Our two-storey home is five minutes' walk from the ocean in Victoria, British Columbia. Ten minutes' walk in a different direction is Oak Bay village, a compact collection of shops including delis, grocers, bookshop, pharmacy and pub. Victoria is a city of about 350,000 at the southern tip of Vancouver Island, an island about 50% larger than Wales off the west coast of Canada, near Vancouver and Seattle, to each of which cities Victoria connects by ferry. Oak Bay is a seaside suburb ten minutes from the centre of Victoria by car or bus. The climate is temperate, with moist winters and sunny, dry summers.
Originally designed by an architect as his family residence, our house has available for exchange two double bedrooms and bathrooms (one with bath and shower), a large living room with fireplace, dining room and kitchen, and secluded garden.
Victoria is a university town and seat of provincial government with a commendable museum (Royal British Columbia Museum) and art gallery, a symphony orchestra and opera company in addition to a variety of theatres. Out of doors, opportunities include tennis (the free public courts in Windsor Park are less than a five-minute walk away), kayaking or canoeing on the ocean and inland lakes, picturesque and reasonably priced year-round public golf courses (look up Cordova Bay and Highland Pacific), as well as activities such as whale-watching tours for those in search of the not so elusive orca. Seaside walks in Oak Bay, such as the Beach Drive pathway through the ocean links Victoria golf course, will lead you to the finer pleasures of coffees and pastries at destinations such as the aptly named Delish, purveyor of Oak Bay's (and we daresay Victoria's) most delectable take-out dinners.
Should you wish to venture to Vancouver or Seattle while you're here, each city is readily accessible by car ferry (two hours to Vancouver, slightly more to Seattle) or by a half hour plane trip. Smaller ferries will take you to more bucolic destinations such as the Gulf Islands in Georgia Strait, the body of water separating Vancouver Island from mainland British Columbia.
One of these islands is Pender Island (a 45-minute ferry trip from Vancouver Island), home to about 3,000 people and just enough services to make life convenient but quiet. For those who crave peaceful natural surroundings, our other exchange home is a secluded cottage on South Pender Island, a five-minute walk from the beach.
Last year we arranged a month-long exchange with a Manhattan couple (for the Pender cottage). This summer we are looking for an exchange in London to overlap with our daughter's July 21-25 course at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. In future years we plan to be absolutely flexible with regard to destinations.
eramaja, 2 või enam korrust/ peamine elukoht