Our second to last stop on our whole trip! But what an excellent stop. After a non stop 24 days of road tripping in America, staying in Vancouver has been so relaxing and just like being at home.
We took the super cheap Boltbus from Seattle to Vancouver, which ran an hour late, but was made up for by the free bus wifi and the driver giving us free Jolly Ranchers.
After a year of negotiating our own way around public transport and foreign countries it was amazing to be met off the bus by someone – and a very lovely someone! Last time we saw Rachel she was busy being a bridesmaid at our wedding, so it was amazing and very emotional to see her face at the bus stop.
Rachel, Shane and their cat, General Crix Madine (apparently it’s a Star Wars reference), have a really nice flat in Mount Pleasant which we took over with all our stuff for five nights and they very kindly didn’t seem to mind at all.
We had a lovely few days, catching up, chilling out, seeing Vancouver and eating. Eating a lot.
On day one we hired bikes with Jenny and Andy B and rode around the city and seawall. The weather was perfect (I don’t believe it rains here 8 months of the year) and the city is so lovely – really green and bike friendly. I can really see why you might want to live here. Sam also thinks he saw Bradley Whitford running (Josh from the West Wing), which would make it a very cool place to be. The sighting remains unconfirmed though.
Our long weekend involved eating a lot of delicious food. There are sooooo many places to eat in Vancouver! Food we have eaten included bacon and maple syrup doughnuts, maple syrup waffles, ginormous sushi, Shanes’s vegan avocado pasta (very impressive and delicious), a picnic in the park, pizza in the park, breakfast at Tim Horton’s and of course, the famous Canadian poutine – chips, gravy, cheese and pulled pork. Mmmmmmmmmmmm.
We did work some of the food off by taking the ferry to North Vancouver and walking in the woods in Lynn Valley, which was very lovely. Sam even found something to jump off and into to cool down. It’s nice that you can access the great outdoors so easily from the city.
Our weekend was so lovely and relaxed and it was nice to take a break from intensive travelling and sightseeing. And getting to have a go on Shane’s PS4 made Sam pretty happy!
After saying goodbye to the Canadians we took the ferry over to Vancovuer Island and stayed in the NICEST apartment (with hot tub!) belonging to Shame’s mum in downtown Victoria.
Victoria is the main city on Vancouver Island, and the capital of BC, and is full of gorgeous old buildings right on the harbour. We had a lovely time wandering around the town and the waterfront, shopping and eating more food.
On our last evening we took an evening kayak tour of the harbour which was brilliant (and half price on a Wednesday – my favourite!) We spent two hours with a guide paddling around the harbour, watching the seals, grey herons and the beautiful sunset.
We’ve only been here for a week, but we have loved our time in Canada. The people really are that friendly and Vancouver is a really great city. Luckily we know we’ll be back to Vancouver again one day, hopefully soonish, to see Rachel and Shane, and we have plenty more of Canada to explore.