Saturday, 17 July 2010

Victoria, beautiful but is it British?

MP3 track of the day - Scream - Keri Hilson

Weather - Guess what ... another beautiful hot day in Victoria with a cool breeze and fluffy white clouds ... perfect

Well you may recall yesterday that the plan was to have tea (nachos and cheese) and then an early night ... well that didn't happen. Instead the guy who I was playing pool with yesterday invited me to play teams at pool against two Quebec girls. This was fine by me as long as it didn't go on too long but little did I know that I would soon be going out for a drink in town with them. To be fair it was a nice night; the two Quebec girls were travelling for a month and were planning to head to Alaska (therefore they were asking me for info about my recent trip). The only slight uncomfortableness about the whole situation, for me, was that one sister was 19 and the other 15 (11 years younger than me ... though she didn't look it) ... I felt very, very old and it felt like I was taking my daughters out for a drink.

Luckily we came back to the hostel around 10:30pm and I could then go to bed. However I didn't sleep all that well as the hostel is situated right in the centre of town and it was Friday night (hence loud music and lines of people waiting for a taxi right outside my window). To make matters worse some guy got up early and, for some reason, was fixated in trying to make as much noise with a plastic bag as humanly possible ... therefore I woke up at 8:30am and got ready and headed down for breakfast. At breakfast I met the two Quebec girls and the guy I played pool with yesterday; after eating I said my goodbyes and off I went into the city.

Victoria is a beautiful but compact city and so it didn't take long for me to see, and photograph, all the sights. The only problem was that the Chinese battle buses (which I haven't seen for about a month ... the Chinese don't seem to like Alaska) were in full flow and the Chinese were everywhere (but more importantly, they were getting in the way of my photography ... AGAIN). After photographing the Empress Hotel and the Parliament Buildings (among other sights) I headed to the Beacon Hill Park, which was very beautiful with all the flowers in full bloom.

After this I headed into town to purchase some Victoria Creams (vanilla and raspberry) from Rogers chocolates which, apparently, ship (probably at our expense) Victoria Creams to our Queen ... well if they are good enough for 'ma rm' then they are going enough for me, and so I purchase two for lunch.

Back at the hostel I made my lunch of cheese sandwiches, oranges and Victoria Creams and sat down to eat it. Being a bit of a 'chocolate expert' (even if I do say so myself) I would give the Rogers Victoria Creams a 6/10.

The way the chocolate is presented, within a checked pink paper casing is okay, however the presentation of the circular dark chocolate itself is very bland and uninteresting. The size of the Victoria Creams are too large (too big for 'ones' mouth) and the texture of the filling is too dense. However the contrast between the dark chocolate and filling (whether vanilla or raspberry) is well matched ... but I feel 'mar ms' palette would be better served with Belgium chocolates which, overall, are at a much higher quality.

After my chocolate tasting I left my bag at the hostel and I went window shopping. I love souvenir shops; each has the same tat, but each displays it in a slightly different way. I went in most of the shops down the main high street and found two funny t-shirts I really like ... however they were pretty expensive and so, before I decided to purchase them, I thought I might look online to see if I can get them any cheaper.

And this is where I am now; tonight I hope to have an early night however a exchange group of 44x 16-18 year olds have just turned up. Already they have managed to make more noise than a Formula 1 race and so I have a feeling tonight might not be as peaceful as I hoped ... joy of joy!

Having walked around the 'downtown' area of Victoria all day, I can quite confidently say that only parts of the city are, in any way, related to British design. The Parliament building looks a little British however the Empress Hotel looks more Mediterranean / French; there are a few Victorian buildings, with their bay windows, but these are very few and far between. To me Victoria would look a little out of place within the UK.

Tomorrow I might go to the Royal British Columbia museum, still not sure yet.

Toodle Pip!

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