Only in Vancouver
We were in Vancouver at the same time as the Marathon three years ago and we find ourselves here again. Last time, it was sheer coincidence that we were stepping aside for runners in Stanley Park. It did explain why the airport was far busier than usual when we landed a couple of days before. This year, we knew it was on and relished going to watch some of it. We made our way to the edge of Stanley Park as the brave runners made their way to the finish line after running a good section of the glorious coastline and park. Is there better scenery to inspire you to the finish line?
Or a cleaner city? Vancouver is clean. Of course it's a green city and vying to do better still but there is no litter. It is over populated, although always feels spacious as there are so many parks, benches - even on street corners - and beaches that give inhabitants space to breath. Above all, it is proud of itself and never needs to have a slogan to say so. (The slogans are simply Spectacular by Nature and British Columbia is Beautiful BC)
Being an avid reader, I'm understandably a fan of libraries. We didn't get to one of my favourites, the newish one in Surrey (Vancouver) on this trip but did pay pilgrimage to Vancouver Public Library. I love how important libraries seem to be in many places I go to in the world and this one opens 7 days a week, some days till 9pm. And it is full of books, not just open for events or research! I recall the lovely library in Amsterdam being open till 10pm during our Christmas visit and that one had a fantastic, family friendly restaurant with a view too.
I love the markets in Vancouver - they are successful and everywhere. Even the regular indoor markets are packed and full of locally made/grown produce. We were lucky to be in town when the North Vancouver Friday Night market started with live music, tonnes of food stalls and crafts inside and out. Apart from dinner, we bought loads! I'm always on the look out for interesting hair accessories and found some here, along with locally made wooden coasters and other bits and bobs for the home. Plus we sat on the steps outside listening to the live music, eating fish and chips and watching a face painter and balloonist delighting tiny faces! All on the coastline looking over downtown Vancouver.
Then we went for a beer in a pub where the bf thrashed me at mini Connect 4, payback for when I did the same at our local coffee shop! We ended up buying wooden travel set at our favourite, Hudson Bay store on the way back at the airport. Guess what we'll be doing on the next plane journey!
Talking of only in Vancouver, we tried out the new tourist attraction. Already a big hit, the Flyover Canada is a virtual trip across the whole country, with your legs dangling and the mist of Niagara Falls dropping from overhead. The experience is 30 minutes - as they acclimatise you to the sensation first but the action 'trip' is only 8 minutes. Worth it!
Here's money off to stay with AirBNB