Greece

An amazing view of the Acropolis from the ruins of the Temple of Zeus
Mythological & Majestic 
 
 We arrived in the evening after a ride in a taxi from a lovely young man who gave us a lot of local history on the way from the airport (contrary to comments we had seen, we were not overcharged for the taxi from the airport as it is a set fee) & yet were met at the door by our wonderful host Yiannis who took our suitcases, checked us in & gladly gave us an idea of places to eat etc. We went to our room which was just as pretty as on the website only to hear a little tap at the door.. it was Yiannis with a bottle of chilled champagne! Did we feel like royalty! Enjoyed that and the fact that we had a bar fridge plus another small fridge to keep some champagne for in the morning with orange juice!
  Had a very comfortable, restful sleep & then were surprised again by the breakfast spread! My Lord there was the freshest fruit, the best breads, any kind of cold cereal, two fresh squeezed juices(I saw the juicer; it was FRESH!) and they would bring you a fresh cappuccino or whatever you wished… fresh cooked bacon, eggs… Greek Yogourt, fresh honey… so good!
   We were given excellent suggestions of where to go and set up on a tour one day to see Sounion with a very good tour group. A decent sized, brand new luxury bus; very comfortable and worth the trip. The weather wasn’t great but the guide was lovely and there was a place to have tea or something to nibble, plus a nice gift shop. The photo ops were stupendous!
 Back to Ava… we cannot tell you how thrilled we were to see that in reality you can nearly step out the front door and TOUCH Hadrian’s Arch at the Temple of Zeus and also the Acropolis! It is that close! That’s value to be among all those restaurants, all that shopping, all the history and again; right outside the hotel… Crazy! You need to stay here and you need to stay for a week just to relax and enjoy it. Lovely… clean; the housekeeping was immaculate. The suite is so perfect. Nice TV, lots of clothing storage, good reading lamps, a nice table & chairs to eat or write in journals at, plus a writing desk; gorgeous bathroom with a beautiful painted ceiling… we just loved it and three nights wasn’t long enough…
 Thank you, Yiannis & also the girls (Andrea was one) who were lovely hosts/hostesses.. always smiling & couldn’t do enough for you. We have stayed in hotels in Paris, London, Vegas, Mexico, Vancouver & Whistler to name a few and this was the best rest, food & service we ever had all in one stay. Thank you, Ava!
The Return Ticket gives the AVA Hotel, Athens Greece: four tickets out of five
 
 
 

The Return Ticket gives Athens, Greece: four tickets out of five

The “I Amsterdam” city card

iAmsterdamCard

The “I Amsterdam” Pass

  When travelling in Amsterdam, before you even leave the airport, stop in at the Visitor Information office and buy the “I Amsterdam” city card. There are different packages depending on how long you are visiting with lots of tips and savings.

  The line ups at most attractions are very long but you are able to be fast tracked and go into a completely separate line if you have the pass. There is free public transportation as long as you swipe your pass upon entering and leaving the transit bus. We rode the bus from the airport right near to our hotel for free. 

  We received a free canal boat tour with the pass, there are many discounts on food and other things, and we did get to tour the unbelievable Van Gogh Museum for free as well. There was an extremely long wait outside of the museum but when they saw we had the city card, we walked right in!  

The Return Ticket gives the “I Amsterdam” Pass: four tickets out of five.

My Perspective on Travel

The scribblings of this travelling housewife & her amazing, oh-so-adventurous husband… you’ll find tips & suggestions of destinations to visit, what to do (or skip!) when you get there, places to eat (or avoid!) & even a few simplifying-your-trip ideas.


I’ve travelled to over 9 countries & 3 of the 7 continents so far… Let’s see — Bangkok to Bath — Athens to Amsterdam to name a few… and I don’t plan on slowing down any time soon! 

And I have over 37,564 readers on tripadvisor! 

If you have any suggestions, comments, or if you’d like to tell me how a post helped you – please don’t hesitate to drop me a line at: myreturnticket@hotmail.com or read my contributions on tripadvisor.ca/members/ChrisFranklin

North American Adventures

Paris & Planet Hollywood, Las Vegas, Nevada

 

The pool at the Palazzo Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada




The Return Ticket gives Las Vegas, Nevada: four tickets out of five






Jersey Boys

  This is the story of how a group of blue-collar boys from the wrong side of the tracks became one of the biggest American pop music sensations of all time, Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons. They wrote their own songs, invented their own sounds and sold 175 million records worldwide. 

