Bon jour, mesdames et monsieurs.

Trip Start Apr 18, 2007
Trip End Jun 29, 2007

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Flag of Canada  , British Columbia,
Monday, April 23, 2007

Another day, another nose full of AvGas, another 'random' full security check making a 100% strike rate. Maybe it's the brightly coloured carry-on... At least the Portland staff were cheerful as they swabbed everything and put me in a 'puffer' booth to test for 'bodily chemicals!'

The flight to Vancouver was quite enjoyable - a little 50 seat Dash 8-300 with one hostess (who chatted up the off-duty pilot opposite me most of the flight) and a cruising altitude of only 15,000 feet that afforded a good view all the way. We flew over Seattle and countryside that was populated all the way, passed Mt. St. Helens and alps with dustings of snow that popped up through distant clouds and over the inner waterways and islands outside Vancouver. Things did start to seem as if I was at the Olympics, with all announcements and signage in both English and French. My schoolgirl French is proving rather elementary...

If YVR airport can be taken as a microcosm of the city,  Vancouver rated well with straightforward Customs and Immigration, helpful staff, good signage and gardens everwhere planted up with roses, flowering bulbs, magnolias and dogwood blossom. My first transfer was straightforward via a shuttle bus to the hotel door. As last stop, I had the chance to get a tour around the downtown area and am liking what I see. Much more like Melbourne with old cathedrals, glass towers, wide streets and the harbour.    
And we are back to a metric system, thank goodness - although I know 52lb is too much for one suitcase! A balmy 16oC here today and petrol at a more understandable CA120.5c/L. (AU$1.00 = CA$0.91 approx.)

A short afternoon walk downtown took me to the Vancouver Skytower, producing the photos below. Click on them for a larger view.

Two hot pizza slices on the way back for dinner and time now to sprawl out across a room with an internet connection that is all mine for 3 nights, cull the suitcase, have a LONG indulgent shower, some down time watching bad cable TV and work out what I should see over the next two days.
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