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Working Our Way Down Vancouver Island

overcast 65 °F

Our day started well, woke up early; we had to check out of the RV park, hop on a ferry and hopefully make it to Oregon by dinner. That all looked good until I Google mapped everything and looked up the ferry schedules. We’d already missed the early ferries and wouldn’t be making Oregon any time soon.

Campbell River is close to ½ way between Victoria, in the south, and Port Hardy in the north. There are 3 options for ferries from Campbell River: Nanaimo 1-1/2 hours away, Swartz Bay 2-1/2 hours away and Victoria 3 hours away and sails to Port Angeles.

Nanaimo has fewer ferries but by the time one drives to Swartz Bay there isn’t any real time savings. Unless one has missed the last one in Nanaimo, then there are later ones from Swartz and Victoria.

We wanted to walk to the viewpoint of Elk Falls and then because we’d miss the next ferry, then we’d have lunch at this little hole-in-the-wall restaurant. From lunch, we’d drive down to Nanaimo and catch the 5:30 ferry to Vancouver.

The falls are a little bit of a walk away, mostly downhill, which means uphill on the way back. The path is paved so accessible to everyone. There are several paths off of the one to view the falls but I’m not sure if they are paved. The falls are small next to some we’ve seen but a nice walk. We took the dog, but she did not like the grated stairs down to the metal suspension bridge leading to a lookout. Other dogs were not having a good time either. IMG_201508..3031879_HDR.jpg

Lunch- Dave’s is right on the dock where the fishing boats come in, with about 4 little tables inside and a small counter and outside a deck. There was a line the entire time we were there, not a long one but nevertheless, someone always arriving. Everything on the menu can be made gluten-free which means I could order fish and chips. Oh, they were such a treat. Next time, I want to order the oyster sandwich!

From lunch, we stopped and bought some Canadian Whiskey for Dale and a couple of small items. Then we drove down to Nanaimo. The leaves are turning on the island and in the storm light looked so beautiful. IMG_201508..5321852_HDR.jpg

By the time we got to Nanaimo, an hour before sailing, we saw that it was 100% sold out. After calculating times to drive to the next ferry, we decided to get in line for the 8:45 sailing. We filled our time, me with doing old word games and Dale walking Twinks and napping.
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All part of the journey.

Posted by Miss Chris 15:45 Archived in Canada Tagged travel driving canada ferry elk_falls Comments (0)

Norway, A Most Beautiful Country

sunny 70 °F

Because we were not on a set timetable I didn’t worry about buying ferry tickets early so once we reached Hirtshels we had to determine our next move which was the Ferry to Kristiansand, Norway. The 1st available crossing was at 12 noon in economy. We took advantage of the morning to get a little coffee and explore the harbor area.
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After a 3-1/2 hour sailing into Kristiansand, we found the center of the city only a couple of blocks away, then located the tourist information office. We needed to know which road would be the best to Bergen, a city on the coast. The lady at the information told us that the coastal road was faster and much nicer than the road running up the center of the peninsula.
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We walked around the square a bit and we decided that this was the best country so far. We were in love with Norway already.

I remembered that the guide book said to go to the fish market for some fresh catch. We went and sampled some smoked salmon and smoked whale. I knew that there was a restaurant recommended and thought that it might be one at the fish market. I had the fish cakes, recommended, Elias the herring and Dale the local trout. All was great but pricey than I thought it would be. After getting back to the car I found that we’d actually gone to one of the most expensive restaurants. Fortunately we were careful in ordering so didn’t rack up a huge bill. The place recommended was actually a food stand with a line, we found it by accident but were already full.

We’d read in “Lonely Planet …”this is one of the most beautiful counties on earth”. We also read in another place that the coast route is “breathtakingly beautiful”. These are understatements. Photos cannot capture the wonderful sights around every corner.

We headed up highway #44 and drove until it was twilight. We stopped at a little pull out overlooking a fjord, and found that it was a site for a memorial where allies fought Nazi’s. There was a whole history about the area; Nazi’s hid prisoners, the British rescued the prisoners and several allies were killed.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J%C3%B8ssingfjord
We’d already eaten a large lunch so dinner was just bread, cheese and meat and another night of car camping.

Posted by Miss Chris 13:44 Archived in Norway Tagged driving europe norway ferry denmark Comments (0)

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