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Airship in Victoria B.C.

We arrived in Victoria on Sunday afternoon. We’re now docked at the Causeway Floats, directly in front of the Empress Hotel. It’s so great being right in the inner harbour here…it’s touristy, yes, but from a distance — there’s a coded gate at the top of the ramp. It’s not an inexpensive moorage, but totally worth the slight splurge…so much to do nearby!

We both thought we remembered the Empress being covered in thick ivy, and after a little Googling, we learned we were right. They removed the ivy not that long ago, embarked on a brick restoration project, and I believe the hotel had its “grand reopening” in June of this year. The building’s ivy coat was definitely a fabulous look, but apparently rodents had taken up residence in the ivy and the vines were wreaking havoc on the facade. (Here’s an image of what it looked like with its ivy coat.)

After we were settled in, we headed out to stretch our legs and explore the city a bit.

The water taxis here are adorable!

We had a late lunch/early dinner at Tacofino, and were not disappointed…at all. The tacos were better than we remembered from the original taco truck spot in Tofino! We ordered four tacos total and shared: one crispy ling cod (cabbage, chipotle mayo, salsa fresca), one tuna (soy, sesame, wakame, ginger, wasabi mayo), one crispy chicken (guacamole, black chili oil, radish, sprouts, cilantro, green onion), and one steak (pickled carrot/onion/daikon, sriracha mayo, cilantro). We were prepared to like the fish tacos the best, but we both REALLY liked the crispy chicken and steak tacos.

Crispy chicken in front, steak in back

If you don’t eat meat, they have some creative vegetarian taco options: a tempura yam taco with chipotle mayo and salsa fresca, and a bean taco with crema, salsa fresca, and queso. Most taco options appear to also be available as burrito options. This is a VERY casual spot. It’s a brick and mortar place, but it feels closer to the taco truck vibe of the original Tofino location. Anyway…Tacofino. We love it. We’ll probably go back for another round while we’re here!

The Empress, behind the wall, with businesspeople
Last night’s view from Airship (Parliament buildings on the left)
Parliament buildings at night, taken from the pilothouse of Airship
Parliament buildings at night, taken from the pilothouse of Airship

Today we got up on the early side and worked most of the morning until we were hungry, which was about noon, so we walked up and visited the ramen joint we scoped during yesterday’s walk. It’s called the Menbow Ramen Bar and it’s just around the corner from Tacofino. Everything is made in-house. We both ordered the spicy pork broth ramen (toppings of soft boiled egg, fish cake, BBQ pork, seaweed, bean sprouts, etc.) and it was fantastic.

Back at Airship we cranked out some more work and we’ll probably just hang here and do dinner in tonight. (So nice to have the option of meals cooked by someone else! Ah, the benefits of boating in the city!)

We’ll be joined tomorrow by some friends (Carol and Parker, on Akeeva, from our Slowboat flotilla to Alaska), and we have a few more fun things on the list for the next couple of days: the Royal BC Museum, the Maritime Museum, Butchart Gardens, more tacos, and dinner out at Il Terrazzo on Wednesday night (with some laundry-doing and grocery shopping thrown in for good measure).