Victoria's Inner Harbour is a winding, sheltered waterway with a long history, beginning with the First Peoples, Spanish and English explorers, Hudson Bay fur traders, gold rush participants and more recently, cruise ship passengers.
Recreational boaters find moorage within walking distance of the Empress Hotel (seen above), the BC Legislative buildings and a host of tourist attractions. On the walls of the Empress you can see the tracery of ivy vines, leafless now, but soon to be covered in green leaves.
The harbour is not just a pretty place, but a working harbour, too. Float planes and ferries take turns coming and going. SALTS stands for Sail and Life Training Society. The society owns two beautiful tall ships, the Pacific Grace and the Pacific Swift, seen in the foreground of the first photo. The society exists to teach sailing and life skills to young people (1700 per year) from all walks of life.
The Pacific Grace is 115 feet long and has 38 berths. Compare that to the Bounty (of the famed Mutiny on the Bounty) with a length of almost 91 feet and a crew of 46. Tight quarters for a voyage that lasted a couple of years. Lots of opportunities for learning to get along with people. On the Bounty that didn't work out so well.
Not everyone wants to sail a tall ship, and these little water taxis are a great option. They have a route along the waterway with stops where passengers can get on and off to see the sights.
One of the most beautiful buildings is now the Bateman Centre. It features the art of wildlife artist Robert Bateman. There's also a restaurant in the building. It was originally built as a steamship terminal to service passengers arriving or departing on ships traveling between Victoria and Hong Kong. Such lovely architectural details.
When we walked along the water, hyacinths were just coming into bloom. Mass plantings filled the air with fragrance.
These blooms have a great view of the water. Tourist season is beginning and it's fun to hear all kinds of languages as we walk along the Inner Harbour.
I'm always surprised by how many people mention that they have visited this small city on Vancouver Island. Have you?
Linking to Sunlit Sunday, hosted by Karen.