Photo Call!

I finally managed to find some time to sort through the photos I’d taken during the trip. So many … it was hard choosing which ones to put in the album to accompany this blog.

You’ll find a brief description with each photo. Here’s the link

Journey Through The Rockies

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Vancouver Finale

We are almost at the end of our stay in Canada. A final weekend with our son Chris, who has flown up from New York to join us in Vancouver.

Chris, lives and works in New York. His visits to the UK are fairly infrequent and so the opportunity to meet up in Vancouver is a great end to our trip. Unfortunately, his wife Katie, is unable to join us because of work commitments.

Aside from eating (which seems to be a major theme on this trip!), we manage to fit in visits to Stanley Park Including the Aquarium), Granville Island (again!) and China town. The China town area is somewhat of a disappointment, the streets seem full of beggars, the homeless and drug addicts! Police presence was scarce to say the least!

The Granville Island trip gives us the chance to sample some of the local beers at the local micro brewery. Very good, as far as I recall!!

Here’s a few photos from the weekend.

A nice finish to the trip. We are now back in the UK and Chris has flown back to New York.

I will post a link to a selection of photos from the trip when I get time to organise and sort through a 1000+ photos!

Vancouver Bound

We are nearly at the end of our journey and our time on the Rocky Mountaineer. Both the journey and the people we have met along the way have been memorable. An experience we will never forget!

On our outward journey from Vancouver we met Bonnie and Dewey, a couple of Americans. They got off the train at Banff but by chance we bumped into them again a few days later. It was like a meeting of long lost friends!

There were so many other people we met along the way. Most of the Australians we met were from Melbourne – maybe everyone in that city is on holiday? We were really disappointed not to have said our goodbyes to Pam (from Melboune) but the following day we met her whilst walking around Vancouver. A special moment!

Hamish, we will remember who was from Singapore but now lives in Thailand with his wife Leena. We will remember him for his infectious laughter and his constant chatter about food.

There were two Davids aboard our train. One an American attorney, the other a white-capped Brummie who constantly had a quip for every situation in between double Bailey’s drinks.

Lively Judy will be remembered for her singing and limbering up in her seat. We later found out she was a singer and inspirational speaker. Her companion, Elizabeth, was a former diplomat.

Janet was from Victoria, BC and had a fine sense of humour. Janet and Pam became “meal” buddies on our hotel stops.

We met Warren and his wife Rosie (two New Zealanders). They were on a long trip and Warren told me he was really keen to spend time with his wife. Warren was up and about most of the time out of his seat taking photographs and sharing his sense of fun with everyone on the train!

Paul (a farmer) and his wife Renee, from East Riding, kept us amused at meal times with their gentle humour and chatter … a lovely couple. There were also two Canadian cousins from Italian descent. A truly international set of passengers and new friends!

On that last journey into Vancouver, I had my final sighting of another bald eagle perched on a branch overlooking a bay, on the lookout for some unsuspecting fish.

A brilliant end to a brilliant trip!

A final shot of the Rocky Mountaineer …

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Whistling through Whistler

Just an overnight stay here and probably a place I’d want to come back to.

There are lots of walking trails, and cycling is really popular, with lots of people whizzing along the cycle paths. You need to be on the lookout for bears especially at this time of year. They are just waking up from the winter hibernation and on the prowl for food, whether it be berries or dandelions, which they seem to have a liking for.

The town centre is pedestrianised and has plenty shops to explore. Food shops and cafes are here in good numbers also. We had just enough time after a quick tour of the town centre to walk through to the “Lost Lake” before heading back to our hotel to embark on the last leg of our journey back to Vancouver.

The hotel (above) was located within a short walk of the town centre. The room at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler was superb, the best so far on the trip. Shame it was just a short stay!

Capilano Capers!

Today included a trip to Capilano Suspension Bridge. If you have seen the suspension bridge in the Temple of Doom then you have some idea of today’s trip. From the moment you stepped on the bridge it swayed from side to side. Luckily no one severed any of the cables saving me from emulating an Indiana Jones type escape.

The bridge has been in existence since 1889 but thankfully has been updated and modified over the years. The 450 foot span allows some great views of this North American rainforest.

Capilano Suspension Bridge
Another shot of the bridge
I also took some interesting shots of totem (story) poles which have been created and placed here by First Nation artists over the last 90 years.

Also included today was a trip to Grouse Mountain which overlooks the city of Vancouver. We were able to see a couple of “rescued” grizzly bears as well as some good views of Vancouver.

And finally the obligatory selfie …

A good day, although our tour guide seemed to be on a personal crusade to save the world. He was from one of indigenous tribes in this area. He talked non-stop about conservation but unfortunately it was information overload for a bus of mixed tourists.

It would have been all very interesting as a formal lecture and I personally learned a lot about salmon issues in the area as well as the development of conservation in British Columbia. But it went over most people’s heads. Bite sized chunks of key information, with pauses in between, would of been good! His heart, however, was in the right place.

Tomorrow we start our holiday proper. It will be the first day of our rail journey on the Rocky Mountaineer. We head north east towards Kamloops – our first stop. It looks like the weather will be fine so hopefully we will get some good views along the way.

Granville Island

🎶 Sitting on the dock of the bay 🎶 was definitely the song I was hearing. No, not Otis Redding (which would have been a major surprise!), but a snappily, dressed busker playing to visitors at one of Vancouver’s top tourist attractions.

If you like food and markets, this is as good a shopping experience you will get. Hand-crafted items of all description are available to buy and you are sure to find that unique, personal gift to take back for friends and family. Walking through the indoor food market was all too tempting and I eventually succumbed. The only problem was … too much choice! How can you expect me to decide?

The island was a short walk (20 minutes) from our Downtown hotel to a ferry that took you across to the island. The ferry ride – 5 minutes!

Looking across from Granville Island to Downtown Vancouver
The ferry that took us to Granville Island
These should more than satisfy my sweet tooth!
Healthy options?
Back to the not so healthy options …
Anyone for savoury?
Good pasta selections …

Lookout!

The day started out with an early morning visit to Vancouver Lookout, located at the Harbour Centre in Vancouver. A 40 second elevator ride whisks you 553.16 feet above ground level to a panoramic observation deck. No, I didn’t time the elevator ride or measure the altitude – I cheated and got the info from the attraction leaflet!

From the outside, the Lookout didn’t look as big as I imagined, but the views from the observation deck were out of this world! I took a few photos but have only picked out a small selection, the better ones I’ll load up on a gallery website when I get back home.