Tuesday, 17 June 2008, marked the second day of our stay in Vancouver and it was on this date that Nena and I joined a whole day tour of Victoria. The tour bus came to pick us up at the Day's Inn in downtown Vancouver where we were billeted and proceeded to the British Columbia Ferry Terminal for our trip to Victoria. The BC Ferry sail between Tsawwassen, 37 kilometres south of Vancouver, and Swartz Bay, 32 kilometres north of Victoria. Ferries on this route start their 1-1/2 hour crossings at 7 am and run until 9 pm.

British Columbia Ferry Services Inc. or BC Ferries provides all major passenger and vehicle ferry services for coastal and island communities in the Canadian province of British Columbia. Set up in 1960, BC Ferries has become the largest passenger ferry line in North America and the second largest in the world, boasting a fleet of 37 vessels with a total passenger and crew capacity of over 27,000, serving 49 locations on the B.C. coast.

As our tour bus exited out of the BC Ferry ramp, we then headed for Butchart Gardens which is a group of floral display gardens in Brentwood Bay, British Columbia, near Victoria on Vancouver Island. It is an internationally-known tourist attraction which receives more than a million visitors each year. The Butchart Gardens is tucked into a serene 50-acre country estate on the southeast corner of Vancouver Island.

The Butchart Gardens is one of Victoria's more popular garden tour attractions. The network of paved paths meander around exploring meadows and gardens of flowers blossoming in reds, blues, yellows, whites and oranges. The trails lead to ponds and fountains, walking over wooden bridges and crossing over rumbling creeks. Many paths loop in circles leading to viewing benches, shelters and open grass fields. The Butchart Gardens is a wonderful opportunity to be surrounded in vibrant colors and floral scents.

But not all is what it seems. The Butchart Gardens actually started as a limestone quarry in the early 1900's. After some time the quarry then became the Victoria Butchart Gardens. In 2004, the Butchart Gardens celebrated its 100th year in operation since the quarry days. Media from around the world often recognize the Butchart Gardens as one of the must-see sunken gardens, tea houses and rose gardens in the world.

The many photographs I took during our tour of the Butchart Gardens will probably show how beautiful it is and why so many people go there. To view the photographs, just click on the link shown below:

The Butchart Gardens

Enjoy your cyberspace tour of the Butchart Gardens. I have to tell you though that going there will really be worth it.