Trip: 27 September – 13 October 2019
Where to even begin with my Canadian travels? I was there for 16 *insert appropriately glowing adjective here* days and it was absolutely not long enough. I fell in love with this amazing country. (Yeah, I’ve said that about all my overseas trips – not sure if I just love travel or if I’m THAT good at picking awesome countries to visit… 😜)
I left Brisbane on 27 September and, after a short layover in Auckland and a looong flight, arrived in Vancouver the same day. Timezones are CRAZY. It worked out to be about 22 hours travel, from the time I left Brisbane airport until the time I arrived in Vancouver. Thankfully, my jet lag was not as bad as expected, possibly because I could sleep comfortably on my AirNZ flight. Business class makes soooooo much difference! 🖤
Tip: If at all possible, try and keep your travel dates flexible. I lucked out big time and snagged business class fares ON SALE! The tickets were only a few hundred $$$ more than premium economy fares through other airlines. Um, no brainer! I know it’s not always possible to be flexible but if you can manage it, it can be worth it.
My trip consisted of:
- a few days in Vancouver to myself
- a 5-day tour with Discover Canada Tours (Vancouver to Rockies return, including Revelstoke, Banff + many other spots which made my photographer heart happy!)
- about a week back in Vancouver, post-tour
- two performances of the Rock the Rink tour, one in Abbotsford and one in Vancouver
- my first NHL game! (Vancouver Canucks vs LA Kings)
- day trips to Grouse Mountain, Victoria and Vancouver Island, and Whistler with Landsea Tours
- whale watching!
The trip was a LOT but so worth it. I don’t know when/if I’ll get back to Canada anytime soon so I was determined to try and do as much as I could in the time I was there (while keeping in mind that I was also solo travelling).
The first three nights of my trip I stayed at this gorgeous B&B in the historic West End – the West End Guesthouse. My room was stunning, with the most beautiful window seat/bench overlooking the front garden. 😍 I confess, that was actually what drew me to the property in the first place! And I certainly enjoyed doing a bit of reading there! In hindsight, lugging my suitcase up a flight of stairs was not my brightest idea BUT I loved the room so much that I can easily wave that off.
The hosts – Suzy and Barb – were so unbelievably welcoming and really went out of their way to help. I didn’t take part in the sit-down breakfast they put on each morning because my plans both days required a super-early start. However, Barb happily offered to make me a breakfast sandwich that I could take with me. OMG. Best ever. Barb’s brekky sandwiches are SO yummy but they are nothing on her chocolate cake. Holy WOW, it was seriously amazing. I would go back to Canada just for that!! To. Die. For.
I had originally booked a whale watching tour my first full day in Vancouver but due to rough seas (from weather the previous day) they cancelled for safety reasons. I didn’t discover that until I was already at the departure point (Granville Island) so I decided instead to check out the markets as soon as they opened.
That was actually a total bonus! If you’re in Vancouver, you MUST go and check out the Granville Island markets. So much stuff to see (particularly food of the 🤤🤤 kind). Not just the fresh fruit, veg, meat stuff either – there are TONNES of artisanal breads, pastries, cheeses, donuts, you name it, they probably have it!
I particularly liked the croissant and cookies I got from A Bread Affair (just outside the market premises), the cakes and pastries at Stuart’s Bakery looked A-MA-ZING, and I have it on good authority that Lee’s Donuts is not to be missed (though, sadly, I DID miss out! 😭).
My second full day I did a day tour to the Capilano Suspension Bridge and Grouse Mountain but that will probably get it’s own entry (bears, rainforest, views!) so I’m going to finish up here.
Have you been to Vancouver before? What were your favourite parts? What are your ‘must dos’?