Into the City with SkyCorps: Being a tourist in your own town

A simple trip to the capital city of Victoria suddenly seemed like a great time to put my photography skills to use outside the home. Okay I’ll be honest here, I don’t have some super great camera or know the perfect way to take a picture (in my mind it’s point and shoot), but I at least know enough on how to take a pretty okay shot.

But before we get into the photos, I’ll begin from the beginning on how and why I ventured down south to the capital.

It’s no big secret my eyes aren’t that good, so every once and a while I need to go get them checked. That was my reason for skipping school Monday. This of course is a challenge when you have no car (that’s for another time) so the only option is to take the early morning commuter bus. Waking up at 5AM, my Mom, sister and I readied for the day trip ahead. Taking a 4 minute, $11.00 taxi ride to the bus stop, we waited out in the cold for a few minutes before the big green and white bus rolled up.

Departing at 6:10AM, our adventure had begun! My generous sister offered her iPod Nano to me to listen to the newly downloaded Sword Art Online OST, and suddenly the bus ride became this epic journey through the early dawn. So there I sat, like a boss, with my sister’s pink iPod in hand listening to the SAO OST… and nobody gave a sh*t. Then again everyone else was either on their phone, reading, or sleeping, so nobody really saw me…

7:20AM the bus arrives downtown in Victoria, and the first thing I see when we step of are the police. I wanna go home now! But yeah, Victoria has crime problems; people have been killed downtown before so the police presence is very noticeable. They roll around in brand new Dodge Chargers looking so much like Barricade. So a quick walk later and the three of us end up in the only Tim Hontons in downtown for breakfast. Man it’s been a while since I’ve been to Timmies for breakfast. (if you come to Canada, Tims should will be your first stop). From there we walked to The Bay Center, which is a lovely mall in the heart of the city. This is where I took the first pictures of the day.
000_1376 000_1375                   Very sorry about the quality, it wasn’t even 9AM yet, I was still tired.

Leaving The Bay Center, my sister and I decided to stroll around town; exiting the building we go down Government Street, aka the main tourist hub in the city. It was strange though, seeing it so quiet and empty, it felt like something was missing. Anyways, mark this next place down on your list of things to do when you come to Victoria: Rockey Mountain Chocolate Factory, check it out.
000_1378 That’s just a small taste of what they have. Be sure to check it out, and bring a lot of money when you do; nice chocolate isn’t cheap.

Continuing on we stopped in front of The Empress (please tell me you’ve heard of The Empress before!!) and I snapped a few more shots. Sadly the Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe wasn’t there today; but two black BMW 5 Series made for a nice sight too. Take a look:

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                                        It’s a hotel if you haven’t figured it out yet.

Turning around I got a few more pictures of Inner Harbor and the Legislative Building:

000_1383 000_1381From there we walked around trying to think of something to do. Being in downtown Victoria is always really fun… but that’s when shops are actually open. Big sis and I spent most of the time strolling the streets looking at closed stores and just taking in the sights of the city. It’s the simple things like that that can be very fun actually, just strolling around on a quiet and cold morning… either I’m getting too into this or I seriously need to get out of my little town and into the city more.

Leaving Chinatown for a later time, sis and I head to Chapters and stand outside for the 9:30AM opening. Being among the first 5 people in was really special; all the staff were standing waiting for us to enter, greeting us with a cheerful “Good morning~!” and I had to smile at that. It’s strange having people be nice to you like that, even if it’s just a small thing (another thing us Canadians are known for, not being so outgoing…) Making a bee line for the mags, I picked up the February edition of 3D World (graphic art mag) and flipped through that. After that it was upstairs to check out the comics and manga. Batman being my favorite superhero (yes, even an 18, almost 19, year old guy can still like superheroes) and browsed the latest comics. Walking around to the other side I checked out the manga; little did I know I would come extremely close to actually buying my first ever manga.

Leaving Chapters, big sis and I went to the library next, where I was going to try and renew my library card. (Trivia Fact: since Vancouver Island isn’t all under the same library system, Victoria gets to have their own; technically you’re not supposed to have 2 library cards, one for Victoria and one for the rest of the Island, but I do anyways…) Upon failing to sweet talk my way into renewing my card, the librarian granted me a super special one day access to the computers; I was overjoyed with her! Logging onto the computers I went to AOI first for a quick hello, but to my disappointment, the chat box didn’t work. It was the only thing on the entire site that didn’t work. I raged hardcore. I figured out what the problem was though, but since I didn’t have admin privileges on the library computer, I couldn’t change any settings or download the new Flash Player that I needed. Checking the usual sites, sis and I logged off around 11:30AM and left in a hurry to walk the 7 blocks quickly to get to my optometrist appointment.

Once inside I saw the doctor, a very nice guy by the way, who preformed the eye check. If you’re wondering, he said everything is fine with my eyes; I’ll need new glasses soon but it’s not at a critical level. After a series of eye tests I finally left, now happy that I wasn’t going blind or anything like that. Now it was time for Chinatown!

000_1386The great gateway leading into Chinatown. (Trivia fact: it took a couple of shots before I finally got the right picture. Too many people and cars kept getting in the way at the last second, but I finally caught a break and snapped this one.)

Stopping inside a small shop, sis and I picked up some goods.

000_1387                                                                    Yeah!

Next it was time for Fan Tan Alley, legendary place. Here’s what it looks like:

000_1388          Another very cool place you’ll have to check out if you come here.

Stopping past Market Square after, sis and I went to a store that sold all Converse shoes (Chuck Taylors) and I came so close to buying some if I had the money. I tried them on and everything, it was love at first sight. I knew I had to have them, but the hole in my wallet reminded me that some bills were needed to get those shoes. Damn it, they were so cool too! Market Square was quiet, but still a very neat place indeed. Put that on your list too.

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Meeting up with Mom again back at The Bay Center, sis and I were starving; so we went to the cafeteria on the fifth floor of the Bay, a very nice place by the way. Sis got chicken pot pie, and I got a beef dip sandwich, both with 7up on the side. Pure bliss moment eating up there. I snapped these two shots of our window view.

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After lunch it was back to Chapters to meet up with Mom, her cousin (our uncle) and his new girlfriend. Back upstairs in Chapters (where Starbucks is) I strolled back over to the manga section, a war raging in my mind whether to buy this manga or not. I’m not sure why it was that one, it just stood out and caught my eye; either that or it was the only series I’d ever heard of, besides Puella Magi Madoka Magica. In the end I ruled ‘no’ on the purchase, knowing that would come back and haunt me hours later. Next time I’m buying it.

And leaving Chapters for the third time, we got driven all the way back home by uncle’s new girlfriend, very nice of her to do that as she lives up Island, and could drop us off along the way. I slept on the way back, reviewing my day out and thinking about posting it on my blog. And that more or less brings to a close my day trip in Victoria. If you’re ever planning on stopping by, be sure to check out those places I mentioned; you’ll have a great time doing so!

Sorry if this was too long, clocked in at 1562 words, so I’ll say bye for now~!

-SkyCorps

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