The world famous Butchart Gardens
Brentwood Bay Travel Blog› entry 3 of 5 › view all entries
The Butchart Gardens is a 10 minute drive from Victoria's city centre. As you enter, the welcome sign says "over 100 years in bloom". Apparently, they're not kidding! This is the biggest garden in North America with an area of about 50 acres. The history of the place is even more interesting. This land plot, about 15 miles away from Victoria was originally a limestone quarry which got exhausted, and land was just lying waste. So Mrs.Butchart converted the area into the "sunken garden" and opened it for public display at the start of the 20th century. Since then, they've built an Italian garden, rose garden and Japanese garden, and also converted their house into public display as well (they serve high tea here for a high price).
I'm not a garden or a flower fan...I couldn't tell a tulip from a rose, and so I obviously wasn't the keenest when I heard the fees to get in is 25$. Say what?! But given all the kudos this place was getting, I told myself it must be something if so many people can rave about it. So I decided to go. And I'm glad I did.
It's amazing. Even for non-gardners or non-plant lovers like me. It's not even about the types of flowers they've grown, it's just the arrangements, the landscaping, the colours, etc. It's not the easiest thing growing plants, trying to make sure they grow a certain height, or they grow in a pattern, but all that has been done here. It's spectacular. I'm typically eyeing out for the historical places on any visit I make. So even though this place isn't a Castle or a monument or anything "historically significant", it's still something that I'll never forget.
I stayed in the garden for a couple of hours and headed back to the hostel at 8pm.
My roommates didn't seem the friendliest, but 2 of them were ok. One was a Canadian who was working at the hostel (and hence staying for free). The other was a German boy (yes, the Germans return!). His name is David, he's all of just 19 years old and already has a credit card, and just hitchhiked from Port Hardy to Victoria. Wow! Anyway we got on to talking, we both hadn't had dinner so we went to a Thai rsnt in the city centre - Baan Thai. Food was awful, service was good, prices were expensive and they don't accept credit cards. S**t! Once dinner was done, David and I went walking to the harbour - it was lovely. The Parliament house was lit up, tons of street artistes playing by the promenade, very active and lively, totally enjoyed it. Victoria city centre is a very outdoor-ish place, with lots of pubs and areas for the younger gen to socalise in. We hung around for about 30 minutes at the harbour before heading back and sleeping. I had been awake from 4am so I badly needed the rest.
Review of the hostel is right below...