Looking through my home directory this evening I came across some notes I made about my experiences in Canada (sadly now over three years ago!). Here’s what I had to say:
A lovely city, very laid back, with “big city” amenities, without all the usual noise, dirt, etc.
Places to stay: The downtown HI is good but lacks atmosphere. Jericho Beach is great if you want to hang-out on the beach for a few days, but it’s a bit of a pain to get into downtown. GVB is clean, central & has a very friendly atmosphere, plus they organise trips to the pub every night! Highly recommended.
Night-life: Good party town (something of the ‘Amsterdam’ of N. America!). The Stone Temple on a Thursday night has hi-balls (shot+mixer) for $1! [Unfortunately I doubt this is still true!]
Stuff todo: For the ultimate ‘Canadian’ experience, you have to go rollerblading in Stanley Park. The views from Canada place are superb & the Lookout tower was surprisingly interesting.
Places to go:
- Whistler: The town lacks any character what so ever, but views from top of mountain are superb.
- North Vancouver: There’s a great indoor market at the sea bus terminal. Capilano Suspension Bridge was a little disappointing but worth seeing (go to Lynn Canyon Prov. Park for same sort of experience on a smaller scale & less comercialised). Climbing Grouse Mtn is a lot harder than it first appears — it’s a very steep climb — but rewarding if you are up to it.
- Seattle: Pretty downtown skyline & generally a nice place, but not a “must see” tourist destination. The Underground History Tour is excellent, as is (so I have heard) the Experience Music project. The HI hostel on Vashon Island is a very cool place to stay, but getting there without a car was a pain.