My experiences of visiting Vancouver

By 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.

Virtuous Pie

Virtuous Pie -amazing pizza and ice cream

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.

football game in Vancouver

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.

Stanley Park

Stanley Park

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.

the bike i hired to go around stanley park

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.

me standing in the sea in Stanley Park

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.

A sign showing filming of man in high castle season three in Stanley park

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.

Parkrun

finish line of Vancouver parkrun

me doing vancouver parkrun

 

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.

A Canadian tank outside the Canadian military building in vancouver

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.

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