  The theatre itself was very nice and our seats were fourth row! The music and generally the whole production of this show were A-1! I loved it, the entire audience was singing and dancing and I’d see it again in a heartbeat! Buy the CD on your way out in the gift store! 

The Return Ticket gives the Jersey Boys: five tickets out of five

Grand Canyon Tours
 
  The plane was so small, tight and hot but the pilot was very friendly and we had a good flight. The history recording that plays as you fly along is incredibly interesting and it is very easy to see how amazing the Canyon really is.  Unreal to see the demarcation from the years of weathering in the canyon creating the different coloured layers There are also excellent views of the Hoover Dam that piqued our interest, so much so that on our next trip to Vegas, we went on the tour of the dam.
 Amazing to think that there was nothing but desert and people managed on the most part to survive and make a life there… As for the flight, I wouldn’t do it again  but it is a must see once, for certain.
The Return Ticket gives Grand Canyon Tours: three tickets out of five.  
 
 
Nine Fine Irishmen Pub
 
  Located  in the New York New York Casino in Las Vegas, this is a standing date between my husband and I each time we visit. We’ve had such good food here(everything is a la carte, just so you know) and the bands that play are a blast! The whole bar sings & gets up to dance!
The Return Ticket gives Nine Fine Irishmen: four tickets out of five
 

 

The Beach at Mandalay Bay Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada

 

My amazing husband & travel companion, Andrew (&me!) atop the Eiffel Tower, Las Vegas, Nevada

 

Gordon Ramsay’s newest restaurant in Las Vegas, called “steak”… have to try this place next trip

 

one view of the Harley Davidson Cafe, Las Vegas, Nevada

 

Close up of the massive Harley motorcycle crashing through the Harley Davidson Cafe, Las Vegas, Nevada

 

The roller coaster at the New York New York Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada

 

The Brooklyn Bridge at the New York New York Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada

 

The whole picture of the New York New York Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada

 

One of the pools at the Mandalay Bay Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada

 

THE hotel, part of the Mandalay Bay Resort, Las Vegas, Nevada

 

The Gondola at the Venetian Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada

 

The view from the Eiffel Tower tour #1, Las Vegas, Nevada

 

The view from the Eiffel Tower tour #2, Las Vegas, Nevada

Through My Lens

We were surprised in our room at the AVA hotel, Athens, Greece with this bottle of bubbly!  The service & welcome was unbelievable!
The Acropolis Museum in Athens, Greece… a must visit; the recovered treasures are amazing.
Our room at the AVA Hotel in Athens, Greece. Spotless, modern, and welcoming.
The Harbour in a quaint village called St. Mawes in Cornwall, England
Waterways Houseboats on the Shuswap, B.C., Canada
My amazing travel companion, my husband Andrew, and I at the Acropolis overlooking Athens, Greece

In Greece, there were many a store just like this one with quality purses, shoes, art pieces – you name it!

Thailand

Thailand

The view from our room at the Chatrium Hotel in Bangkok, Thailand
(the famous Chao Phraya River)

 

A temple in Bangkok

 

Famous dance of the warrior monkeys in Bangkok, Thailand

 

The Big Buddha – Phuket, Thailand(a very hot & bright day!)

Chatrium Hotel Riverside – Bangkok, Thailand

  This was a lovely stay for sure, our view of the famous Chao Phraya River was spectacular. This hotel was immaculate, quiet and the service was outstanding. When we arrived it was like we were royalty, they whisked away our luggage and a lovely gentleman named Chatchawan took us on a tour of the hotel. 

  We were shown the amazing office space where we could use top of the line computers and the internet for free, enjoy cocktails and canapes each evening and then our spacious room. He was very helpful and full of suggestions for us. Breakfast was included and the buffet was unreal.. anything you could want for breakfast or you could order a la carte.  There is patio dining if you wish.

  There’s a free small ferry that would take you down the river and back to sightsee. Unfortunately we did not get to take advantage of the beautiful pool, as we were with a Rotary Convention so had not a minute of free time, but it did look lovely. 

  The hotel room was spacious with plenty of space for clothing to be stored, a proper iron and ironing board; the washroom was large and well appointed; room service was quick and delicious. I would highly recommend a stay here and do hope to go back one day. 

