On Saturday, we went to Victoria, a bus and ferry trip away on Vancouver Island. It's meant to be the retirement capital of Canada, and also the place with the most British-born citizens. It was so different from Vancouver, no high-rise apartments and skyscrapers and so quiet in general. It was really pretty. We got lucky with our hostel and had a six-bed dorm just for us the first night, and a nice quiet couple the second night. I really liked the hostel; right by the waterfront, really high ceilings and just generally a very chilled out place. On Saturday we walked to Beacon Hill Park, which is partly really well-kept, but also quite wild in places. We walked up the hill to see a view of the sea and what Seamus tells me was mountains in Washington. There was a peacock wandering around. He was cool.
The city's a bit touristy, and very British...lots of fish and chip shops, and souvenir shops specialising in irish/scottish/english gifts. I imagine it would be a lovely place to live, but unless you indulge in the expensive, supertouristy attractions (waxwork museum, undersea gardens etc), the nicest thing to do it just walk around. On Saturday evening we got some cider from the off license, it's this British Columbian cider called Growers and it's really good. So we drank some and played the North American Genus edition of Trivial Pursuit, difficult only for the high proportion of baseball-related questions. Seamus won, but barely.
On Sunday, we walked all the way round the waterfront, it was very cold but sunny. The best part was that we saw seals! We went to the harbour, and a guy had bought some fish from the market and was holding them out of the water, and this seal was jumping out and taking the fish from his hand. I loved it! We got kind of transfixed and had to stay there for ages watching. Man, seals are cute. There was a second one too, and they were doing puppy dog eyes at us to try and make us feed them. It was my favourite thing in Victoria.
On Monday, we went to the University of Victoria and walked around a big garden, and saw giant squirrels and wild rabbits which didn't look wild but were also very large. Seriously, animals are all huge here....the seagulls are bigger, I swear. Anyway, we came back Monday evening, and are now back in the same Vancouver hostel room. We're here for a week now. There's this massive school party at the moment here, and they are awful. So badly-behaved. I met a cute kid on the bus yesterday, we spent the journey making faces at each other, but these kids make me feel a little murderous. Today we're doing laundry, food shopping and hopefully setting up bank accounts. Photos of Victoria later!