Vancouver Adventrue: Day 1, Arriving on a sunny day


For once, there wasn’t a film I wanted to see. There’s usually one that I missed at the cinema or one I’d see again but this time I had to look through the one’s I’d never heard of:

Croupier (not bad Clive Owen flick 7/10), Somewhere (not as bad as worst film ever, Lost in Translation but still dull. I liked the premise, hot shot Hollywood actor gets to know his young daughter again but still dull 3/10) and Me You and Everyone We Know (pretty good find 7½ /10).

It’s a long flight so in between the three films I tried to get 40 winks and adjust to Vancouver time. Upon landing, I was through customs and luggage collection within 30 minutes but still missed my shuttle by a few minutes. It didn’t help that I wasn’t sure where to pick it p from and wasted 5 minutes walking right past the spot right outside the airport door.

This didn’t matter to the man looking after the limo shuttle service, who radioed in to find out about it and they asked the driver to turn around and come and collect me. In the few minutes this took, I’d had a lovely chat with a waiting limo driver and couldn’t help but quantify my belief in how friendly Canadians are.

It turns out I was the only passenger on the shuttle, strange on a holiday Saturday but it meant a short ride to the hotel. Worth every cent of $25 return trip.

Floor to ceiling views

All is going wonderfully on an unexpected sunny day, I packed for early spring weather so I plan to change into the one summer outfit I bought the minute I’ve checked in. However, there’s a surprise waiting for me in the hotel I’d previously stayed on my first visit in 1998, I’ve been upgraded! That’s the first time that’s happened in all these years of hotel stays. It’s already a suite with floor to ceiling views of the Rockies so how can they improve it? By giving me a huge lounge in a corner suite, with French doors going to the bedroom and three windows pointing in different directions. I can see all the way downtown and to the West End. Absolutely perfect.


This prompts many tweets whilst I frantically unpack, meaning get everything out of the case and spread out on the bed to prevent further creasing, and then get changed. I want to make the most of the only sunny day planned for the week and the concierge suggests Granville Island, accessible as the name suggests by a water bus.

Salmon Burger

Within two hours of the plane landing, I am on Granville Island, tiny with fantastic views of the city and all around. It has a beautiful harbour where they appear to have built something in between a boat and a house – not a boat house but a floating house. I decide on a salmon burger and fries in one of the pubs that looks out to the harbour which means it cost twice as much but worth it; I even celebrated my arrival with a bottle of Molson, a rare drop of alcohol for me. I ask for the lime pickle mayonnaise on the side; I don’t like pickle and I don’t like mayonnaise but somehow, lime pickle mayonnaise with salmon is fantastic.

After a good wonder around the arts shops and galleries and picking up some irresistible  photography the minute I walked into the fabulous Public Market (the photographer was once married to a Brummie (“I imported him in then I imported him out”) and then bought some celebratory crazy looking tulips, another celebratory purchase.

Davie Village

I come back into the city, relax a bit in the hotel before heading down Davie Village, the gay neighbourhood starting right by the hotel, which I suspect wasn’t in existence 13 years ago as I would have noticed. There’s something comforting about being in a gay neighbourhood when I travel alone. The plan was to grab a coffee and start the first in a long series of ‘watching the world go by’ but I start feeling very tired and realise it’s best to keep walking. I do this, whilst picking up supplies at the nearest supermarket. I managed to stay awake until 9.30, which is great considering the 5am start and the eight hour difference.

Song of the day: Gordon Lightfoot – If You Could Read My Mind

Vancouver Adventure: Day 2, Easter

Adventures in Milan – Day 5, coming home