Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Vancouver, Canada, 5.-10.6. 2011

Alright, I'm finally about to write about my summer trip to Canada and the US! Me and my friend (and loyal travel companion) Tiina spent three weeks in Vancouver, Seattle, San Francisco and Honolulu/Oahu in June 2011 and this is how it went...

We wanted to go to Vancouver because we changed planes there in the summer of 2010 on our way back to Finland from Los Angeles. Back then, we only hung around at the airport so now we wanted to actually go into the city to explore a bit of Canada. This was our first time in Canada so it was extra exciting - it's always fun to add a new country to your list of places you've visited :). Right, so we flew to Vancouver via London Heathrow. I'm not a huge fan of flying - in fact, I'm scared to death of it - so these long, 10-hour flights are never a dream come true for me. Well, apart from the part where the plane lands safely and you can breathe a sigh of relief until you have to get ready to fly to your next destination! This flight was alright, though, with no turbulance to speak of. Phew!
Greenland as seen from the plane.

London to Vancouver.


We stayed at a hostel called HI - Vancouver Central, which was nicely priced. We stayed in a twin room and it was really good. We also had our own bathroom, which felt luxurious (you should bear in mind that we usually travel on a budget and have stayed in dorms in the past). The hostel's on Granville Street, which is a central street in Vancouver. If you're into going out, which we're not, then you'll have several night clubs right on your street, and you're close to Robson Street, too, which is the main shopping street in the city. It's really easy to walk everywhere in Vancouver but you're especially close to stuff staying on Granville St. Highly recommend the hostel, and the free breakfast was good, too!

Our hostel room.

Granville Street.

Another picture of Granville Street.



We didn't do anything much on our first day - we arrived in the evening and as we were pretty exhausted after the flights, we went straight to bed.

On the following day, which was a Monday, we decided to take in the city on foot and see as much of it as we possibly could. So, off we went towards Canada Place and the Waterfront. Vancouver was one of our destinations that we hadn't studied that closely beforehand so we kind of made it up as we went along.

Canada Place and the Waterfront with mountains in the distance.

Canada Place.

Me, myself and I in front of Canada Place.

There were float planes landing and taking off all the time.

Oh Canada!

Go Canucks Go!

The Olympic Cauldron.

Tiina trying to decide where to head next.

After the Waterfront, we decided to walk to and through Gastown, the oldest neighbourhood in the city. It was quite lovely and resembled Great Britain in many ways with its buildings and lamp posts. Very nice! Lots of tourist shops, too, selling Canada souvenirs. I guess the two most famous things to see in Gastown are the Steam Clock and the statue of Gassy Jack.



The Steam Clock.


Gassy Jack - he was a bar owner after whom they named this part of the city.
From Gastown, we continued to walk ahead through Chinatown, which sucked. We then decided to go and collect our bus tickets for Friday when we'd be heading down to Seattle. We walked through this really seedy part of town and were a bit afraid even with suddenly being surrounded by rather rough-looking druggies. You know, the kind you see in documentaries about addicts who're completely lost to society and can't be helped anymore. Some of them were shouting "Ten bucks, ten bucks!". Well. We got to Pacific Central Station alright and managed to collect our tickets for the bus. We decided to have lunch at Burger King at the station as we couldn't be bothered to look for a place to eat and were starving at this point. We then walked back to our hostel along the Seawall, passing Science World, BC Place Stadium, past False Creek and through Yaletown.

When we got to our hostel, we had to google the seedy part of town where we'd just been and found out it was the worst drug area in North America. Whoooops. Apparently you can get any sort of drug there for $10 - hence the people there crying "ten bucks, ten bucks" all the time. It was really sad to see so many people in such a bad state and it's even more horrible when you start thinking that once they were just like me and you. Anyway, just in case you ever find yourself in Vancouver, try and avoid the area around Downtown Eastside and West Hastings Street, between Abbott and Gore.

Science World.

Walking along the Seawall.

False Creek.

Proud Canucks.



Me with a popsicle in our room :).

So there you have it - our first full day in Vancouver, in a nutshell. Come back for more updates on the rest of our days as Vancouverites later on :)!

5 comments:

  1. Mä niin haluan Vancouveriin, ja Kanadaan ylipäätänsä! Voi kun ois vaan rahaa ja aikaa matkustella koko ajan :P

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  2. Vancouver on kyllä kiva :)! Mutta täytyy sanoa, että ei siellä monelle päivälle oo mitään tekemistä eli kannattaa tosiaan yhdistää se muihinkin kohteisiin. Mua kiinnostais Toronto!

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  3. Hyvin näyttää onnistuvan, nyt näkyy tagit yläreunassa ja lukijat myös. Ehkä sivu näyttäytyy sulle jotenkin oudosti: myös mulla välillä häviää ne lukijoiden kuvat siitä tekstin alta.

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  4. No hyvä sitten :)! Mulle ei itelle näy lukijat - näkyy otsikkona My readers, mutta sen alla ei näy ketään. WEIRD!! Hyvä silti, jos muille näkyy :).

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  5. Fabulous.... We are going to Canada for the first time this summer and I am super excited.
    Love your photo of Greenland and the view of the mountains in Vancouver. Xx

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