So this year I decided to start my travels in Vancouver, BC. What an amazing city it is! The summer sun kicked in as soon as I arrived on the 16th May which made it even more incredible. On wednesday 17th May, my first day in the city, we decided to do a Free Walking Tour with Tour Guys in order develope an understanding of the history and culture of Vancouver, BC. There is three options of tour to do. We did Granville Street and Gastown tour with the Beared Guy! He was an amazing tour guide and would definately recommended doing one of his tours if you’re ever in Vancouver. We started outside The Pacfic Center and made our way down Granville street towards Waterfront station and then on to Gastown where the tour concluded. The interesting points I took from the tour were:
- Vanvouver was named after Captain George Vancouver who explored the harbour of Burrard in 1792.
- Granville street was once lined with neon lights (as was the fashion) but was totally renovated when Vancouver won their bid for the Winter Olympics in 2010.
- Gastown gets its name from Gassy Jack. A proprietor who was broke and only had one barrel of beer left. He stood on two stumps in front of the Hastings Mill workers in now whats known as Gastown and promissed the workers he would sell them alocohol if they would build him a tavern. The next day the tavern was built. 1867
We enjoyed the tour so much we decided we would do another one the next day around Chinatown. Unfortunately I messed up the starting point and ending point and we missed the tour. So instead of letting the day go to waste we strolled down to the Vancouver Library where we enjoyed a relaxing coffee and embrased the magnificent arcitecture.
From there we walked to the courner of Robson and Homer where we got the free shuttle to capilano. The driver was very imformative telling us good places to eat and informing us that the Guiness family built the Lions Gate Bridge during the great depression in the 1930s and sold it back to the City of Vancouver at cost price. The Guiness family also owned a lot of land in North Vancouver and needed the bridge to transport items to their Marine Building on Burrard street.
In Capilano the Bridge was amazing. I must admit I do not like heights so walking on a suspension brigde would not be one of my favourite pastimes but the views we amazing and well worth it. We did the tree top walk and the cliff walk (which is literally along a cliff!!) After we had some food in Bridge House Cafe. The food was very basic and kind of pricey if you ask me!
On Friday 19th May I got my coordinates right and we managed to do another Tour Guys walking tour this time of Downtown and Waterfront. This tour was taken by a canadian women by the name of Ali. She was nice but probably a bit too Canadian for me. She knew her facts though! We went to the Vancouver Arts Gallery and saw outside that there are 4 ships on the roof each a different colour and representing a different race or event. Go on the tour to find out all the info!!
We then walked down towards the waterfront where we learned that a building here was built for $1 Billion Canadian dollars!! Crazy money!! But the cool thing about it is that it has the highest LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) with apiary on the roof along with all kinds of plants etc grown there. All the water for the building is supplied by the rain water that hits the roof! I was amazed by this. Incredable stuff if you ask me. Finally we got a picture with the picsulated Whale (Sea Orkid or something).
That night we went to a gig by the ‘Comedy Mix’ at the Century Plaza Hotel & Spa which was really good fun. After all the laughs we decided to go to Doolins Irish bar for a few and then off to bed.
On Saturday 20th of May we did so much. In the morning we hired bikes and cycled Stanley Park, then went to a Whitecaps game followed by a few drinks in the Lamplighter Bar in Gastown.
We hired bikes on Denman and West Georgia for 12 bucks for 3 hours! How can you go wrong. We got helmets and bikes for as long as we liked. We cycled to stanley park and upon arriving it was obvious which way you were meant to cycle as everyone was going ani clockwise around the outside of Stanley Park. The sun was splitting the skys and there was also a nice gentle breeze to keep you nice and cool. We got about half way around and decided to stop at English Bay beach and chill out, sun bathe and go for a paddle. It was just perfect. Great company, great weather and great location with the views of the mountains of Whistler in the backdrop. Just amazing. We then finished up the cycle and decided to go to the Vancouver Whitecaps game.
The Whitecaps were playing against Kansas City who were top of the Western Conference at the time. The Whitecaps won 2-0 in a fairly poor game if im honest but I was entertained. We got tickets for the singing section and it was great fun! Here’s their song I just can’t get out of my head!
Just Can’t Get Enough (YouTube of similar Celtic chant)
A tweaked version of the Depeche Mode classic.
When I see you, Whitecaps,
I go out of my head,
I just can’t get enough,
I just can’t get enough,
All the things you do to me,
And all the things you said,
I just can’t get enough,
I just can’t get enough
Here in the Southside, I’m falling in love,
And I just can’t seem to get enough of
Do do do-do-do-do-do,
Do do do-do-do-do-do.
After all that singing and fun we decided to meet friends of James and hit the Lamplighter Bar in Gastown. It was a good night but what is the story with bouncers in Canada getting this power trip and making you wait an age in the que when there is nobody inside the club! In Ireland the just open the gates and we all flock in.. and I like that way!!
Anyway enough ranting. I had a great night but probably drank a little too much and couldn’t really do much the next day.
Sunday 21st we chilled out for most of the day and Kev introduced me to The Office US. I know its 12 years old or whatever but I don’t watch an awful lot of tv. I ended up watching up to season 3 ep 3 before I left their house 🙂 haha. Its great and I would recommend it to anyone. Anyway we decided to go to the Japanese Botanic Gardens later in the day once everyones hangover had eased a bit. It was $11 entrance but it was totally worth it in my opinion. Achres of beautiful flowers, shrubs and trees.
There was also an Apiary which I thought was pretty cool. I might even have one myself someday if I can. Anything you can make or grow yourself I believe is probably better for you!
On Monday the 22nd I got a lift out to my brothers place in Burnaby. Pretty cool spot he has but I must say it could do with a tidy up. We caught up for a while and then we went to Lynn Creek for the afternoon. It’s a beautiful place when the sun is shining. We did a small hike along by the river and finished up at the car park. A nice day out for my last day in Vancouver. If you are going to Vancouver I would definitely recommend going to Lynn Creek and Canyon. It’s free and enjoyable for all the family. Bring a packed lunch and eat it beside the river!