Tag Archives: Vancouver

Vancouver, Canada

As with most great rail journeys such as The Canadian, all good things must come to an end as they say. We’re all just soaking up the final moments of the elegant but imposing landscape before heading fast into beautiful Vancouver for a short stay.

Upon arrival at Pacific Central Station in Vancouver, BC the railway station is at the western terminus of Via Rail’s cross-country The Canadian to Toronto with signage clearly showing the way.

From the main station, connections are easy to the Waterfront which is undoubtedly the most popular area for visitors to experience – being right at the harbour with a plethora of attractions, cafes and stores.

At the Waterfront Station, the Canada Line delivers you directly to SeaBus and West Coast Express Commuter Rail services. A trip from YVR Airport to Waterfront Station in downtown Vancouver takes only 25 minutes!

View over Coal Harbour – used to designate the relatively new official neighbourhood of the City of Vancouver bounded by roughly Burrard Street and Pender of the Financial District to West Georgia Street near the West End in the south to Stanley Park in the north. From here you can catch public transport to most other places as it’s quite central.

FlyOver Canada uses state-of-the-art technology to give you the feeling of flight. You will hang suspended, feet dangling before a 20-metre spherical screen while the film whisks you away on an exhilarating 8-minute journey across Canada – from east to west. Special effects, including wind, mist and scents combine with the ride’s motion to create the real thing.

Many attractions are in close proximity and it’s worthwhile visiting the Vancouver Tourism site to gain the some excellent ideas of what to see and do if you’re short on time.

See  http://www.tourismvancouver.com

Like me, the Gastown Steam Clock is perhaps one of the first places you’ll visit if you enjoy checking out the city’s history and a seemingly lively atmosphere. Gastown found new life as the centre of the city’s wholesale produce distribution until the Great Depression in the 1930s. It was also the centre of the city’s drinking life: there were 300 licensed establishments the twelve-block area of the former glory days of Granville.

Jump in quick as it’s probably one of the most photographed clocks in the world.

Gastown was Vancouver’s first downtown location and is named after “Gassy” Jack Deighton, a Yorkshire seaman, steamboat captain and barkeep who arrived in 1867 to open the area’s first saloon. The town soon prospered as the site of Hastings Mill and seaport which quickly became a general centre of trade and commerce on Burrard Inlet as well as a rough-and-rowdy resort for off-work loggers and fishermen.

The Spaghetti Factory is nearby and a quick lunch at $11.00 (including tax) is a treat with all those calories adding to another excuse for further walking in the afternoon.

And yes, there are taxes to be added onto most goods and services in Canada.

Stanley Park alive and well with plenty of locals making themselves at home whilst foraging with a water-front view over the city’s buzzing metropolis.

Designated a national  historic site of Canada, the park is a magnificent green oasis in the midst of the heavily built urban landscape. You can explore the 400-hectare natural West Coast rainforest and enjoy scenic views of water, mountains and majestic trees along Stanley Park’s famous Seawall. There’s kilometres of trails, local wildlife and great eateries while enjoying natural and historical landmarks.

Granville Island Public Market is an indoor market featuring a fascinating assortment of colourful food and produce stores. You’ll have to struggle with the desire to take some home and promise yourself more walking the next day!

A vast array of produce including fresh fruits and vegetables from local farmers and some other unique findings. From plants, flowers to micro-breweries, wineries and cideries, you’ll be met with a range of products when you come to check out what the vendors have to offer each day.

Take a reusable carry bag as it won’t go home empty …

Easy to ‘get around’ and very straight forward in planning your way around.

Sky Trains are fast, clean and the most efficient way to the city. Vancouver (YVR) is the second busiest airport in Canada and located on Sea Island in Richmond, about 12 km (7.5 miles) from Downtown Vancouver. Look for The Canada Line which is $9.10 from the airport to downtown, and $4.10 from downtown to the airport. It links the Vancouver International Airport (YVR) directly with downtown Vancouver and Richmond. Whether you’re connecting to a downtown hotel, BC Ferries or an awaiting Cruise Ship, it’s easy to travel between YVR Airport and major city stations using the public transit system.

