So what to say on initial impressions of Vancouver. Firstly this city is BEAUTIFUL, and I’ve barely even scratched the surface with so much more to do and see. I had a little stroll the afternoon I arrived and chilled out on the beach with stunning snow capped mountains in the background, there’s not many places where you can do that. Dipped my feet in the Pacific for the first time ever, exciting stuff. Went for a run yesterday and as well as my body giving me some brutal feedback on my (lack of) fitness, I also got my first taste of a tiny bit of Stanley Park called Lost Lagoon. Stanley Park apart from being full of care free black squirrels and Canada geese, was actually voted the worlds number one park by tripadvisor in 2013. It lies between Downtown and West Vancouver (which is slightly confusingly actually just north of downtown) and has an aquarium, a beach, another lake called beaver lake (if I don’t see any beavers there I will be dissapointed) and trails that run through and around it.
Yesterday a group of us from the hostel went on a free hostel trip through west Vancouver to a place called Lighthouse Park where we ended up hiking around various viewpoints for a couple of hours. Unfortunately my nature photography skills are to be desired so there aren’t any pictures of these but we saw an eagle, an otter and some dolphins, and obviously the lighthouse too. The fact that we saw these a $2.75 bus ride from Vancouver made me a very happy chappy.
So back to my first night as a solo traveller. For anyone who hasn’t been solo travelling or is worried to, if my first couple of nights and days are anything to go by you’ll meet loads of people really easily and everyone is super friendly! So I went down to the bar at 6, sat there with my $4 beer and started nattering away to whichever unfortunate person decided to perch next to me. The friendly barman kept offering to refill my drink and as it would have been rude not to, a ‘couple’ later I ended up joining a table of other travellers from all over the place and trying Canadian ‘sangria’. Having recently had sangria in a tapas joint back in the UK I was slightly surprised when this one tasted and looked pretty much exactly like pink berry squash. Then another friendly Canadian chap asked if we wanted to get involved in the beer pong tournament, once again would have been rude not to. So I found a beer pong partner, and feeling pretty confident in my abilities then proceeded to get zero shots in. We were swiftly eliminated by what can only be described as the most seasoned beer pong assassins you’re ever likely to meet… For any of you in the know on beer pong we ended up having to drink three cups on their first turn. Life lesson, if someone works at a hostel with weekly beer pong tournaments don’t challenge them to a game.
So that’s me over and out for this post (the picture above is lost lagoon by the way), I’m still getting used to the different time zone (it’s actually just past 6am while I’m writing this) and today I’m planning on hiking up Grouse Mountain, because who takes gondolas when they can hike 2.9 kilometres up nearly 3000 stairs…