Got on to the bus at 9am in Banff and sat back to relax knowing i was on here until 9pm tonight and in my 5th timezone change. Now eight hours behind the UK. The ride was interesting actually and for greyhound and everything i had heard was pretty comfortable. I have to commend the driver here as it had started snowing and some of the roads looked really bad, as we got into the mountains we found roads covered with fresh snow and no grit so i was impressed – there was no way i could have driven a huge bus. We stopped a couple of times in Golden, Salmon Arm and at Kamloops for long stops and a couple of others too which i dont remember.
At Kamloops the bus became full and then wasnt so comfortable and still had several hours to go. The driver – the third one of the trip put on a movie which kept me entertained and i had pretty much read my book on and off through the journey. By 7pm i was itching to get off the bus and thankfully the last couple of hours passed quickly. I will never complain about a 2 hour journey on national express again – that will be a walk in the park after this except with crappy motorway scenery!
Caught a taxi to the hostel as the station is in a bit of a dodgy area and it was evening. The hostel is on Granville street in the heart of the very busy entertainment district. Chilled out for a bit and then went to sleep. Woke up to rain – joy! It pretty much rained the whole time i was here.
Headed out to the famous Stanley Park and wandered around and thankfully rain held off so was able to wander around this piece of tranquility set in the heart of a very busy and cosmopolitan city. Paid a very expensive amount of money to go into the Aquarium which was looking to not be worth it until i found the sea otters which are so cute.
My remaining days in Vancouver – i did a very touristy thing and got onto a hop on hop off tourist bus which i dont normally do but hey it was worth it as i toured round some cool parts of the city. I saw the devastation that storms last year had done to Stanley Park, went past the Hollow Tree (was 1100 years old), past English Bay, through the heart of Downtown, Chinatown, a very dodgy street between there and Gastown, and couple of other spots. Unfortunately Vancouver didnt hit me as a great place and while it is great city i had hit my first travellers block and wasnt really in the mood to sightsee. It also was signalling the end of my time in Canada which didnt help. The one thing that got me through was that i would be in Portland for the Bootsnall party and would get to meet some cool people.
The one saving grace here in Vancouver was meeting up with Anne who took me out to a very cool area and i got to try Ethiopian food which was good! we had a good catchup and strolled down Commercial Drive which was an eclectic mix of cultures. Thanks Anne!!!
On my last night here in Vancouver met up with Pam who was going to be my travel buddy down to Portland. We went out to the Cambie Hostel to meet one of her friends and actually it was a very cool little bar and packed out. However it was near to one very dodgy area and so although great to visit – there is no way i would have stayed here – maybe im a snob but safety and location is always the top thing on my list when i look at hostels. This is especially more so travelling as a single female.