Vancouver Part 1

We arrived to Vancouver on Tuesday 17th June in the early evening and were met by Rina’s family and spent the night being introduced and getting to know them.

 Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Vancouver is considered to be one of the most liveable cities in the world with its vast array of public and green spaces throughout and surrounding the city, most within easy transit. The city is fast becoming a mountain of glass and steel, replacing its 20th century buildings with newer apartment spires, offering a view of the harbours, forests and mountains along the horizon as a reminder of why they are building up and not out. The city’s cultural offerings are quite diverse, with a range of festivals, markets and activities for people of all ages.

Most of the harbours are lined with a sea wall providing excellently maintained walkways and cycle paths. There also numerous infographic signs highlighting the history of the city and the area. You can spend hours just wandering along the sea wall and admiring the view. The city is easy to navigate using public transport, which is frequent and while expensive, cheaper than the alternatives (unless the alternative is walking everywhere).

We were lucky during our stay to take advantage of the Vancouver Art Gallery’s Fuse event, held on select Fridays throughout the year. The Gallery provides a variety of live performances throughout its space for visitors to enjoy while meandering through the building. They also have a bar for patrons to utilise but be warned, the lines are long. This particular Fuse, Fake Plastic, presented: Lisa Simpson – Agente Costura - with an amplified sewing machine creating music as she sewed an outfit, which was a very interesting performance piece with a true industrial music atmosphere; Nicholas Krgovich – On Sunset; House of Venus – Wiggle 20 â€“ A preview of their upcoming cabaret show which was quite entertaining; and an interesting dance piece by Evelyn Roth & Delia Brett that moved throughout the second floor. The gallery has numerous exhibitions, there was a mixed media installation I greatly enjoyed entitled Killing Machine (2007) by Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller, an excellently terrifying machine. 

Fuse at  the Vancouver Art Gallery, British Columbia, CanadaFuse at  the Vancouver Art Gallery, British Columbia, Canada

Bacon beer at St Augustines, Vancouver, British Columbia, CanadaDuring our stay we mostly ate home-cooked meals with the family, but we did visit a couple of locations worthy of note: St Augustine’s, a boutique pub which offer a range of beers in limited amounts (displayed on screens throughout) that are constantly changing depending on supply. I tried a Red Racer Maple Bacon Ale, which was deep brown colour that tasted like hickory marinade had been added. Also the Attila the Hon-ey Ale, a lightly hued and flavoured ale.

Salmon and Bannock, an Aboriginal Restaurant on West Broadway. The cuisine is inspired by indigenous culture and food, and provides a variety of flavours to enjoy. We tried the Elk Burger served in bannock (an indigenous bread). The meat was a little dry with a light gamey flavour, but the sweet potato wedges were exquisite. We also tried their BBQ Pulled Pork burger which was exceptional.

One of the main highlights of this visit was taking part in Tough Mudder at Whistler. The drive to Whistler was wonderful, with great views of the mountains including the Black Tusk, a volcanic caldera. On the drive back we also saw a Black Bear cub on the side of the road.

Bear Cub, Whistler, British Columbia, Canada

We also took a road trip through Okanagan where our friends were staying at a cabin on the US side of Lake Osoyoos in Washington state. It’s a 400 odd kilometre journey through the mountains, where even though it is summer, snow is still present. The lake house was a beautiful way to spend a few days – the weather was warm, the water clean and clear, and the company great. Our days were spent talking, eating and relaxing, which is just what I needed after Tough Mudder.

While we were at the lake we stopped by Old Molson, a Ghost town museum to educate about the history of towns in the area. It’s a great little town with a variety of buildings, tools, and common wares from 100+ year history.

Lake Osoyoos, Washington, USAOld Moulson, Washington, USA

We drove back to Vancouver via Kelowna, stopping a while for a late lunch. The region is very nice, with great hills rising to majestic peaks circling vast lakes. The area is known for its produce and there are fruit stalls every few kilometres along the highways. We bought some cherries (there are places you can pick your own here as well) and blueberries, both of which were sweet and juicy.

Other Canada Articles

Vancouver Part 2

Vancouver Part 3

Canada Day

Tough Mudder