Victoria is picture perfect – horses pull carriages down Government Street; red flowers, fountains and rolling green lawns welcome you to the British Columbia Parliament Buildings; crystal chandeliers hang above elegantly dressed guests enjoying high tea at The Empress Hotel; friendly little Canadian ladies sell hand-made dolls and jewelery under baskets of flowers near Bastion Square; and everyone is celebrating Summer in the sunshine. Unfortunately though, between work and my other plans for my whirlwind trip of Canada, I only had an afternoon to explore Victoria.
After wandering through Downtown, along the Inner Harbour and quickly popping into the Parliament Buildings and The Empress Hotel, I decided to join the locals for a drink in the sun. Excited for my seaplane trip to Vancouver that evening, I decided to sit outside at Lido Waterfront Bistro which provides the perfect vantage point to watch the seaplanes take off and land. Next to me, the friendliest bunch of Canadian realtors were discussing their Summer vacation plans over a few drinks at their Summer work party. After listening to their plans (which makes me think that the property market maybe a little quiet in Victoria this summer), I got to telling them about my exciting plan to take a seaplane to Vancouver later that day. Quite surprised that I had never taken a seaplane before, they recommended that when I check in, I ask if there is a co-pilot and if not then they said it’s likely that I will be allowed to sit in the co-pilots seat. Excited by the prospect of flying shotgun, I arrived at the seaplane terminal early but was told that I would have to ask the pilot myself when boarding. As I stepped onto the plane, the pilot was there to welcome me aboard and I asked if the best seat in the plane was available for me. He corrected me but said that I could go ahead and take the SECOND best seat in the plane! Giddy with excitement, I climbed up front, popped on my seat belt and pilots head set and enjoyed the most incredible 35 minute flight from Victoria Harbour to Vancouver Harbour taking in the views of the islands and mainland and listening to the seaplane pilots talk about the position of sea otters to avoid. I’m not sure that I can describe the journey any better than to share some of my photographs.