Alright, you got me.
As it turns out, I do occasionally make expeditions into cities; and I usually do so voluntarily. I’d actually say that I quite like cities. In the same way that you can come to understand the environment and geography of a place by getting out into its natural areas, you can come to understand the culture and the people of a place by going into its urban centers. That was what brought me to Victoria.
I had just found out that I was going to the Olympic Peninsula to spend Thanksgiving break with my grandfather when an idea crossed my mind: “Hey… that’s right by Canada.” And I was right. In fact, to get to Victoria, British Columbia––the capital of B.C.––you simply need to get to Port Angeles, Washington, which is only 30 minutes from my grandfather’s house. Then, you jump onto the Coho passenger ferry for a 90 minute trip complete with gorgeous scenery. Finally, passport in hand, you’re off on a whirlwind of new adventures that can only be found within the borders of our northern neighbor.
Let me start out by saying that the city is beautiful. On a clear day, you can see the Olympic Mountains across the Straight of Juan de Fuca, as well as some of the interior topography of British Columbia. Within 10 minutes of downtown, you can see the province’s legislative building, walk the coastline, explore the marina, shop in Chinatown, and visit countless coffee shops. And, if you have a little more time for your visit, you could easily take public transportation two hours out of town and get into some serious, world-class outdoors in the Provincial National Parks.
For me, this trip was kind of an eye opener. Even though I’ve lived in the northern end of the U.S. all of my life, I had never visited Canada. And even though I knew that Tacoma was merely a few hours away from Canada, I had never really considered Canada as a place that I could explore while in school. Man was I wrong.
I would highly recommend making it a point to explore Victoria and the surrounding area at least once while attending Puget Sound. It’ll be a trip you won’t forget, and you’ll finally get to dust off your old passport.