TransAmerican Cruise?

If you consider cruising aboard a seaworthy vessel from one North American country to another, then “transamerican” fits our trip from Port Angeles on Washington’s north coast across the Strait of Juan de Fuca to Victoria, British Columbia, perfectly!

This late August morning, the fog lay in a thick band across the water, and we wondered about the day’s weather. But as we pulled into the port, blue skies and a gorgeous day awaited us.

Ellen was quickly mesmerized by the tiny tour boats and big water taxis, but the vendors along the waterfront were an easy distraction.

Artists offering everything from quick sketches to Native crafts lined the walkway.

With just 400 square feet of living space, it’s much easier to admire the wares and walk on than it was when we had 3000 square feet!

After a quick stop to the visitor’s center for a city map and a recommendation for lunch, we strolled along Wharf Street to Nautical Nelly’s, where we tried their fish and chips (not as good as Fin’s in Port Townsend), dining beneath the awning on their outdoor patio.

It was a nice meal, but next time we’ll have to try the spot on the waterfront that was also recommended — Redfish — or a grab-n-go sort of place farther down the street near Bastion Square. Next time!

Chinatown was a must…

…and although we couldn’t shop for fruits or veggies, we did find some beautiful kimono-styled wraps that make great robes for warm temps!

We’d heard Victoria was a great place to shop, and we weren’t disappointed. Even though we wouldn’t buy much, the shops themselves — and the city — were fun to discover and explore.

Of course, Ellen can’t resist popping into bookstores when we come across them — and Munro’s Books, a large, stately, independent store was a must-see. It’s been described as “the most magnificent bookstore in Canada, possible in North America,” and it is.

Ah, this is what makes a great city greater: a place to eat ice cream or sip a coffee, people-watch…

…and have a bit of fun:

We also spotted the perfectly-named spot where certain writer-friends of Ellen’s might want to consider staying if they make their way out here (you know who you are!):

The day flew by, and before long it was time to head back to the ferry. The Victoria Express was celebrating its 20th anniversary, which meant our tickets were $20 for the round trip — well worth it!

And the experience? Well, you know… priceless!

PS to Richard and his sweetheart of many years: What an amazing coincidence we were here on the same day — maybe on the same ferry! If only we’d known at the time! Perhaps we’ll have another chance to meet should our paths cross again 🙂

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About Ellen

Fiction writer and photographer, I travel the country with my sweetheart of a husband as a "full-time RVer."
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