My experiences of visiting Vancouver
By exploringthisrock September 10, 2017
So I have finally made it to Vancouver on the Amtrak bus from Seattle to Vancouver. I opened up the phone and looked where my hostel was. The good news was it was about 0.3 miles away less than 5 minutes walk.
This Hostel was far better than the previous one in Portland. It’s more of what I expected from a hostel, rooms of four people and a communal kitchen and chill out area. I got chatting to some very nice people a Norwegian who was spending 6 weeks travelling and German born women who had grown up in Australia who ha travelled up the coast.
Once I checked my bags in, I need food, so I headed out and did a bit of walking. After about 10 minutes I found a pizza place called Virtuous Pie and I knew it must be good, it has a massive queue. Always a good way to tell if a place is any good.
I grabbed my pizza to go as there was nowhere to sit and headed out. I could hear the sound of cheering and a whistle, so headed in that direction. I came across a 5 a side league and decided to eat my pizza and watch football (proper football not American football). I soon realised why the queue was so big, it was one of the best pizza’s I have ever had.
The game itself was average, what you would expect from a adults 5 a side league, but it did have a comical moment. A guy did nothing wrong really, wasn’t even a foul but the ref had been on the side all game, proper biased, but he gave this guy a yellow card and the guy just ran away sarcastically clapping the ref, so he booked him again and got sent off.
It was a nice way to pass about 30 minutes, a lovely evening in Vancouver watching football, eating nice food.
Once the game finished I decided I needed some sleep – I hadn’t slept much in Seattle. So I got back to the hostel and got a good night’s sleep.
I had been recommended by several people to visit this place. So I headed there, again walk or bus. There are no uber’s in Vancouver. I decided as it was a lovely morning, let’s walk. I wasn’t exactly in a rush and just enjoyed strolling the streets and came across barbers who did wet shaves. I had forgotten my razor and after 10 days needed a decent shave so stored the location in my phone for later.
Just before I got to Stanley Park I came across a shop which was hiring bikes out by the hour. So I decided I would hire a bike and cycle, Stanley Park. It’s really cheap and I got a single speed bike and headed to the Park.
As your cycling along you can stop and watch seaplanes land and take off, it was the amazing route.
Around half way round I came along a beach and being English, even though I didn’t have any swimming stuff on me I had to go into the sea, luckily I got a lock so I can lock up the bike, but to be fair it was safe enough to just leave it. The weather at this point was a little overcast otherwise I can image the little beach would have been packed.
Back on the bike and I was I heading back to the start and came across a film set, filming Man In the High Castle Season 3, I say filming, the crew etc was there and waiting on the actors to turn up to shoot two scene that will make it on the show for about 10 seconds.
Back to the start and I returned the bike. What to do?
I decide to go and get a hot towel shave. It was about 35CAD and the best 30 minutes I had ever spent. Getting someone else to give you a shave is the best feeling. Once done I decided to head to a bar for a few pints.
I found a great little sports bar and ordered a beer at the bar. A couple of sips of beer, I hear two Canadians a few seat away was having a debate about the champions league final. I settled their debate and that was it, I sat with them for a good few hours and sank a few pints discussing football, Canada and everything else.
I have been doing Parkrun in the UK for over 4 years but not every week, for a long time it was my youngest swimming lesson time, but I heard there was a Parkrun in Vancouver so really wanted to do it.
I wasn’t sure how to get there so decided to get a taxi which cost about 75CAD, which was a mistake the light rail station is right by the start line. Lesson learnt could have saved about 70CAd.
Parkrun was hard it was a weird route, and I hadn’t run for well over 3 weeks and had just enjoyed American portions, it was hard but I made it in an ok time. Just over 25 minutes which is my average time at the moment, maybe one day I will get back to 22 minutes – but I really care about long distance these days.
I then went for breakfast with the rest of the runners and didn’t get back to the hostel until lunch time, that wasn’t a problem I didn’t have anything planned.
Then it got worse. I slipped in the shower and pulled my back and got immediate pain, I couldn’t sit, stand or do anything.
I decided that wasn’t going to ruin my last afternoon in Vancouver, I wanted to get out. I headed out and found the Canadian Army building and started to take some pictures, only afterwards I realised this might not have been a great idea, I know most military don’t like pictures taken from their buildings especially in the current climate.
However, my back was hurting too much and even hobbling around was hurting so I headed back to the hostel to relax as I had a 9-hour flight the next morning.
I relaxed for a few hours before heading out to get a final pizza from Virtuous Pie and headed back to the hostel to eat it, an hour later I really fancied one of their ice creams so headed back, luckily its less than a 5 minute walk away.
Then things got worse, I bought my flights separately and the site I used on the way home started to worry me. That is my next article.
The next morning I woke and went out for breakfast and once I checked out I was off to the airport, Vancouver airport is one of the best I have ever flown from.
That was my time in North America over and I was heading back to the UK to see the wife and family.