Trip Start Jun 13, 2006
Trip End Jun 12, 2007

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Flag of Canada  , British Columbia,
Thursday, July 13, 2006

Alex: We spent 3 days in Vancouver and it wasn't until our last day that we realised it is actually the nice city everyone told us it was! First few days we didn't do too much, went to Gastown, the old touristy bit, which was old and touristy (the highlight seems to be a steam powered clock) wandered into Chinatown a bit. Our second day we went to Granville island which was an industrial area back in the day which was then neglected and has now been restored and is a bit of a trendy place to live. When I read "industrial" in the guide book I was thinking of the nice industrial buildings in Manchester so I was expecting brick built factories and the like, so I was a bit surprise to get there and find lots of corregated iron buildings. It was nice anyway and had a really good food market so we could get some stuff in for tea (limited only by the facilities in the dodgy hostel we chose which were limited to a 4 burner hob with only 2 burners working for a hostel of about 50 people - we will stick to the Hosteling International places from now on I think).

We found the nice Vancouver on the Saturday when the weather cleared up and we went to Stanley park which is the largest urban park in North America. On the walk over we came out of the slightly divey area we had been in so far, onto the harbor surrounded by gleaming new Skyscrapers. There is a nice harbor walk way edged in green with random modern sculpture hanging around which leads into Stanley Park - which is HUGE. It is stuck on a peninsular in the harbor so has sea on 3 side which have a path around, we walked a short way around it (the full walk takes about 2 hours) and stopped at a beach and read. Because it was a sunny Saturady the whole of Vancouver seemed to have had the same idea and the paths were filled with people walking, cycling and roller blading around. We cut off the seawall path into the centre of the park which was a lot quieter and fairly densely wooded, it felt like we were in the middle of nowhere not less than a mile from a massive city. We walked to beaver lake which is literally covered with water lilies (see the photo if you don't believe me) and then on to the totem pole park which told you the meaning behind the individual totem poles which i found interesting (just don't ask me what the actually meant, my brain hasn't retained that much!) And then back to the dodgy part of town and our hostel.

Vancouver Island and Victoria tomorrow
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