  Another note: the Chatrium will help you to book a reputable dinner cruise along the Chao Phraya River as we did and the temples etc were a lit up beautifully. They serve a buffet dinner, ours was excellent, and there is entertainment. Well worth it, especially as we had taken video and to know you’ve been on this famous working waterway is priceless.

The Return Ticket gives the Chatrium Hotel Riverside, Bangkok: five tickets out of five.

The Temple of the Emerald Buddha(Wat Phra Kaeo)
 
  This is Thailand’s most valued temple and it’s located inside the grounds of the Grand Palace. This is where the magnificent Emerald Buddha is found that dates back to the 14th century.
  It was incredibly hot, so be sure to take plenty of water and have a hat if not an umbrella to shade yourself. I would also suggest taking an extra memory card because you will take so many pictures! You cannot take pictures of the actual Emerald Buddha(cameras are not allowed) but you may of everything else, including the Palace, the guards, the surrounding temples, etc.
  The history is amazing – you should go with a guide; we did and he explained so much more than we could have learned on our own. His name was Tao and he worked for Tourism Thailand.
  Please remember to dress appropriately(no shorts or skirts where ankles can be seen, and no uncovered shoulders) or you will absolutely NOT be allowed to enter.
  The Return Ticket gives the Wat Phra Kaeo: five tickets out of five 
 
Chao Phraya River
 
  This scenic river that flows through the heart of Bangkok, has convenient boat transportation and sightseeing cruises since many of the major city attractions are easiest to get to this way rather than by travelling the crazy busy streets.
  We went on a dinner cruise and it was beautiful. I would suggest asking your concierge at your hotel for the name of a reputable company. Be sure to take a video camera, it’s quite dark for regular photographs and you will want something captured of your evening. The palaces and temples are completely lit up at night and are amazing.
  There are free shuttle services daily from the hotels on cute little ferries that stay cool with a breeze as you go. The Chao Phraya is still a working waterway and you can see many types of barges carrying good to and fro.
The Return Ticket gives the Chao Phraya River: four tickets of out five
Siam Naramit
 
  Siam Naramit is located in the centre of Bangkok. It is a state of the art theatre that is open every day and presents one of the world’s largest stage productions. There are three restaurants and an authentic traditional Thai village where visitors can stroll through and get a taste of Thai life from years ago. The village was amazing, primitive, but unbelievable.
  This show was fantastic! I won’t go into detail as it would give away the stunning details and you must see it yourself to believe it! You are able to take photographs outside of the theatre and in the village but you must check your camera in the coat check pre-show. It’s possible to buy a CD of the show afterwards.
The Return Ticket gives Siam Naramit: five tickets out of five
 
Pacific Club Resort, Karon, Phuket
 
  I cannot say enough about this resort! The staff are unbelievable to start with… we arrived straight from the airport & while checking in, we were brought fresh squeezed juice. It was so refreshing because it was so hot compared to what we are used to. Gay, at the front reception was absolutely lovely & couldn’t have been more helpful. She recommended trips/tours for us & gave suggestions of what we could do while there.
  The restaurant has an excellent breakfast buffet, we also ate dinner there on two occasions and it was delicious as well. Room service was excellent. You can rent mopeds right at the hotel which was a great idea because the resort is on a fairly steep hill. The herbal sauna was lovely, along with the cooling jacuzzi outside of it. The rooftop pool was absolutely amazing, you could see for miles(including the Big Buddha!), and there were many areas to sunbathe, sit and eat or read under an umbrella.
  The rooms themselves were excellent with large comfortable beds, lots of extra towels, a fridge for extra water, and a little balcony with a drying rack and table and chairs to sit at. There was plenty of clothes storage, if you’re staying for any length of time.
  The resort is not far from the beautiful beach where the water is unreal and the waves are fun to play in! Take a moped, backpack, water and explore the little markets that are everywhere. We grabbed some drinks and snacks to have in our room as well for when we didn’t feel like a meal. The resort is immaculate and the staff in the dining room are very efficient; we really liked a gentleman named Ead.
  A little tip: we were on the fourth floor as quite a few tripadvisor reviews suggested it and it was perfect!
The Return Ticket gives the Pacific Club Resort, Karon, Phuket: four tickets out of five
  The Mantra Day Spa 
 
