Monday, March 21, 2011

Vancouver on my Mind

Stepping outside into the fresh crisp clean air I wondered why it took me so long to visit this beautiful city. My first time in Canada and it most definitely will not be my last! It felt like I was coming home - the fact that every second person I met was Australian definitely helped me feel at ease here. Unfortunately again this was only a fly by visit but we fit so much into our days that action packed would be an understatement. As soon as you arrive in Vancouver its easy to sense that the locals have a love of the matter what the climate!

The weather would have made Jack Frost smile with satisfaction - Sleet the first night, snow and sleet the following day. Did this negatively affect our love for this city....never, after all we were hardly expecting warm weather in Canada in February!

Vancouver City with Stanley Park in background

We decided to stay at the Comfort Inn Downtown Vancouver which we thoroughly enjoyed. The location could not have been better and the Irish Bar there certainly helped us recover from our activity packed days! The Irish Bar had live music each night we were there which added to the atmosphere and continental breakfast was thrown in to the hotel rate and the rate very affordable. The room was comfortable....and the most important thing for me....WARM!!

Totem Poles in Stanley Park

The first day we braved the cold (and sleet) and hired bikes to cycle around Stanley Park. What a stunning sizable park to have right in the city (1,000 acres). Even though the fog was in the views were beautiful and I can only imagine how nice it would be on a clear day (another reason to return to Vancouver!). The totem poles in the park were a great little addition and there was definitely something spiritual about them.

Detailed Close Up of Totem Pole
The afternoon was spent at the Capalano Suspension Bridge which was nice in its own way but once it started snowing heavily even a hot chocolate couldn't raise a smile from me (must be the Australian in me - I don't do the cold very well).

City View from Stanley Park

 Of course on the last day we had to visit the Look Out at the Harbour Centre (a building which dominates Vancouver's skyline). Great views and scenery saw our appreciation and love of the city grow - There is nothing like seeing snow capped mountains surrounding a city. Whistler being only a few hours drive away is definitely an added attraction to visitors and without a doubt I shall be gracing it with my presence on my return trip. Hopefully I might pull off some slick snowboarding moves too.......okay, highly unlikely I know! And talking of snowboarding, around 3pm on the first day in the city I spotted to guys walking down one of the main roads in downtown all decked out in their snow gear and snowboards - An amusing site to me but as the locals didn't bat an eyelid  this is obviously a regular occurrence. Turns out, after speaking to a few locals, that many people finish work early to catch a bus to the slopes for an afternoon/evening ski/snowboard. Jealous! The Vancity folk definitely have their priorities right - Work to Live, not Live to Work!

View of Vancouver Harbour and North Vancouver in distance (note the Sea Plane fuel staion)

Our last tourist attraction stop was Gastown - A little neighbourhood just east of downtown. To me it had a pioneer feel to it and the main attraction to see here was a steam powered clock. It would have been great to have known of this place a little earlier as I'm sure the nightlife and bars would have been great fun here but once again....all the more reason to return!

Steam Clock in Gastown

So, how would I rate Vancouver overall - 10 out of 10! I absolutely fell in love with this city and would encourage everyone to add this city to their bucket lists! This city  even has me thinking that a relocation could be on the cards in the near be continued!


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