We took the ferry, across the Strait of Georgia, to reach Vancouver Island. This ferry (from Horseshoe Bay to Departure Bay, in Nanaimo) takes about 1 3/4 hours. (The arrow shows the route.)
BC ferries is such an organized operation (the Canadians consider it part of their highway system). Ten lanes of cars line up 30 to 90 minutes ahead to wait for the ferry (and in the summer, reservations are suggested… or one might have to wait hours for the next ferry). There are, however, several each day… to and from various locations – another map below will show the routes.
We entered on the 4th level, parked our car, and then noted the floor we were on as we left the car to go upstairs to the restaurant for lunch!
Each level has its own nautical symbol to help you take the correct elevator to various parts of the ferry… and then back to your car later. With hundreds of vehicles (cars, campers, motorcycles, and semi-trucks) as well as numerous elevator banks, it would be easy to get lost. The map below shows the island and the various ferry routes.
Vancouver Island is HUGE (the largest island on the west coast of North America)… about 300 miles long and 100 miles wide.
The population is about 800,000, with nearly one-half the population living in the greater Victoria area (the southernmost tip of the island). Because of the warm climate (palm trees, olive trees and lemon trees can be found here), Vancouver Island is a favorite retirement location for Canadians. Victoria is the capital of British Columbia (even though Vancouver, which is much larger, is on the mainland).
We used to own a summer home in Nanoose Bay, between Nanaimo and Parksville) and we will be in this area for 6 days! The weather in the summer is perfect for golf and other outdoor activities.
Dear friends, David and Dawn Campbell, have organized our time here: golf, dinners, and get-togethers with “old” friends.
Stay tuned for more!!