Victoria BC - sightseeing questions

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Feb 7th, 2008, 12:23 PM
  #1
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Victoria BC - sightseeing questions

Hello, All, we'll dock in Victoria for a part of the day only, scheduled from 12 noon till 7 pm, trying to figure out how to plan our time.

Stumbled upon the Miniature World - is this for kids or adults? Attached to the Empress Hotel on Government St - is there a bus to take me from the dock?

As we are not interested in the hotel itself, and no tea thank you, I wonder if it's worth going, how difficult is it to get there?

The horse wagon looks appealing

Also, Pacific Undersea Gardens, is it a vessel, you feel the motion, it goes up and down? Not sure if we'll feel like going from one ship to another, the eldest in our group is 81 and will need a change for sure!

Or is it a docked vessel and it works like a museum with displays and shows?
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Feb 7th, 2008, 01:27 PM
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Minature World is more for kids (quite frankly I think of it as a tourist trap but that is just my opinion). There is a shuttle from the dock to in front of the Empress.

Undersea Gardens is a docked vessel in the Inner Harbour. I haven't been there for years so can't comment on how worthwhile it is.

Butchart Gardens is always worthwhile seeing (I would take the ship's tour).

Walking in Victoria is a great pastime. You could take the shuttle into town (it's only about a 20 minute walk) and wander around the Inner Harbour.

Check out the Royal British Columbia Museum - it is well worth a visit. www.royalbcmuseum.bc.ca.
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Feb 7th, 2008, 03:40 PM
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We spent a week in the area on spring break a couple years ago. Miniature World was ok, but with limited time I would definitely skip it. The Undersea Gardens were a horrible tourist trap. Truly a waste of time. The Boyal BC Museum was excellent! Same with Butchart Gardens. Those two would fill your day nicely.
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Feb 7th, 2008, 04:06 PM
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I fully agree with the above posters who suggested Butchart Gardens and the Royal BC Museum.

I am not a garden person, but Butchart is special, even to me.

The museum has a lot to offer in a small space.

One year when we were there the museum had a special exhibit on Egytology complete with sarcophagi and mummies.

In the 2 hours that we had before closing, that was as far as we got. Finally the guard threw us all out well after closing because a group of us got wrapped up in a lecture by an archaeologist in how the Egyptians made mummies.

The presenter was quite willing to talk as long as we listened and asked questions; unfortunately, the guard was not all that enthralled with the presence of people in the museum 20 minutes after the closing bell. Spoilsport!!

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Feb 8th, 2008, 07:51 AM
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I wonder if I speak russian to the guard, will he still be able to throw me out! Want to go in just for this experience

Thank you all, your comments are most helpful!
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Feb 8th, 2008, 09:33 AM
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I would have to agree with the other posts. We spent 3 days in Victoria and loved the place.
The butchart gardens are a must and we got the greyhound bus which operates a drop off and pick up service which included entrance tickets. (From memory we spent about 4 hours here including the bus time)

As the Greyhound bus depot isn't far from the BC Museum you could do both in a day. Again the BC Museum was very good and on the day we went they had a special interactive area for children (don't know if this is a permanent feature though) - Word of warning it gets very busy (So you may be best doing this after the gardens - The website gives you a guide to the quiet times).

We also did a whale watching trip which lasted about 3 hours and were lucky enough to see about 50 Orca Whales (a great memory) and the boat crew were extremely helpful and informative (Oh and they were handy with brown bags for those feeling sea sick - me included)

The crew also told us about a seal which had found an easy way to catch fish. This clever seal had found the fish seller at the harbour and waited at the waters edge waiting for people to buy fish and feed him. We went to spot and there was the (fat) seal being hand fed by the adoring public (a great thing we would never have found).

You could do any of these things or simply enjoy the scenery around the harbour (if the weather is good).

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Feb 8th, 2008, 10:11 AM
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Oops must have had dogs on the brain. I meant the Greyline bus.
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Feb 9th, 2008, 10:57 AM
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Faina, when are you coming?

We live near Victoria and I would agree with what you're being told about the various tourist attractions. Miniature World is primarily of interest to kids. Undersea Gardens is a MAJOR rip-off; avoid it! The Museum is wonderful - we go there whenever we have family and friends visiting and they always enjoy it.
You can get one of the little harbour taxis to take you to Fisherman's Wharf if you would like some really wonderful fish & chips; it's pleasant to stroll along there and look at the houseboats. It's not a very big area but quite pretty when the weather cooperates. There is also a seal there who likes being fed and is quite friendly. The fish & chip place is called Barb's.
Butchart Gardens is also worth visiting any time of year. We go there as often as we can.
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Feb 9th, 2008, 12:02 PM
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I actually kind of like Miniature World, but I wouldn't go there in favour of the museum and Butchart's. With your limited time, a ship's tour that includes Butchart's might be a good idea.
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Feb 11th, 2008, 12:08 PM
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I will be in Victoria I think on Monday June 9. Usually should be back on the ship 1 hr before the sailing, which means should leave the downtown area 5-5.30.

I don't want a lunch GTG, anybody up to a cocktail somewhere near the Royal museum? Ahh, timing is not my friend
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Feb 12th, 2008, 10:56 AM
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No, it's actually June 8 Sunday, not Monday.
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Feb 20th, 2008, 11:16 AM
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Anybody in Victoria up to a GTG on Sunday June 8? Is tea at Murchies a good idea?

At what time do they have tea there? Is it one seating or from... to... ? Can a local help me?

"join us for lunch or afternoon tea" is all the website says. Phone 383-3112 can somebody local find out?

Or you think I should forget the GTG idea? Just looking for advice, no hard feelings
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Feb 20th, 2008, 11:46 AM
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Faina - seeing as how I won't be in Victoria when you come I can say this without hurting anyones' feelings. I wouldn't do the GTG when you are so limited on time. By the time you get off the ship and see the museum etc you won't really have much time. Once you get downtown you will find plenty of things to keep you busy for your short stay. Remember you are sailing at 7pm so the all aboard will be just after 6. Come back for a real visit and stay for a few days and we can have a proper GTG
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Feb 25th, 2008, 04:15 PM
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Faina, I'm not sure what my schedule will be like yet - I teach at UVic and I don't have my June information as yet. But I'd definitely be up for tea somewhere. Murchie's is OK - nothing spectacular, but quite pleasant. They don't have specific sittings for afternoon tea. There are other places that are nice too - please remind me. How much time will you have available?
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Feb 26th, 2008, 10:38 AM
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Not much, most likely an hour from 4 to 5 pm. It will be Sunday, will you be working?

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Feb 26th, 2008, 02:57 PM
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I might be - I teach nursing students who are doing practicum placements in surgical nursing. They work regular shifts including nights and weekends. I don't go in every day but I do a lot of Sunday afternoons. The new term starts at the beginning of May and at that point I'll have a better idea about what's going on.
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Feb 27th, 2008, 08:52 AM
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Oh, I see! Let's wait till May, not a problem.
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Feb 27th, 2008, 12:40 PM
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Sounds good! I might know a bit sooner than that - I'll post on this thread when I do.
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