is gorgeous! I heard it rains like crazy there (80% of the time) I was lucky to be part of the 20% that it's nice and sunny. Partly because I went over the summer.DAY 1
I came into Richmond (City just south of Vancouver) and just dropped off my luggage at the hotel and I headed straight to get my bus pass ($9CAN per day which includes bus, SeaBus
, and SkyTrain
, I highly recommend it over renting a car). Not knowing what to do, I just took a map and headed straight to Stanley Park
to walk the seawall (which is pretty much what it's known for). WOW! is it long. My friend told me that I can do it, because I love walking when I travel, but I couldn't finish it.
Sea Wall at Stanley Park
It took me about 2 hours to walk only half of it. I didn't even sleep the night before because my flight was so early and my fatigue started kicking in since I didn't really get any good sleep on the plane ride there; so I just took a shuttle back into Stanley Park (The Rose Garden) then headed over to the city to eat some cheap sushi for my first meal of the day!
After that long walk through Stanley Park, I was ready to check into my hotel and relax a little bit, but when I got back to The Station
(where the SeaBus and SkyTrain all meet) I just thought to myself, "Hey, I already paid for this all day ticket, might as well take a look at North Vancouver
and ride the SeaBus." So I did, the ride was beautiful too, windows all over for everyone to enjoy what Vancouver looks like, both North and Downtown; but most of the travelers were commuters so there was a lot of iPods and reading going on.
View of Dowtown
After the SeaBus docks I see everybody running over to the bus, so I was caught in a "monkey see monkey do" situation; so I just ran with the crowd onto the bus, not knowing where it will lead me. Luckily it did read, "Lynn Canyon
" somewhere on it, which was one of the destinations I wanted to visit. While on the bus, I took a free tour of Lonsdale (North Vancouver) which was basically all seafood restaurants I think. I didn't get off so I'm not sure, but it was a nice ride none the less. The bus started to go into a residential area where it dropped commuters off. The bus stops and the bus driver tells me that it is the last stop, so I got off and asked how to get to Lynn Canyon.
I walked about 2 blocks down the hill and then another 2 blocks into Lynn Canyon Park and started walking towards the suspension bridge.
Lynn Canyon Park
It was such an awesome view! I think I was in the middle of the bridge for about 10 minutes just snapping pictures. After I crossed the bridge, I began my hike through Lynn Canyon Park in jeans and a pair of Nike Dunks. Not the best attire for a long walk, but I had no idea that I would be doing this on the first day! After an hour or so, fatigue kicked in again but likely I was done and I actually ended back up the hill where the bus dropped me off BUT
the bus to go BACK
into Lonsdale/SeaBus port was actually at the entrance of Lynn Canyon! So I had to walk back down the hill (about a 4 block walk) to catch the bus back to North Vancouver.
After taking the SeaBus back into Downtown (The Station). I was ready to head back to the hotel and knock out! BUT I was really close to Robson Street
(one of Vancouver's best known streets), so I ended up walking down the street to check out the scenery and shops.
SeaBus Station, Lonsdale Quay
It's pretty much a big strip mall where people go shopping, so I see it in LA all the time.
I journeyed over to Granville Street
(the other well known street) and walked down that street. Granville Street is known for nightlife (bars, clubs, etc.). Since I was rolling solo, I didn't have a wingman to go into these places, PLUS
I was already super tired. It was a nice walk down Granville though. That's where I found 22 pieces of sushi for $5! Sounds crazy, but the quality was pretty bad, but you get what you pay for like all things. It filled me up though. I saw a guy in there, who was talking to the waitress and cashier, saying he's a pan handler down the street. He just asked for a cup of water and he walked right out the door. When I finished my dinner, I started walking down the street as well.
Famous Robson and Granville
I see the same pan handler who was in the the restaurant I was in. He was being pushed in a wheelchair by a "collegue" and he was rolling around with and IV (Intravenous therapy) kit!
Talk bout using props, this guy was ridiculous. I couldn't help it but I started laughing. The people around me probably thought I was a jerk.
The night ended as I made my way back to the hotel by bus (98 B-Line). This was probably the most intense day, the rest of the trip was more relaxing and less of a walk. DAY 2
After a vigorous first day in Vancouver, I allocated this day to head over Victoria Island
, so I had to wake up at 6am to have breakfast. I have to eat this time, it's kind of rough running on fumes like yesterday. After breakfast I took the same bus into downtown and just asked around to find the right ride to head over to the ferry terminal.
What kept me going. $5 Dollar Sushi!!
So the plan was to go up to Horseshoe Bay in West Vancouver and leave from there to get to Nanaimo
, which is located at the north part of Victoria
Island. The ferry ride was fun, it took about an hour to get over, and I was just chatting with a married couple (Dave and Marilyn) the whole time. They were just telling me where I need to go and their experiences in life. They were heading over the Victoria Island to visit their son for his birthday.
When I got off the ferry, I began to just walk towards the city. There's only one walkway/road out of the ferry terminal, which made it easy. While walking through the heat I met a fellow traveler from South Korea who was going to the city as well.
