Welcome to My Place . . . Victoria, Vancouver Island

Pearse Moroney recommends the best places to eat fish tacos, drink local cider and view the city from above

Pearse Moroney and his wife Julie in Vancouver Island

Pearse Moroney and his wife Julie in Vancouver Island

 

Pearse Moroney, originally from Dublin, attended graduate college in the University of Victoria in the 1970s and retired there in 2012, having worked mainly in Ireland.

“We live in Brentwood Bay which is a small community on the outskirts of Victoria. BC is renowned for its wonderful scenery and we spend much of our time in the outdoors, hiking, cycling and kayaking.”

What is the first place that you bring people to when they visit Victoria?

To get a perspective of a place it is always worthwhile to visit a viewing point. There are a number of good look out spots in Victoria, but my favourite is a small park on the periphery of the city called Lone Pine Hill. To get to the summit involves a short 25-minute uphill hike, but you are rewarded with a smashing view which provides 360-degree vistas of the city and the beautiful surroundings

The top three things to do there that don’t cost money are ...

Many visitors arrive on the Island by air, but if you take the ferry, be it from mainland US or Canada, there is strong probability that you will get the opportunity to avail of some free whale watching – you are practically guaranteed some killer whales will be spotted en route.

When you visit the inner harbour, be sure that you take in Fisherman’s Wharf, where you can take a stroll through a small colourful township of floating houses.

In August, a stage is constructed on the water’s surface in the inner harbour and a huge crowd gathers from early morning to listen to the local symphony orchestra. The concert is known as The Symphony Splash, and the concert typically finishes up with the 1812 Overture and fireworks.

Where do you recommend for a great meal that gives a flavour of Victoria?

There are many fine restaurants in Victoria, and in addition some great street food is available. Fantastic seafood tacos may be found in an outlet called Tacofinos on Fort Street.

If you are feeling a little lonesome for home comforts, there is a wonderful restaurant called Murchie’s on Government Street, which in addition to fabulous chowders and other local fare, also sells sticky buns together with great coffees and teas.

While in Victoria, try a fish taco. Photograph: Getty Images
While in Victoria, try a fish taco. Photograph: Getty Images

Where is the best place to get a sense of Victoria’s place in history?

The BC legislature is a situated in Victoria and close by is the Royal BC Museum, with a large collection of totem poles in its grounds. There are many interactive exhibits and is well worth paying the entrance fee to learn a little about the history of the First Nations and the indigenous people.

The Knowledge Totem is an Indian totem, carved by the Cowichen tribes, in front of the British Columbia Parliament building. Photograph: Getty Images
The Knowledge Totem is an Indian totem, carved by the Cowichen tribes, in front of the British Columbia Parliament building. Photograph: Getty Images

What should visitors save room for in their suitcase after a visit to Victoria?

Cowichan knitwear, particularly their slippers and sweaters, are popular but my preference is a sample of the local Merridale cider. It’s expensive but very refreshing on a warm summer’s day.

If you’d like to share your little black book of places to visit where you live, please email your answers to the five questions above to abroad@irishtimes.com, including a brief description of what you do there and a photograph of yourself. We’d love to hear from you.