Certain Canada Line stations offer airport check-in kiosks. Skip the lines at the airport and check-in for your flight at any of the following stations: YVR–Airport, Templeton, Bridgeport, Marine Drive, Broadway–City Hall, Olympic Village, Vancouver City Centre and Richmond–Brighouse. See below for a trip planner.


A fitting statue to commemorate the memory of those who built the Canadian Pacific Railway and made it possible to traverse the sometimes impossible-looking terrain. However, as before, it’s been a magnificent journey and as usual too short on time in a great city of which Australians (and many others) are thoroughly fond of for its friendliness and characteristic mateship.

Vancouver in a Day – Part Three

Ok so it’s raining in Vancouver today, but what’s unusual is they’ve not had rain for a while? We’re heading for the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park for a rainforest experience.


Our group is gathered here today for a Rainforest Walk. And, we’re not disappointed …

Oh, you want me to cross the Suspension Bridge? Ok, righto … Just a minute while I think about it.

On our way. The bridge is 140 metres (460 ft) long and 70 metres (230 ft) above the river and draws over 800,000 visitors a year.

Just one quick glimpse down.

Easy to see why it’s one of Vancouver’s best attractions for visitors near and far.

Granville Island Public Market, fun part of the city and a massive drawcard – even for locals every weekend.

My friends with pooches would certainly not leave this place empty handed.

For a take home item, some might like a broom stick! You know who they are …

Love hats, should be more millinery stores about for customisation and better fittings.

And just when you thought time stood still, you can venture to one of the back street areas under the bridge.

At the Aquabus ferry wharf whereby you can take a ride up or down the river to other popular areas within the city.

OSGEMEOS, which literally means “the twins” is the Brazilian twin brothers Gustavo and Otávio Pandolfo who are known for their public art, transforming buildings and walls into colourful spray-painted characters. The Granville Island Silos is their best work so far.

We’re heading for Yaletown dock, then a tour through to the historical neighbourhood once known as ‘Gassys’.

At the Gastown Steam Clock area there’s no shortage of fab shopping, bars and eateries.

A number of ships are in port. Easy enough to combine a cruise with a Rocky Mountaineer journey from Vancouver, as well as Seattle.

And at dusk, you can do some ship spotting from the Vancouver Lookout whereby you can capture spectacular panoramic 360 degree views of the city.

Rocky Mountaineer Rail Journey, Seattle to Vancouver – Part Two

The Rocky Mountaineer’s newest addition to its already sensational tapestry of itineraries is the Coastal Passage which begins in Seattle, USA. We’re heading to Vancouver, Kamloops and Banff by train and motor coach to Calgary.

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Arriving at the King Street Station in Seattle we can already see the kind of classiness we’re about to encounter over the next few days.

The face of Rocky Mountaineer is here to greet our group on board for a site inspection and rail journey of a lifetime.

The Gold Leaf Dome carriage has two levels and below seating is reserved for passengers to choose between two sittings of breakfast and lunch.

As a group, are we excited about this trip? You bet!

You might be lucky enough to spot the resident Osprey nesting along the river.

Bye Seattle.

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Just a starter …

We’re on our way along Washington’s coastline with spectacular views all along the way.

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And this is only the beginning of what you’ll see from the Gold Leaf carriage.

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The train hugs the coastline almost all of the way.
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You’re able see farms, towns and look into people’s backyards with rail travel, something you just aren’t able to do by car and driving along the highway.

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Mmmm, time for dinner – very smart and can’t wait.

Meals are prepared perfectly and you don’t need to be a connoisseur to know this is going to be delish!

Arriving into Vancouver for an overnight stay at the Sheraton Wall Centre Hotel, all luggage handling is included in the fare. The train stops at the Pacific Central Station whereby all passengers must clear Immigration/Customs. Your arrival documentation will be given whilst on board and provided you’ve filled it out correctly and have your passport ready, it’ll be a quick and easy process.