Brisbane, QLD

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Three weeks ago we set off on a new adventure. We flew to Victoria, British Columbia via Sydney and Vancouver. We were met by the guides from 'Scenic Tours' and transferred to The Empress Hotel in a posh, black, limousine bus.
The chateaux style Edwardian hotel was designed by Francis Rattenbury for Canadian Pacific Hotels and it was completed in 1908. Since then it has had many renovations and VIP guests including royalty and film stars.

We had a room overlooking the inner harbour. There were lots of people on the wharf cheering and shouting.

Soon we could see why. It was the Dragon Boat race day.

It was a hot summer's day and we swapped our winter clothes for cooler ones and went for a walk along the water front.

The streets are lined with hundreds of these beautiful baskets of flowers and many interesting buildings.

A sculpture in a busy, bustling city square.

The bed looked inviting after such a long trip from Australia but we had a meet and greet dinner in the Kipling Restaurant named after Rudyard Kipling, who was a regular visitor. There were almost 100 people on the tour but we were split into two groups for two coaches.

That evening we enjoyed the sunset out of our window and marvelled at the thought of being on the other side of the world ready to discover parts of Canada and Alaska.


  1. Oh goodie, the story of your trip. That looks like a great hotel to stay at.

  2. WOW! Looks amazing!
    Welcome home Diane and Bill.
    Already you have whet my appetite and I await future posts.

  3. What a wonderful trip, Diane & Bill!
    I hope to see your chronicles and pictures from the trip.
    Happy return!

  4. Wow! I'd love to stay there sometime. I've got to get a passport.

  5. Good to see you're back, a great trip. Looking forward to the following photo's.

  6. Beautiful place. I especially love the flowers on the streets. Makes it so lovely. Glad you shared with us.

  7. Welcome, welcome to the north. I know you and Bill will have a great time, Diane.

    I love, love, love the western Canada landscape and I love, love, love Alaska. One of my favorite places.

    Did Birthday Bear get to come to the northern hemisphere with you?

  8. Hi Diane, Welcome back... I have missed you two so much--and cannot wait to see and read all about your trip. George and I want to go to Alaska next Summer--so we need all of the pointers you can give us.

    I told a couple of my non-blogging friends about your blog since they just returned from an Alaskan Cruise. I hope they'll take time to look at yours.

    That hotel looks fabulous. And your view was great. Did you all stay with your group all of the time--or did people do different things? I don't really want to be too tied down to a group.

    How's that new grandson????

  9. What a fantastic trip, and such lovely photos. You sound like you had a marvelous time. And I just love that hotel - looks like an old English country estate.

  10. I like that header, too. Gives a feel of you both grabbing the future with both hands!!

    Must be such a shock to go from winter to summer like that, and I gather their summer is full-on even now.

    Love that last shot of the city at night. Did you take a tripod with you?

    Lead on McDuff ...

  11. Your header is amazing!!!


  12. No tripod Julie, just elbows on the windowsill.

  13. Diane

    I doubt if I'll be bored, but I will go various shades of GREEN!
    Great new header - BUT you are rugged up and it is supposed to be summer over there. Imagine what it must be like in winter - UGH!! Brrr.
    Colin (HB)

  14. Very Interesting!
    Thank You!

  15. That looks a brilliant place to visit. I think I'd enjoy even if it was rather cool.

  16. I can't wait to hear about your whole trip! You were in my side of the world, but places I've never been. Exciting!

  17. Hope totally beautiful, and what a blessing to enjoy this with someone you love so much, Bill.

    I adore the photo in your header. I look forward to seeing many beautiful photos you took.

  18. Very nice. The hotel is really nice. Those plants outside are like animals! Great view fromn yr room. A beautiful place.

  19. Welcome home! I'm looking forward to reading about and seeing photos of your vacation adventure. Wonderful beginning! Love the header photo.

  20. Welcome home!
    It looks like you had a great start to your trip! Isn't Victoria beautiful? Can't wait to hear more about your trip!

  21. Wow what a beautiful hotel, looks like a castle ! I can imagine that your head (and computer) is full of hundreds of pictures to be sorted out !

  22. Lovely place and good photos. Welcome back Diane and Bill

  23. Hi Diane.... A new header, a new adventure. Good one!!!
    It's been boring without you - look forward to travelling along on all your blogs to come.
    What a grand old hotel in a wonderful location. How many rooms?? The trees out front on the grass look like mini dinosaurs.
    Loved the night photo.
    Regards.... Mary Bear

  24. Would love to do that trip. I'm green with envy.

  25. Just as beautiful as I remember. One of my favorite things about the city is all of the beautiful flowers. It looks like your trip got off to a great start.

  26. Wunderschöne Fotos, die mich noch mehr auf meinen nächsten Urlaub freuen lassen. In ca. 4 Wochen soll es losgehen. Nach einer Rundreise durch die Nationalparks im Westen Kanadas bin ich zum Schluss auch noch auf Vancouver Island und habe mich für 3 Nächte im Empress Hotel eingemietet. Dein Foto von dem Hotel ist übrigens viel schöner, als in meinen Reisekatalogen!

    Viele Grüße aus Deutschland!