Greetings from Vancouver, Canada

Kanada - 19.8.2018 18:57

This post is about the first part of our trip in Canada. While I finish the pictures and writing of the second part, you can already check out the video of the whole trip here: https://vimeo.com/285648254 with password 1205.

So, Vancouver, it is claimed to be even the most beautiful city in the world. I’d always wanted to go to see Vancouver, the waters and mountains around it. We had really nice few days there exploring the city a bit, although spending more time in the parks in and around it, which I appreciated. I thought Vancouver was beautiful as well though, especially because of its surroundings. There were small planes taking off and landing on the water in front of the city, flying passengers to the many islands and coves nearby. We rented a tandem bike to explore Stanley Park, which is a big forest/beach/inland water area covering a peninsula right off the city. It was nice to ride around the peninsula along the sea and in the forests. Doing it with a tandem was another new experience in itself as well! Balancing it was more difficult than I had expected, but we managed it and got better at it, and avoided any accidents on the sometimes busy bikelanes.

One thing I didn’t expect of Vancouver was the large number of homeless people. I understand that the living costs in the city have gone up a lot, many rich foreigners are buying properties in town and also driving up the prices. We did see many Asians, and they seemed to have been pretty well integrated, as in the immigrants had been there for quite some time already and it would be easier then for new ones to integrate as well then, I guess. I’m not sure if the high living cost is the only reason for the big homeless community, as we observed there were very liberal and alternative lifestyles that could lead in to more people living on the streets. We didn’t have a car in Vancouver so we used the buses, and there we encountered many homeless people. Especially along Hastings Street, which was on the way to our Airbnb. There is a stereotype of Canadians being friendly, and to my surprise this was true, among the homeless especially. And why not!? My experience of alcoholics and drug addicts from Finland just told me a bit otherwise. But actually the homeless people we saw in buses were in general really polite and didn’t cause any trouble. And I was happy to see that they were treated with respect, as in people would offer their seat to a homeless person in a crowded bus.

We met other friendly Canadians as well. Our Airbnb host family was one really friendly and helpful family. They even picked us up from the airport and had put a bottle of rosé in the fridge for the honeymooners! We shared many stories together and had funny and meaningful discussions. And they even let us use their car for one day when we went hiking in Lynn Canyon!

Deb’s friend, Sarah, joined us for a couple of days as well! She had taken time off of work and traveled more than 10 hours by bus to come and see us. Sarah is a friend from when Deb worked at Mercy Ships, and they had a really good time reconnecting. We did some hiking together, like the day in Lynn Canyon, and also up to Cypress Mountain. Both were really nice days. One day we walked along the coast just taking in the sea air and stopping at benches to read the special messages on them. We explored Granville island together, an industrial area that had been turned into a recreational area with markets selling good stuff, like food and desserts. That day we, like thousands of other people, went to English Bay for the evening to watch a beautiful fireworks show by the South Korean team, who were competing against Sweden and South Africa. We ate there at the beach, watched the sun go down, and the evening ended with a blast, spectacle. It took quite a long time to get back home though.. which was no surprise. A surprise was that Deb and Sarah met another friend from the Ship after the fireworks. Vancouver seemed to be the place to be.

Oh and before Sarah came we had a great day in Deep Cove, just the two of us. We could get there by taking two buses in less than an hour. I would definitely recommend spending a day there. It’s a beautiful area filled with nature, and there is a small town with cozy cafes, restaurants and shops. The atmosphere is really laid back. People have houses, or free time houses, by the sea. And just looking at the houses is interesting in itself. You have even a better view of the area if you rent a kayak and paddle around the cove and the islands. That’s what we did, in tandem again. We rented a double kayak for a couple of hours and that was a great way to explore and do some exercise together. We were actually really active. After the kayaking we still went for a couple of hours’ hike to the Quarry rock, which was a nice look out from the beautiful forest where the trees are so big and old. The forest was different from Finland. It was very bright and green, and there was a lot of ferns and moss growing.

We enjoyed Vancouver. It seemed to be a good place to live, kind of like Sydney in that way. I would like to go back and explore more of the archipelago around Vancouver, maybe take a plane with pontoons. Apparently there are quite interesting communities in these hidden coves, which can’t be reached by cars.. Oh and I’m sure one wouldn’t need to go far to do some good fishing. And then of course there is the Whistler mountain, which we didn’t have time to visit this time. But we did a lot of great stuff with the time we had, definitely!

Arrived in Vancouver Indigenous totem poles at Stanley park The Hollow tree at Stanley park. Here people have been taking pictures with their vehicle parked inside the tree for decades already. We continued the tradition. Breakfast at Honey Donuts and Goodies fuelled us for kayaking and hiking in Deep Cove Kayaking at Deep Cove was great fun! Hiking through the bright and spacious forest in Deep Cove. This would be amazing for mountainbiking! On top of Quarry rock in Deep Cove. Vancouver at the back. Beer tasting in Deep Cove style Coastal walk at the North shore of Vancouver together with my wife and her friend Sarah. Lion's gate bridge and Stanley park at the back. Found this on the beach At Cypress Mountain viewpoint with my wife and Sarah. Vancouver at the back Fireboat putting up its own show before the fireworks Fireworks spectacle by team South Korea in English Bay, Vancouver Some natural swimming pools in Lynn Canyon Picnic lunch at Rice lake with wife and Sarah At Lynn Canyon  Ice cream with my wife and Sarah. I had salty liquorice (salmiakki) and mint chocolate chip cookie dough flavours

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