A sense of relief washed over me as soon as we crossed the American-Canadian border and saw road signs that featured kilometres and not miles. No more pretending to understand when someone said something was “just 1000 feet that way!” or 5 miles up the road.
Anyway, we got into Vancouver late on Sunday evening after no trouble at the border and made it to our hostel. Unfortunately the hostel was located in a rather dodgy enclave of town and we had a couple of unpleasant encounters on our search for dinner. Also our hostel appeared to be not so much a hostel as short stay rental accommodation for the profoundly drug affected. I booked it, whoops!
Like Seattle it was extremely hot and balmy, so after a restless night we got up early and were on the streets by about 8:30am, keen to avoid the heat. We ended up walking 28km (or 55,000 steps according the pedometer on Andrew’s phone) around the city that day.
We walked along the water, past the science museum:
To Granville Island, which was ok. I didn’t take any photos though so that’s kind of telling. Maybe we were there too early.
We then walked through the city, stopping at a few shops along the way, to Denman Street which we had been told had all kinds of great international food. So we grabbed lunch at a Middle Eastern place near English Bay Beach, it was fab.
From there we walked along the water towards the highly recommended Stanley Park.
I really regret not taking my bathers, we were sweltering.
We walked down a trail through the park, which was delightfully secluded and quiet. Less like Central Park and more like we were suddenly in the middle of nowhere.
We came out the other end of the park near the rowing club, which has great views of the city.
We opted not to visit the aquarium, but managed to see some local wildlife:
We checked out the amazing totem pole collection.
We then walked back into the city. By this time it was 4:30pm and we had already walked about 20km and were tired and sweaty but in no way eager to return to our crack den accommodation. So we went and saw a movie. I know, not the best way to see a place, but it was nice to sit down in air conditioning for a few hours. We saw Inside Out, which was excellent and funny and sad in the way that Pixar movies are. I highly recommend seeing it.
We emerged from the cinema reenergised and walked back to English Bay Beach for dinner and the sunset. Cue copious visuals:
We grabbed a couple of hotdogs from a street stand, two drinks and a packet of chips for $10. Bargain!
We loaded our dogs up with sauces and sides.
And then settled in with a few thousand others to watch the sun go down.
The hotdog was seriously good, so it deserves another photo:
I would apologise for overdoing the sunset photos, but if you’ve read this blog for any length of time you would know I always do this. Sorrynotsorry.
When the sun disappeared behind the mountains we began the walk home along the water.
Unfortunately along the way we witnessed a suicide attempt from one of the city bridges (not the one above). The splash was so loud we actually thought a car must have crashed up on the bridge. It was pretty horrific and something I will probably never forget. So sad.
The next day we left Vancouver, a night early. I felt bad, but we were just done. It didn’t help that we were extremely uncomfortable in our accommodation. I did really enjoy our time there though.