05 December 2015

Impressions of Vancouver

Lots of new things have happened in the last 4 months or so...Apologies for not keeping up with the blog! Our initial plan to cycle down the Great Divide mtb route through the Rockies and into Mexico quickly changed almost upon landing in Vancouver in June 2015...

A city ranked amongst the most desirable places to live, with an idyllic location next to the British Columbia Coastal Mountains, and a very spread out population of 2.5 million. The city isn´t particularly scenic, coming from Europe, but the location is. You could be up skiing on a local hill in the morning, and kayaking one of the fjords in the afternoon, before a night dip in one of the pretty beaches out in Point Grey. A city where teenagers drive Ferraris with their ¨newbie stickers¨on, where some folk think a truck (as in, a North American truck or huge 4x4) is necessary to get around town (Fords F350 and their younger brothers), where absurd mansions keep on spreading on the North Shore...But also, a place where lots of folk are into all sorts of interesting hobbies and sports, volunteering and not only into one of them, but all at the same time... A place where it isn´t uncommon to see a 5 year old running in full running apparel with his/her parents as if preparing for a marathon. We could live here...that was our very first reaction when we cycled out of the airport and into the city.

And then Hastings St. If you are in Vancouver and don´t know about it, you will sure find out if you walk around downtown. An incredible phenomena that is in striking contrast to this opulent city.

Never before in my life, had I seen so much floating wealth...

Places like the UK would see people downing pints of tasty English ale on a sunny day like this...but in BC, with its stringent alcohol laws, people get out and do fun things!

...by fun meaning things like these!

Come evening time, and you can´t go wrong sitting in one of the many beaches in Kitsilano to enjoy a sunset

But really, what makes Vancouver a great place is its close proximity to the outdoors. Good University friends Sergio and Itziar, take us out on a hiking trip full of crazy mosquitos!

Though the place is incredibly beautiful and we are sold. We will be coming back to Vancouver in a few months...with a job. 

Black Tusk in the background, while we set off on a morning stroll

Going past scenic turquoise lakes

Encountering some snow on the way up (this being mid June, in an apparently very dry winter)

Almost at the top of Panorama Ridge, aptly name after the panorama it affords...I guess


Back in town, we spent much of our time enjoying the pleasant urban cycling around Stanley Park

And observing things like electric car stations. Yes, there is hundreds of American trucks consuming vast amounts of fuel, but also plenty of electric vehicles

Sunsets are also one of our favourite past times, no matter in which direction you sit

On (sunny) Tuesdays they go crazy and holds one incredible event. Brahm Tams. Play drums, hide your beer/booze (it´s illegal to drink in public) and enjoy the rhythms. To our surprise, this isn´t a normal hippy gathering - people of all ages and backgrounds appear to be here - from kids with their parents, to retirees enjoying playing the drums.  

And finally, the Garibaldi lake
Special thanks to our beloved friends Itziar and Sergio, who put up with us for over a month in their apartment, and helped us get a job. Cheers mates!

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