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Report 1953: Vancouver/Vancouver Island/Seattle July/August 2011

By Panda from UK, Summer 2011

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Page 4 of 12: Day 4 Ferry to Victoria

photo by Panda

View from Oswego Hotel, Victoria

This was our day to pick up the rental car and leave for Vancouver Island. Having checked out, my husband and I left our daughter in charge of the luggage in reception whilst we headed a few blocks towards the Hertz location on Granville Street. As we entered the office, we were dismayed to see one s...l...o...w moving clerk on duty , with a very long line - out of the door - of disgruntled and anxious customers waiting to get cars. As we queued, we realised that the other people waiting outside and on the (few) chairs were not with those in the line, but customers who had completed paperwork an hour ago and were still waiting for cars. The couple in front were heading for the Tsawwassen ferry port like us and they looked as if they were certainly not going to make the one they had booked on. I thought my carefully planned itinerary was going to fall apart right at the beginning as our chances of another ferry on the Saturday of a holiday weekend looked remote. An anxious hour and a half later, we finally got our car and returned to a very bored luggage minder, packed up and drove quickly to the port in time.

It is a beautiful ride on the ferry to Swartz Bay, sailing between wooded islands and then an easy drive south to Victoria. The Oswego hotel is on a quiet side street, in the James Bay neighbourhood, near to the harbour and the Parliament Buildings. I had booked a two-bedroom suite (thought my daughter deserved a bedroom for her birthday, rather than a pull out couch!) and we were told at check in we had been allocated a Premium (an upgrade from the Standard one that I had booked). It is the same type of room, but higher, so that there was a view. A fantastic view, actually right over to the Olympic peninsula from our bedroom and across the entrance to the harbour from the terrace. It was a great little apartment: two bedrooms, two bathrooms, sitting and dining space and a very well equipped kitchen. It was all very stylishly furnished and spotlessly clean. After unpacking and settling in, we took a 10 minute walk to the supermarket to buy essentials and supper, enjoying the pleasant wide and quiet streets of the neighbourhood. An evening walk around the harbour, followed by a quiet glass of wine on the terrace, admiring the view ended the day less stressfully than it had begun.

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