Trip Start Apr 02, 2008
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
The Grand Trunk

Flag of Canada  , British Columbia,
Wednesday, August 13, 2008

First impressions of Vancouver weren't great. 
Greyhound from Everett outside Seattle ran late so we only got into Vancouver at 1am. Our Hostel didn't have anyone on reception after 12am and told us they didn't allow guests to check in after that time. So, we rang a number of Hotels from the train station (while the security man stood rattling his keys beside us waiting to lock up), most of them were booked out. We eventually got a room in a Hotel on Collins Street (i think). Well, every poor unfortunate homeless person in Canada must hang out in the neighbourhood. They were there in their droves. In the five months we've been travelling, we've never seen anything like it.
We were dropped at the door of the Hotel by the Taxi and went straight to bed. The next morning we decided to check into the Hostel we had booked, it was just two blocks away. The two blocks made a difference. We were somewhat more at ease in the area (bottom of Gastown). There were a few guys looking for smokes and coins, but harmless. So, an interesting start to our visit to the city everyone raves about and which has won lots of awards for being 'so wonderfully habitable'. 
With just one day to see the sites, we took a walk into the city centre via Gastown. We went to the lookout which gave us a good vantage point of the city and the surrounding areas. Everyone we had met on the road told us to go to Stanley Park so we walked through town and experienced a very different Vancouver to the night before. Aesthetically, it's a nice city, there are people on bikes and they dress really well going to work! 
Stanley Park is equally good. There are free Trolley Buses with brilliant drivers who give you history of the Park and parts of the city itself. After that, Michael met his Aussie mate James for food, a few beers and a catch up. We sat up watching the Olympics that night, in the disbelief that we were leaving for Beijing the next morning. 
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