Exploring Vancouver

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Vancouver was the final stop of my Alaskan cruise and at only 58 miles from Victoria meant a short sail between the two cities. Vancouver city is considerably larger than Victoria and is isn’t located on Vancouver Island.

Together with my new friend Linda, we disembarked at around 9:15 am and collected our cases. After an incredibly lengthy taxi queue we were grateful to be charged only $5US to be taken to the YWCA I had booked. This was a pleasant surprise… when Chris and I arrived in Buenos Aires, the final stop of our South American cruise, rip-off taxis tried to charge around $30US! I arrived (with Linda) at the YWCA and as my room was ready at mid morning we left our luggage in there and went off in search of a coffee…

 

 

We came across the large central library (above left) where we found a decent coffee shop. The architecture of the library building was impressive… it looked like a huge ship…

After coffee and a short wander around Downtown Vancouver, the area in which I was to be staying, Linda collected her luggage from my room and we shared another taxi back to Canada Place (above right). Linda went off to join a city tour which was to finish at the airport in the early evening ready for her flight home.

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Canada Place is located on the waterfront and was where the Norwegian Jewel had docked earlier. Canada Place is home to the Vancouver Convention Centre and with its bustling central location was the ideal place for me to begin exploring the city.

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From my previous visit to Vancouver I was keen to get back to the colourful and tranquil Stanley Park, Vancouver’s beautiful area of nature and open spaces. I remembered walking along the waterfront path which passes the attractive marina. This is 28 km path follows the perimeter of the Stanley Park peninsula and was built to prevent sea erosion.

 

 

The last time I visited Stanley Park it had been springtime and I remembered an abundance of cherry blossoms…. this time being June there was a beautiful array of plants and shrubs of all shades of pinks, purples and yellows. It was absolutely stunning.

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Lions Gate bridge

There is a number of attractions in Stanley Park and sitting at a lovely outside table I had a glass of wine and snack at the cafe in the Stanley Park Pavilion. This is close to the aquarium I had previously visited with Chris (my husband) and Zoe (my daughter) when we stopped in Vancouver en-route home from Hawaii in April 2012.

There are several trails which criss cross Stanly Park and I set off to find Beaver Lake which is located somewhere in the middle.

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Beaver Lake

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I didn’t see any beavers but I did watch a cute family of ducks and ducklings making their way across the lake!

 

 

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I wandered up and down several of the well-marked trails for at least a couple of hours before ending up at the other side of the Stanley Park peninsula.

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Sea wall

I picked up the sea wall again and headed back towards the city via the beaches. Wikipedia says that Vancouver is consistently ranked in the top 5 of most desirable cities in which to live. I definitely got this vibe as I explored the city. The walk along the sea front of the city is gorgeous, Stanley Park is a beautiful area to hike, run or cycle and there is also the beaches.

I walked back from Stanley Park to the YWCA through lovely quiet yet spacious residential areas… close to the extensive park on one side, beaches in walking distance and the city also walking distance on the other. I walked for about 10 miles in total and enjoyed every minute of it. Yes, I could definitely live here!

Following my 3 nights in the fabulous Hyatt Place in Seattle; an amazing cruise with every whim being catered for, I went back to basics for my stay in Vancouver… well not quite… The YWCA Vancouver is a budget hotel which reminded me of an up-market hostel.

I spent the evening sitting at the desk in my room, popped out to a nearby noodle bar for take-out noodles, ate them in the YWCA kitchen which was just along from my room then continued at my laptop where I started working on the first of my cruise blog posts…

 

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