  The Mantra Day Spa is the Pacific Club Resort’s own spa. Lili was my masseuse and she was unreal. I have never had such a thorough massage(the cellulite one), green tea wrap, or pedicure. The prices were that, you can have nearly every service there is and still find it incredibly reasonable! My husband had a neck and scalp massage and also enjoyed it.
  Be prepared when you have the full body massage that you will have a very intense massage in every muscle but it is so so worth the little bit of discomfort here and there. Lili herself must have been exhausted after because she gave it her all!
The Return Ticket gives the Mantra Day Spa: four tickets out of five
 

Victoria, British Columbia

 
On a whale watching trip in Victoria, British Columbia; cold but a blast!




The Amethyst Inn

We booked in at the last minute and managed to get the last room available… the Windsor Room(funnily enough, my husband had asked me to marry him at the real Windsor Castle in England, so..!) This inn was absolutely gleaming; immaculate from top to bottom. The wooden staircases were freshly oiled, the carpets were spotless, the furniture and mantelpieces were shining and the gorgeous stained glass windows sparkled in the light.
We arrived in the early evening and were greeted at the door of this historic home; we were invited to have a cup of tea, cookies or a glass of sherry but as we were tired, we went straight to our room. There were books to borrow, chocolates to share, a television, a giant soaker tub and everything was just so, so clean! The only negative was that as this was a period home, there is no air conditioning and it was quite a warm evening. They do provide a fan and ceiling fan but they are quite loud so it made it hard to sleep.
The inn is beautifully located and the history behind it all is quite interesting as well; a newspaper baron and his wife built this home and raised their family here for many years(wait, one more coincidence – my husband and I are both in the newspaper industry as well!). There is a coded security gate at the entrance so we felt quite secure in a place we did not know well.
Breakfast was in a gorgeous dining room, where we were served on proper china plates with actual teacups.. such a nice treat. Our waiter was so nice and had impeccable manners. We were never without coffee or tea and had the most delicious fresh baked croissants I’ve ever eaten(and I’ve been to France!). We also had fresh fruit and half of a fresh bagel with whipped cream cheese and salmon on top.. lovely!
We were sorry we had to leave right away and couldn’t explore more of the inn. I would love to return in the winter to experience the beautiful antique fireplaces with a roaring fire…
The Return Ticket gives the Amethyst Inn, Victoria, BC: four tickets out of five
 

NOT Good: Our experience on Virgin Airlines

NOT Good:

Our experience on Virgin Airlines


We were so excited to try out Virgin Airlines from Vancouver to England as it is such a long trip, and as per the commercials, Richard Branson himself speaks to the luxury of his airline. However, our first experience of Virgin was less than impressive. The rows were so close together we could barely squeeze into our seats. Neither my husband or myself are large people, so can’t imagine what a taller or broader traveller would experience. 

I wanted to read my tablet yet there was no space between myself and the seat ahead of me; THEN the gentleman traveller in front let his seat back. . . I was literally staring at the back of his head directly in front of my face until our first meal arrived. Our seats would not recline at all (keeping in mind this is an 8.5 hour flight) and try as we might to stretch or cross our legs, there was no way to do that. We were seated in the centre section and as we looked at the seats across the aisle from us (window seats) we realized the rows were further apart than ours… 

The staff was kind and we did receive a traveller kit with mini toothbrush, toothpaste and a sleep mask. But it certainly did not make up for our discomfort. 

Chances are that we would NOT choose to fly Virgin again.

The Return Ticket gives Virgin Airlines: One ticket out of five

The Right Suitcase

baggage

A good suitcase should last about 10 years, and should have a guarantee for parts such as zippers, wheels and handles. Remember, you get what you pay for! When luggage is more expensive they should be well designed and have quality components.

It all starts with size… save up… buy the set, you’ll never be sorry. Each trip is different and may require a bigger(or smaller) suitcase than the last… now you’ll have that choice. Be sure to grab the carry on duffle or bag that matches too as you can easily keep everything for the actual flight right under the seat ahead of you and not have to get out of your seat to take down the carry on suitcase from the overhead. On a long trip you’ll easily find your luggage because it all matches. I would definitely suggest buying an expanding suitcase. And a luggage strap. That’s a smart idea too, in case the zipper ever breaks.

