Victoria is the capital of British Columbia, the largest city on Vancouver Island and was our travel hub on the island since all roads go through there (or close enough). Our first arrival on the island was via ferry from Port Angeles, Washington. This is the view of town from the outer harbor which is also approximately where cruise ships to Victoria dock.
After passing through a narrow strait, you're in the inner harbor of Victoria where the car ferry from Washington docks. There is a lot of harbor traffic here, sea planes regularly take off and there are always water taxis crossing.
The Olympic Mountains in Washington can generally be seen to the south from Victoria. On our first arrival into town, Mount Baker in the Cascades was also very notable.
Fisherman's wharf is an area that has built up a bit since our last visit to Victoria. There are several rows of floating houses, a section of restaurants and shops and a nice park. This area is along the nicely signed walk from the cruise ships to the inner harbor (just in case anyone bothers to walk in). Those are cruise ships in the distance looming over town in this picture.
Parliament is the most notable building in downtown Victoria. It's terribly scenic and is conveniently located next to the Museum of British Columbia (which we still have not managed to go to) and the Empress Hotel.
Butchart Gardens seems to be the prime destination for cruise ship passengers to Victoria. We came here many years ago in the Spring and it was relatively uncrowded. I don't know if there just weren't any cruise ships on that day or maybe they hadn't started swarming the city yet. Regardless on this visit the place was packed with people.
We saw this hummingbird at Butchart Gardens as well. The gardens are well worth a visit although they are closer to Sidney and the ferries from Vancouver and Anacortes than they are to Victoria. If you're staying in Victoria without a car, you'll need transportation out here. The flip side of that is that if you're spending your time in downtown Victoria, it's much much easier to not have a car to deal with.