Thursday, 18 November 2010

My First Rainy Days in Vancouver

I shall start off by warning you all that $1 for 30 minutes of internet will limit my posts on's irritating. But hey ho, here we go.

I woke up on my first day a bit fuzzy after still not a lot of sleep, to a tonne of rain. Ohhhhh good, thanks clouds. So truth be told I was pretty low. I just wanted to get out there and see the city, however (as I have proved today and will tell you in a few paragraphs time) my coat is far from waterproof. But someone up there heard my prayers and sent the sun a shinin' my way.

So I was off! And just walked. And walked. And walked. The beauty of walking is, of course, that the use of your legs is free! And being the budget backpacker that I am, I have little or no money to spend on luxuries like the bus.

So I get down to the waterfront and grab my first real view of Vancouver. Ever the tourist, I get my camera out, hit the button, and nothing. I try again...nothing. Oh good, my battery is flat!

After heading back to the hostel to put some juice back into that baby, I bump into my friend Jimmy, and he proposes a trip up to North Vancouver for some Lynn Canyon action. After popping our Seabus cherries (amazing!) we make our way north and my goodness it was sweeeeeet! This is Canadian wilderness and it was so incredible to see something like that on my first full day when all I was expecting was city skyscrapers.

I would for sure recommend a trip up there if you're ever in this area. Take a little trek into the forest, breathe in the fresh, cold, crisp air of Canadian autumn, and for goodness sake don't fall off the suspension bridge to certain death amoungst the most powerful waterfall I've ever seen. Just peek over the side and soak up the views. If anything, it truly makes you feel alive...

Day two and there is a rain forecast yet again. I pop to the front desk to ask the (British, hooray!) guy what on earth I could do on a day like this. He basically said anywhere, as long as you're ready to get wet. It's either that or stay in. So, I took my English arse out onto the street and plodded down to Granville Island. I'm not sure what my expectations were but they were completely exceeded. From the outside, or on the Granville Bridge where I got my first glimpse of it, Granville Island looks a little dull. But once you get there, you realise it's a hub of activity.

In one building there's a little burrow full of handicraft and local artisan shops to feast your eyes with. I could have literally bought presents for all of my family and friends and a million for myself also, but I resisted. It just screams of local, honest business and is so refreshing to see in a big city.

Then I got peckish, so walked round the corner to find the market of my dreams. Literally anything you could possibly want to eat all under one roof. Fresh fruit and vegetables and rich and colourful, and the breads delighted my little nose. I picked a few things from a couple of stand and made myself a little feast whilst taking in the view of the harbour (albeit a very wet harbour).

Then I made a slight error and decided to walk the entire length of West Broadway down to Main St then home. In the rain. This probably takes about two and a half hours. Like I just said, my coat is certainly not waterproof, and by the time I made it half way down Main St I was soaked to the skin. I will say however that I enjoyed my long walk, a great way to see the city. I did eventually give in a take the Skyline train back home, sheepishly walking into my hostel and diving past the guy at front desk, avoiding the 'I told you so!'

There we go, a quick whistle stop talk of my first few days here, more to come...

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