I’ve been thinking that my next purchase of luggage will probably include spinning wheels as I have wrist issues so I think this will help me with maneuvering a large, heavy bag. Was it not for that, the stationary wheels on my current cases work just fine.

As far as handles go, just check out the stitching to be sure they look sturdy, and get the telescoping handle type.. that is a lifesaver when you also have a carry on bag. My favourite feature of my carry on is that there is a strap with velcro on the side that slips over the extended handle of the bigger case so I don’t need to worry about it falling off the suitcase while I am racing down the airport… which even the most organized traveller may have to do when your flight is changed at the last minute!

The one item I haven’t settled on yet… soft or hard sided? Mine are soft sided but have been ripped from the first trip they’ve been on. Very frustrating. My husband has a really nice (not so cheap) suitcase by Jeep that had one of the front pockets ripped right open between the time we checked it in and when it arrived at our destination. One note, I hear that hard sided cases can add up to 10 lbs in weight so that would be a problem.

I swear the most popular colour of suitcases is black. There are hundreds of them coming down the carousel at one time and people are scrambling like mad to see if it’s theirs. If you insist on having black luggage then a coloured luggage strap or piece of ribbon tied to the handle will make it easier to identify.

On one of our trips I saw something I am happy to save up for… luggage protectors or covers. There are a couple of kinds that I have seen so far. The first are clear plastic-type ones that zip up or velcro under the wheels once slipped over your case. If you happen to like the style of your suitcase then you can still see it through the cover. Or I found brightly coloured/patterned stretchy, fabric ones that velcro underneath, again, once slipped over your packed suitcase. These are smart because you can get a plain black suitcase and have any style protector you wish. These covers would also eliminate the need for a luggage strap.

The luggage lock is a bit of a debate. Some airlines don’t want you to use them now due to security inspections, and to know which airports allow them or not… well, that’s really just one more thing to have to check before leaving on a holiday. I would go to the dollar store, buy a roll of brightly coloured ribbon, and tie your zippers together. It’s secure enough to hold but easy enough to snip off when you arrive at your destination or at the security check. Don’t forget to tuck a bit of the ribbon in your suitcase to use on the way home.

Lastly, always keep a second luggage tag inside your checked suitcase, in case the one you’ve placed outside on the handle gets ripped off. Have your flight details and destination on there as well. It’s quite easy to make extra cards to switch out for each trip. Then if lost, it can be identified by airport staff or you can replace it once you’ve retrieved your baggage.

Packing it in…

TravelChecklistGraphic-1

I am not being overly dramatic when I say: Packing is critical. If you pack too much, you end up disorganized, lugging around heavy bags, and paying top dollar fees for over-weight baggage and if you pack too little, you’ll be on the hunt down for extra clothing when you’d rather be on an actual adventure.

These are some essential things to keep in mind when it’s time to pack.

1. Get your packing process started at least a week ahead of when you’re leaving… at the very least… make a list! This way you’ll have time to purchase any additional items you might need. Then once you’ve got the perfect list type it out check-list style and print one every time you are going on holiday… you’ll be less likely to forget things. Sometimes we forget the most obvious things… those will be the items you can’t do without! I’ll place my checklist at the end of this post (to save paper you could place this in a plastic sleeve & use a dry erase pen to mark it).

2. Go online and find out about what you can take as luggage, while most airlines allow travellers to check at least one bag at no extra charge on international flights, the majority of U.S. carriers charge big bucks for bags checked on domestic flights.

3. Along with your one piece of carry on luggage, you are usually able to bring one other personal item. It is subject to specific size requirements but something like a purse, laptop bag, or backpack is generally acceptable. I would suggest taking one, you’ll want to have at least one change of clothes in here in case your main luggage gets lost. The personal item you bring can contain your e-reader, itinerary, magazines, travel toothbrush & paste.. you get the idea. My husband and I each take a small tote style bag to place under the seat ahead of us and that way we don’t need to get up again once seated to get our books etc. Our carry on suitcases go in the overhead storage until we arrive at our destination.

4. Rolling is much better than folding.; tightly rolled clothes take up way less space than folded ones. And they are less wrinkled when you arrive at your destination, believe it or not. Also once rolled, smaller items can go inside your shoes for more space.

