We touched down in beautiful Vancouver after a 14 hour flight. I wasn’t sure what to expect, I knew it was going to be cold and that was about it. The city itself is beautiful. Crisp, clean and very much in order. It was a lovely top of five degrees, which everyone said was great..”Oh you’re in for a lovely day!”. And as it turned out, we were!
Gas Town: Historically, it’s the oldest part of Vancouver. It’s been “done up” so there are lots of nice restaurants and boutiques to see IF you don’t hit “Winter hours”. We found that a lot of the shops in this town were either closed or had very limited opening hours. It’s a great scenic walk to do anyway, so worth the effort. The only tip would be to avoid Hastings street when heading down to Gas Town, as there are many pan handlers on this route.
Stanley Park: A lovely, picturesque park to walk along when it’s not three degrees. The track around the park is approximately 10km – so we checked out the parts we wanted to see on the park map and then based our route on this. We walked to Stanley Park from our hotel, which was a good 5km away and then walked back. What we should have done (and just completely walked past it) was hire some bikes from a place called “Spokes” on Denman St and ride the bikes through the park; a much better idea, but we stuck to the original plan and walked to the Totem Poles, tried to get to Beaver lake (couldn’t find it) and the highlight was the Aquarium.
Granville Island: A random bus ride lead us to Granville Island. We were heading to see a piece of “Silver art” on 2nd street and then the bus driver started saying “I know you ALL want to get to Granville Island” and the rest of the bus was yelling out “YEAH! Granville Island”…we sat there thinking “hmmm..they could be onto something” and they were. The bus drove past 2nd Ave..there was no silver artwork (we later found this piece of art downtown) and it looked pretty dead. Granville Island was the next stop and it was not a disappointment. It’s a market – lots of foods and home-baked goods! What more could we ask for? There was also an awesome view of downtown Vancouver and the Marina from the market. A great activity when it’s raining in Vancouver and it was a complete surprise… we were happy with this find!
Ice Hockey: We took some advice from uncle John who stated “You gotta see an Ice Hockey match…you just gotta!!” and so we did! We bought front row seats to the Western Ice Hockey League and saw the Vancouver Giants take on the Portland Sea Hawks. A very Canadian experience and if you can get front row tickets then definitely do it. I was terrified, but Angus loved it and was on board for more carnage. It was a thrilling match with lot’s of punch on’s, falls and a little blood, but that’s (I’m told) what it’s all about :). An all round great experience and would recommend to anyone coming to Vancouver.