're probably worse).

You'll definitely get a trip report. Hope to help you similarly down here in the "South" -- the nation's capitol... don't recommend it right now: HOT!

Now to investigate Priceline, etc for those rental cars in the Rockies... I may switch! Others seemed to get better deals via that route.

Thx again!

Artzfan
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Aug 1st, 2005, 12:22 PM
  #8  
 
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Pacific Coach Lines is the bus for your trip from Vancouver to Victoria. I've used them a few times and it is so convenient. Best to go to the bus/train station and buy your tickets there, then your luggage is loaded, you sit for a few more pick ups before you reach the ferry. Then remember what parking level you're on, and head on out to upper decks of ferry for 1 1/2 hours and enjoy the view, have something to eat, or sit and relax. An announcement will be made that arrival is soon and you find your way back to the bus for the ride to downtown Victoria. Easy! Google for their website or more info. You're in for a great trip!
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