Thursday, October 28, 2010

A short trip to Victoria

My day job has offices around the world, including an office in Victoria, British Columbia.

Recently I was offered a chance to take a short trip to Victoria, to meet our Canadian employees and do some technical exchange work. Although most of the time was spent in airplanes, hotels, and conference rooms, I still had a chance to look around Victoria and get a quick taste of what seems to be a fascinating part of the world.

Our office in Canada is small, but quite successful. It is about evenly split between Technical Support and Product Development. I tremendously enjoyed meeting both teams, and we found we had plenty to discuss in the short time available.

When not in the office, I had a few chances to walk around downtown Victoria. Our hotel was the Magnolia; I recommend it very highly. The location is superb, the facilities were excellent, and the service was top-notch.

If you get to travel to Victoria, look for a direct flight. Although there are many connections via Seattle, Vancouver, etc., it is vastly superior to fly directly to Victoria.

Everyone in Victoria was extraordinarily kind and welcoming. My favorite story: on the stretch of road in front of the Fairmont Empress, there is a lane available adjacent to the curb. This lane is marked for parking, with signs:

Tourist Parking Only, 6:00 AM to 9:00 PM

The signs are observed!

I took a few pictures on my walks. Unfortunately, the picture of the statue of Emily Carr with her monkey Woo and her poodle Billy came out too blurry to post, but here's a nice website with the details.

Here's a picture I took of the memorial which documents the 1825 treaty that ceded British Columbia and the Yukon from Russia to Canada:
From BryanVictoria2010

And here's a picture of a nice statue of Captain Cook, who travelled to the island in 1778 I believe.
From BryanVictoria2010

Near the end of the plaque, it reads:

Also on the voyage was Midshipman George Vancouver.

Here's a couple nice views of our office:
From BryanVictoria2010

From BryanVictoria2010

And here's the view from the hotel (I told you it was a nice location):
From BryanVictoria2010

That's the Fairmont Empress in the foreground, and the Parliament building in the background. In between them is the Royal BC Museum, though you can't really see it in this picture.

Yes, it was rainy, and cold, and grey, but I enjoyed it very much.

Hopefully I'll get a chance to return, perhaps in the spring, when they say the flowers are in bloom and it's one of the prettiest spots on the planet.

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