Places We’ve Been – Vancouver, BC, Canada
Lori and I have begun, what we believe is, a good habit. We tend to go somewhere for our anniversary. This works well as we married on Thanksgiving (Canadian) weekend, which allows us the luxury of a long weekend, with decent weather and out of “high” season for travelling. This was one of those trips in 2009. We chose Vancouver for this one due to its proximity to Calgary, and neither of us had been there in years. We caught our flight and we were off. I love flying over the mountains, but this trip was especially spectacular. The snow on the tops, poking through the clouds made a great site to see. This picture doesn’t do it justice.
Arriving in Vancouver, we collected our luggage and headed to the Skytrain. Our hotel was in downtown Vancouver. The Skytrain is amazing. The train is driverless and you can sit right up front and enjoy the ride. It is like being on a roller coaster to some extent. I didn’t get the prime seat, so couldn’t film it like I wanted to, but did find this video on YouTube to share.
We walked from the station to our hotel. The place we stayed was the St. Regis Hotel. It was recently renovated and may be the best hotel in the city. Last time I looked, it is rated at number 2 for Vancouver on TripAdvisor. I highly recommend this place. Easily one of the nicest, friendliest establishments we have ever stayed in.
Prior to the sights, a quick note on food. We ate at two especially good restaurants. The first was an Italian place called La Terrazza. The atmosphere was kind of stuffy, but the food was very good. The second was The Gotham Steakhouse. The food here was excellent as well. Again, we highly recommend both of these establishments.
We began our touring with a quick trip to Sun-Yat-Sen Garden. This is a spectacular garden, right in the heart of Vancouver. It is listed in the 1000 Places To See Before You Die and it must be a wonderful place to visit during the summer. We were there in October and it was still a very nice place to see.
The next day, we decided to go to Granville Island, a popular shopping area, with a large public market. We walked to the island and enjoyed the vistas and the shops.
It has been a while coming, but it is time to discuss the best part of Granville Island. Yes, the shops are great, the people watching superb, but..the major point is the Granville Island Brewery. Jackpot, a whole brewery.
We spent our last day in Vancouver doing the Stanley Park thing, which included a stop at the Vancouver Aquarium. The aquarium is a great place to spend a day. The exhibits are extensive and they have an extensive collection of animals. Our favourite was the Narwhal, a beautiful member of the whale family.
To conclude the post, I have but one thing to say about the city of Vancouver. It is one of the best cities I have ever been to. The scenery is magnificent, the people (when not rioting) are uber-friendly. The hotel and restaurant scene is world-class. In fact, there is only one thing I can hold against the place, and that would be the Vancouver Canucks hockey team is based here. If they could move them to Vladivostok or somewhere, the city would be a perfect place to live.
- City Guide: Vancouver, Canada (insydetravel.info)