Trip Start Jun 27, 2009
75Trip End Jun 26, 2010
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Where I stayed
Paul and Grace's place
As my friend Paul whom I was staying with in Vancouver was working during the day, I left my bag in a locker at the station and then went to explore the city. I headed into downtown and then to the waterfront and caught the seabus over to Lonsdale markets. This market - I was told by no less than two different girls that I had chatted to on the train - is a great market, as good as the Granville Island market but with less people. However I wasn't impressed (even less so when I actually went to the Granville Island Markets the next day). After catching the ferry back I walked around Gastown which is the oldest part of Vancouver and has some very interesting sights including a steam powered clock. However it is slightly dodgy as you head west and so caution is advised. Vancouver has the most homeless people in Canada as it has the mildest winters despite being close to some of the largest mountains and thus best ski fields
The next day I walked down to the waterfront near the proposed Olympic village site (for the next Winter Olympics 2010) and then along the waterfront to Granville Island markets. I really liked looking around the markets which was a mixture of a food market as well as arts, crafts and all sorts of stuff. Much more interesting and varied when compared to the Lonsdale markets! I then walked across the Granville bridge and explored the west end of the city and then onto Stanley Park which is a beautiful park on a peninsula coming off the main part of Vancouver. In Stanley park is an Aquarium which I was recommended to visit and thus did. It had an extensive collection of sea creatures from all over the world as well as many locals including the Beluga whale.
After buying some decent hiking shoes (which I knew I'd need for California and South America) I went hiking with Paul and Grace up to Cypress mountain which is a ski field less than 40 minutes drive from Vancouver and which has amazing hiking trails in Summer. Paul and Grace set a blistering pace and I almost did not think I would make the final dash for the peak as my whole body was exausted and my legs like jelly, but I managed to draw on all my reserves and clamber to the top. Well it was worth it as the views were incredible. Whilst walking down we picked blueberries (which bears also feast on) to have as dessert after dinner that night. Sunday afternoon I managed to further abuse my body by going roller blading with Paul and Grace along the seawall around Stanley Park. the weather was perfect and it was a lovely finish to my time in Vancouver.