5. Any type of liquids should really be in plastic resealable bags. They WILL leak… it happens. Why even worry? Just pack them that way to begin with and save yourself the headache of hair gel soaked clothing, or shaving creamed shoes… My all-time favourite packing tip: you know how you get those little shower caps in hotel rooms or dollar stores? They make really good shoe covers for keeping the soles of your shoes from getting your clothes dirty! And all sizes of food storage bags (also from the dollar store) can hold all of your other like items together – hair products in one bag, lingerie in another, etc. They’re reusable & don’t take up any extra space. I even keep some in my carry on for mints, identification, earphones & medications.

6. If you’re travelling for longer than a week, you may want to wash some clothes in the hotel’s bathroom sink and hang them to dry. I always make sure to pack a travel-size packet of laundry detergent to clean my clothes on the road… there’s a method to this madness… I’ll pack less BUT have room for any new purchases I buy on our travels! I also take a small drawstring bag to use for soiled laundry, to keep it separate from the clean stuff.

7. See if you can find pants that turn into shorts or a jacket that turns into a vest, that’s another space-saving technique right there!

8. My best advise: Wear layers. Your actual travel outfit should be in plenty of layers, which will help you travel multiple climates in style and comfort. Also it gives you many more options of what to wear during your entire trip.

9. It’s really important to keep your valuable and essential belongings in your carry-on bag, not in your checked baggage. Your passport, identification, money, credit cards, jewelry, electronics, and other valuables should always be brought onto the plane with you… which leads me to >>>

10. Print triplicates of your travel info – you’ll be so glad to have done this… I make 3 copies of our itinerary (including hotels, flights etc); my husband gets one to keep with him, I get one to keep with me and I leave the last one with my mom. You never know what can happen. It’s a good plan to have another person, that’s not travelling with you, know where you’ll be and the times you’ll be gone/home.

 

TravelChecklist-2

Parliament Buildings, Victoria B.C., Canada

 

Home to the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia, the Parliament Buildings are open to the public year-round. Visitors are welcome to join one of the regularly scheduled tours, stroll through the buildings on their own self guided tour, or even have a bite to eat in the Legislative Dining Room.  Free guided tours are available Monday through Friday throughout the year & 7 days a week during the summer. You might even run into some political figures there & get to chat with them.

This is a very beautiful property, where you can sit & enjoy looking around the sights while relaxing. Personally, I most enjoy seeing the Parliament Buildings at night when they’re all lit up by millions of white, glittering lights… what a photo op!

Royal B.C. Museum, Victoria B.C., Canada

Step inside & experience the history of British Columbia. Since 1886, the Royal BC Museum has preserved & shared the human & natural histories of this province. Discover the famous First Peoples, Natural History & Modern History Galleries – – a feast of sights, smells & sounds of beautiful British Columbia. There are displays of ancient tools & weapons or even teepees. The Museum is also home to a cultural precinct including the BC Archives, Helmcken House, St. Ann’s Schoolhouse, the Netherlands Centennial Carillon, Thunderbird Park and Mungo Martin House/Wawadit’la.  There are different floors & each has its own theme.. there is an old village on one floor that features a movie house, train station & real cobblestone streets. Another floor is filled with animals from ancient & modern times… walruses, birds, even a massive wooly mammoth!

Since I was 5 years old, this has been a place I have loved to go. My grandparents first took me then & I’ve loved to go back year after year, with my own children & now my husband, who is originally from England. Each year there is a new main exhibit, once it was about dinosaurs & most recently the artifacts from the Titanic were featured. We were humbled by the experience of portraying passengers on the ill fated ship… very real, very touching, very emotional…

Government Street, Victoria B.C., Canada

Government Street is a busy street lined with some of  Victoria’s biggest tourist attractions. Always such a nice place to walk around & see what is going on… as busy as it is, there is always a chance to sit & enjoy the surroundings. Along the waterfront you’ll see boats, water taxis, larger yachts, a dragon boat festival & possibly some seals. There are plenty of vendors with handcrafted items such a jewellery, soap, clothing, art & many items that would make an excellent souvenir for you or a loved one.

For a special treat, have afternoon High Tea at the grand Empress Hotel or board a ferry for a harbour tour. There are a lot of scenic, historic walks so make sure to read the historic plaques along your way. There are even a few guided tours throughout the city & quite a few horse drawn carriages.  In the warmer weather there are often musicians & performers to see like eclectic artists & one man bands… how entertaining!