Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Adventure 46/50 : Butchart Gardens Christmas Lights

The weekend before Christmas we went up to Victoria on the Clipper to see the Christmas lights at Butchart Gardens. On previous trips we've taken the public bus out there, but with the special displays we figured we should book the tour.

We climbed aboard our bus in front of the Empress a bit early and settled into the front seats in the upper deck. (Yes, Americans simply cannot resist the opportunity to ride on the upstairs in a double-decker bus.) Our driver was funny and chatty and pointed things out to us as we drove to the gardens, including that the bus, "Sparky", was the first all-electric double-decker in North America. Oh, and that the narrow drive out to the gardens was paved with the original cement from the Butchart family's cement works, and lined with cherry trees that were gifts from the emperor of Japan...

We suddenly hit traffic -- which wasn't surprising at sunset on the Saturday before Christmas.

Our driver assured us we wouldn't have to wait 25 minutes because the buses went to a different parking area. And, sure enough, 5 minutes later we were pulling up and parked.

The big highlight of the display is the sunken garden, which is full of gorgeous lights:

The theme of the display is the Twelve Days of Christmas, so we moved through the gardens looking for and admiring the displays. Here are days 1 - 4:

Days 5 - 8:

and days 9 - 12 (none of which we really liked...):

There was also a pretty Chinese garden:

And a nice field of decorated trees:

The strolling carolers, the festive music, and the tiny ice rink were all lovely, too -- a nice way to get a little Christmas spirit. And, of course, we admired this fella:

Having toured the gardens we wandered into the cafe and coffee shop, then perused the gift shop, and then headed for the bus stop for the ride back into town. I wish we had realized that they would send more than one bus -- there was a large group of people all a bit worried that they would have to wait two hours for the next bus -- but we got on and rode back to town.

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