Continuing our Stampin' Up Alaska incentive trip narrative...We had such a woefully short stop-over in Victoria, the night before disembarking the Infinity, that we weren't sure what to book as far as an excursion. But as soon as I heard the word "castle," I clicked on the one that combined the world-famous Butchart Gardens with Craigdarroch Castle, and we had a winner. I won't be sharing any photos of the castle, because they turned out very poorly (we were there at about ten p.m. and the lighting was the pits). I am very glad I bought a pack of postcards, because it was a very interesting house, only lived in for eighteen years before becoming a variety of public institutions. If you get a chance to go see it, please do! Wish we'd had more time there.
We did get to spend quite a bit of daylight at Butchart Gardens, for which I am so thankful! I have NEVER seen a place like this--it just went on and on and on, each new vista a completely different theme. Around the turn of the last century, a concrete magnet's wife took the ugly old panned-out quarry her husband's business left behind, and turned it into a floral fairyland. It was just an utter feast for the senses.
We were there right as tulip season was starting to wane. The guide said in another couple of days all the tulips would be removed and replaced with annuals. I'd rather see the tulips! Someone in our group had been to Holland and said Butchart Gardens rivaled anything she'd seen there. The only thing we missed out on was the roses--still all tightly furled, but with imagination you could see what a glorious place it must be in the summer.
What a pleasant evening! I was just glad to be off the boat as I had been fairly seasick. But Butchart Gardens was more than I ever imagined--if you ever get to go, be sure to plan at least three hours there.