Downtown Nanaimo Bay
So it made a long walk more enjoyable with a little bit of company. When we reached the city, we just looked around for a bit. It was a great day to be out. After we finished Nanaimo, she had to leave and take another ferry over to another island, so I headed over to downtown to grab a quick bite and have some Molsons since I'm in Canada. There really wasnt much to do out in Nanaimo
so I took a Greyhound bus towards Southern Victoria Island to hang out in the City of Victoria, BUT
the last ferry out of Victoria Island to head back to Vancouver was at 8pm and I had to meet with a friend back in Vancouver at 930pm. So I would have to catch the ferry (which takes about 2 hours) then take the bus (which takes about an hour) back into downtown, which was impossible. So I actually didn't have enough time to go to Victoria City and had to rush over to the southern ferry dock on Victoria Island by 6pm to make it back to Tsawwassen Bay
(South Vancouver ferry dock) by 8pm.
After rushing it back to Vancouver, I was able to catch the bus back into downtown and had dinner with my friend, Kimmy, at the Cactus Club (There's plenty of them over there). I was still a little late because of all the traffic. (There are no freeways!) We just had a few drinks, then called it a night.
While on the ferry, a friend of mine told me to try the BC Burger
while on the ferry (from a restaurant called White Spot). I think I was expecting too much, either that or I'm too pampered by having In-N-Out Burger, but it was OVER-RATED
. Well, at least I tried it and it's safe to say that the BC burger got nothing on a In-N-Out Burger!DAY 3
By this day, I had already walked all over most of Downtown, North Van, and West Van.
Graffiti in Downtown Vancouver
After talking to Dave and Marilyn (from the Ferry) they had told me to just take the SkyTrain through the east part of Vancouver, like a free tour shuttle without the talking. Since it was raining, I decided to do that, and it worked out fine. I actually wanted to go to the aquarium out in Stanley Park but the rain changed my plans. The SkyTrain ride was nice. Journeyed through most of the east part of Vancouver and also ditching the rain. Since the SkyTrain is elevated I was able to see parts of Washington. By the time the SkyTrain looped back into downtown. I just remembered that I didn't get a chance to see the Science World buidling yet (it's the ball looking building). When I got there, there was a long line to get in, and since the rain had stopped, I decided to do some more walking. I also got a chance to see the nice graffiti artwork on the walls. Vancouver locals are great artists.
I had to grab a picture of it, due to my appreciation for urban art.
I walked over to General Motors Place
, where the Vancouver Canucks play, then headed into Chinatown and the night market. I was fortunate enough to get there while there was a show and entertainment going on. I have no idea what it was but it was pretty cool just walking through the historic Chinatown while they have dancers performing and food along the sidewalk.
After my brief stay in Chinatown, I headed over to B.C. Place
where the BC Lions play (Canadian fooball team). There wasn't much to see, just a big wall. My friend had told me that I HAVE
to try Stephos
greek food there. This was the same guy who told me bout the BC burger! Since it is walking distance, I decided to head over there and give it a go.
I gave Kimmy a call and she was actually parked right outside of Stephos! Crazy coincidence. So she met me up for a late lunch (3:30pm) and there was still a line! The food is REALLY
that good! I ordered the lamb shoulder plate. I would highly recommend it. I was eating with a smile the entire time.
After one of the best lunch's I've ever had, Kimmy just showed me around the rest of the town. We drove over to Granville Island
where they have a bunch of merchant shops. What's cool about Granville Island is that they don't allow big chain stores to sell there. It's exclusive only to private owned "mom and pop" shops. After walking around for a bit, we decided to leave because it started raining... again!
We went over to UBC
(University of British Columbia) and just checked out the campus.
It is a gorgeous campus, I might add. There was also a lot of construction going on for the 2010 Olympic games. While driving back into downtown, we saw a nice rainbow! It had a start and and end, like what you see in cartoons. I tried my best to capture it on camera, but it's one of those picture moments that you had to be there to enjoy it. After we got back into downtown, Kimmy dropped me off to have dinner with Heidi from LA, and her parents, out at a restaurant named Hapa Izakaya
off of Robson Street. I was still stuffed from Stephos so I wasn't able to really enjoy it to its full potential, but it was really good though. I had the raw beef, pretty tasty.DAY 4
Woke up to have some breakfast. I was thinking I can walk around Richmond (where I stayed) for a bit then take the shuttle from my hotel (Ramada Vancouver Airport) to the Airport, but I didn't want to risk missing my flight.
The Station: where the bus, SeaBus, and SkyTrain all meet
So I just decided to eat more and stuff myself! hahaha
I must say Vancouver is a great city to visit. I've always missed out on it because I just go straight to Whistler
. Next winter, I will probably go into Vancouver earlier to enjoy the city, hopefully with snow this time, but I had heard that it doesn't really snow in downtown much, just more rain. After 2 to 3 days in the city, I can head up to Whistler and enjoy one of the best places to snowboard, if not the best!
Thanks for reading! Let me know if you want more info on Vancouver or Whistler.