We had an incredible start to our second day in Victoria, BC, visiting the Craigdarroch Castle and having Afternoon Tea at the Empress Hotel. After an early afternoon siesta we were ready to venture out again, so we started with a few happy hour spots before taking a leisurely walk around the harbor and Laurel Point.
With a fun patio overlooking the water, we weren’t surprised it was busy, but our wait wasn’t just because it was a beautiful day– it was because they offered 50 cent oysters in the half shell on Fridays!
We hid in the shade until we were seated and after a quick menu reviewed ordered drinks and a dozen oysters each.
It was lively inside and although I wouldn’t have imagined it after our awesome tea, I was starving by the time our food arrived. Bon appetit!
Next we wandered down Bastion Square to Garrick’s Head Pub, an English-style pub that’s been in operation since 1867, making it one of the oldest pub’s in Canada. We sat along the windows overlooking the square and across to the Irish Times Pub so we enjoyed excellent people watching as we perused the lengthy draft beer list.
We settled on a couple of drinks and risotto balls, which came with a yummy marinara sauce and parmesan cheese. They didn’t last long!
Having whet our appetites, we asked our server the best place to share an order of fish and chips. She recommended Fisherman’s Wharf so we set off on a walk around the harbor and along the Laurel Point trails. The trails hug the water and offer beautiful views of downtown as well as the ships coming in and out of the docks. There were families, runners and people with pets all strolling along the water as we made our way around to the wharf.
Brian waited in line for Barb’s Fish n’ Chips, supposedly the best in Victoria, while I grabbed us seats at a community picnic table, and we indulged among hundreds of people wandering around the restaurants and shops just off the trail. The colorful houseboats were pretty in the setting sun, but my favorite moment was when we caught sight of a seal playing along the edge of the dock. S/he kept popping up, obviously accustomed to tourists being noisy and taking pictures, and Brian captured an awesome photo!
After we ate, we walked back along the trails and enjoyed what we could see of the sunset. A woman who was pushing her kid in a stroller ahead of us on the trail stopped to point something out to him, and it was a bevy of otters! There were six who were splashing and playing along the house boats, and we stopped to watch for a while.
The Victoria BC Ska and Reggae Festival was underway in the harbor the duration of our visit, and it was fun hearing the music as we admired the boats and walked over to Ship Point Night Market. I had stumbled upon the market only because I was trying to figure out where to buy the Terrible Truffles I kept reading about online. We found the booth and I tried a delicious Fleur de Sel truffle, which is dark chocolate with sea salt, while Brian tried the Aztec truffle, which is dark chocolate infused with crushed red pepper. Perfect dessert!
I was losing steam so I sat on some wooden railroad ties and watched the people strolling out along the dock while Brian took pictures around the harbor. The buildings are all lit at night and beautiful. He packed his tripod so he was able to get some beautiful night shots. It was another wonderful day, and night!, in Victoria!