Vancouver, British Columbia.

dsc00947Before I left for Canada, everyone told me how I have to go to Vancouver, “it’s a city close to nature! There’s nothing like it!” Well funnily enough, those of you who have been keeping up with my blog for a while will know that I don’t live too far away from Bristol, a city that is close to nature. So, I didn’t love Vancouver as much as I thought I would but I still really liked it, I know I’ve just contradicted myself hugely but I’m sure you get what I mean. I also loved Vancouver because of the people I met there, and I’m confident when I say that I think we’ll be friends forever. Anyway more on that later… Let me start from the beginning.

Day 1

A long, long, long 16 hour journey later, I arrived at 6am. Fatigued and bleary eyed I took an hour out to have a hot chocolate and stretch my legs before I made the move to the hostel. Also partially because I had heard from other friends that the homeless situation in Vancouver was absolutely dire and to be careful when walking in the dark alone.

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Eloise and I had planned to meet again in Vancouver so we both booked the same hostel. I arrived at the hostel early and Eloise wasn’t due until 12, so I took a nap in the rest room whilst waiting. Despite the nap the rest of the day was kind of a bust as I was still absolutely shattered from that brutal bus journey. BUT Eloise and I had booked tickets for the ice hockey that night and I was absolutely buzzing. The game started at 7 and as soon as we arrived to the Rogers Arena it felt like the whole of Vancouver had turned up to support the Canucks friendly against the Arizona Coyotes.

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The game was amazing. I’ve never seen anything like it. They move with such speed and agility that is hard to actually see the puck! From an outsider’s perspective there didn’t seem to be that many rules but that made it way more fun to watch.

Day 2

The next day we signed up for the hostel activity which was a hike through Lyn Canyon, a rain forest half an hour outside Vancouver City. It was beautiful and definitely worth doing. Had I visited there before Banff I probably would have raved about it but nothing compares to Banff.

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Later in the afternoon, Eloise and I introduced ourselves to a group of people who were also on the hike. We ended up being really good friends and I still speak to many of them almost a month after I left Vancouver. The Samesun Hostel had a huuuuge beaver bar downstairs so we spent a load of time getting to know each other. I was absolutely gobsmacked when I heard that some of them weren’t planning on visiting Banff, so I raved and raved about it until they said they would go. I ended up being nick named Banff because I talked about it and loved it so much. One of my favourite things about travelling is meeting different people and learning what they do so these guys absolutely made my trip to Vancouver an unforgettable one.

Day 3

Our third morning in Vancouver was bittersweet as it was Eloise’s last day in Canada. It was a beautiful day so we decided to walk over to Granville Island. This was probably the only nice day we had in Vancouver so I’m glad we made the most of it.

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We strolled over a bridge which gave us a view of the harbour and the outskirt of the Vancouver skyline.

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Granville island itself was amazing. It reminds me a lot of Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco. If you’re a huge foodie, this is definitely a place for you to put on your list. I kept thinking as I walked around that my parents would have loved this market, it was filled with fresh foods, home made chutneys, delicious desserts, all kinds of yummy things. Plus waiting for the ferry back to the city wasn’t so bad…

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We didn’t spend long here as Eloise was feeling rather fragile and I had a lunch date with an old friend from school, Matteo. He moved out to Vancouver around a year ago and hasn’t looked back since and I can’t see why! He’s doing amazingly well at an animation studio where he leads a team of people in visual effects. Pretty cool hey?!

I spent the rest of the day bonding with the ‘Van City’ crew. I always find it amazing how people can drastically change your impression of a city…

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I know it doesn’t sound like I did a lot in Vancouver and I did miss a couple of the ‘must dos’. BUT there were a few reasons for this: firstly, the weather wasn’t the best, for the most part it rained and no one wants to do hikes and bikes in the rain. Secondly, I had decided to hold off doing everything at once because I had booked a couple more nights a week later, however there was unfortunately  an incident with my camera and this stole nearly a whole day from me (more on that in the next couple of posts).

I had also planned on:

Biking around the sea wall/ Stanley park

Grouse Mountain

Capilano Suspension Bridge

Gas Town

But in my opinion, this just gives me another reason to go back. Vancouver, I’ll see you again.

S x

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