The last couple of days in Nashville were spent doing the usual, researching Vancouver looking for accommodation, transport from the airport blah blah blah! Its hard trying to book accommodation in a city you've never been before, you want something cheap but in a good location so you have to research location and try to avoid the dodgy parts. What made it worse was we were arriving at 2.00am so instead of staying in dorms and waking everyone up we booked a double. We arrived at the airport in Nashville and there in the queue with us going through customs was A List USA singer Leann Rimes! Lou wanted a pic with her but since we're nice people (and we didn't dare ask lol) we thought we would respect her privacy..... unlike the loud American guy in front of us blaring on his phone he was in the airport with Leann Rimes, unbeknown to him she was walking right behind him, we just cringed! We boarded our flight which would backtrack us to Toronto before boarding another flight to Vancouver (but hey were backpackers and it was the cheapest option). We also forgot to work out the time differences between states in Canada so our flights ended up seeming like they would never end!
When we get to our next airport we would normally make use of public transport but arriving at 2am meant this wasn't an option and we just bit the bullet and got a taxi. The hostel was in a residential area and we managed to find it okay, the owner had left the key under a plant pot for us and when we entered our room........... the look of disappointment on ourfaces as we saw our room for the first time, I guess this is why they don't put pictures on the internet. Our bed was two mattresses stacked on top of each other and the room was cold but we were too tired to argue.
We got up the next morning and headed into town.........I say morning it was more like afternoon and we got the sky train into the city centre which was great and we spent the day walking around the gas town district, this is the historical part of the city and we saw the first steam clock................IN THE WORLD! It chimes on the hour, every hour but by the use of steam. We were just getting the feel of Vancouver that day and trying to get our bearings but from first impressions........Vancouver was great!! Very impressed and the weather was cooler but we needed it after Vegas and Nashville. I was also loving being in Superman's city and managed to find the building used for the Daily Planet and the globe on top was actually no where near the building but near Chinatown! ha
We cooked tea that night at the hostel and met some travellers from Australia and one boy who was just starting his travels but he did a trial run to Australia the year before just to see if he liked it and if it was worth travelling haha ..................that's such a Steph thing to do!
The following day we did our favourite thing........visit the botanical gardens haha we couldn't tell you much about all the different cities we've been to but I tell you one thing we know a good botanical garden when we see one. Public transport in Vancouver is excellent and it just makes life that little bit easier, the gardens were practically empty and full of old people which was strange haha we spent a good 3 couple of hours there and saw some pretty good stuff, I found these leaves that were made of gold, they were see through and I'm sure it was gold leaf. Since there was no one about Lou grabbed my hand and made me skip through the woods singing............lions and tigers and bears..oh my!! Lions and tigers and bears... oh my! Hahaha crazy!!
We then went to the Chinese market that night but it was quite quiet because there was a huge Cannucks game on which is Vancouver's ice hockey team and the atmosphere was unbelievable it was like a world cup final. We were on the outskirts in Chinatown and when they scored people heard the uproar from the stadium or heard it on the radio and then one car would beep their horn, then two, three, four and before we knew it the whole city was a massive noisy horn fest!! Haha unreal even the ambulances and fire engines were going wild.
That night we cooked in the hostel and we spoke to Chandra on facebook. The original plan was to meet up with Chandra in her home town of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan but we were tight for time and getting over there would be a big money issue blah blah blah, so we didn't really pursue the idea any further and had already booked our hostels and transport for the upcoming week, but speaking to Chandra unsettled us, she put forward the idea that she would meet us halfway and the amount we would spend on flying back to Vancouver we would save on free accommodation. So I said to Lou, you give me the figures and i'll make the decision..... so Lou set about scribbling up flight costs, petrol costs,money we would lose as a deposit etc .............turns out it worked out pretty much equal to go to Chandra's and we get to see her again which is a win win situation for us!!! This was at night and all of our plans had changed within an hour........we got excited in our little dark, damp dingy room and started high fiving.......LETS DO IT!!!
So the next morning we got the go ahead from Chandra and Lou set about putting the plan into motion .......changing all our plans, bus tickets, booking new flights, getting refund for accommodation but we both know that it will be well worth it to see our best travelling buddy!! SASKATOON HERE WE COME!!
Lou needed a medal for organising that........brilliant, I helped by giving moral support! As if that wasn't enough we had to check out and we were off to a nicer hostel downtown. We normally only book the first 2 nights somewhere and once we get our bearings we book somewhere more appropriate. We were back in dorm rooms but we enjoy it, it's more social. That day we were on a high and hired bikes out for 5 hours and rode through Stanley park.Stanley park is amazing, I can only describe it as New York's central park it's that big you forget your in a city. Its located right by the marina and has cycle/rollerblade and walking tracks everywhere and you over look the cities skyline across the water.......brilliant! Then if you ride all the way round you come to the beach, what more could you possibly want, everybody was sunbathing, swimming and it was just a great atmosphere all round, me and Lou were loving it!! That night we went back to get a picture of the Vancouver skyline at night with all the reflections in the water.
Our last day in Vancouver was spent at Granville market which was nice, it was a little farmers market right by the waters edge with loads of interesting one off shops. That morning we also had the best free backpacker breakfast ever!! But as we were packing to get ready for a 14 hour bus journey to Banff, Aka the rockies!!! I started talking to this man, you know when you get that feeling that you probably shouldn't talk to him, well I had that feeling and as soon as he opened his mouth I regretted my decision............oh lord! 1 hour later I'm still trying to escape his boring monotone voice it got to the point where he was talking but all I could hear was background noise and I could just see his lips moving, if somebody offered me £1000 to repeat what he said.......couldn't do it! I have learnt my lesson......... I don't talk to anyone now, lol.
We were looking forward to the 14 hour overnight bus journey...........we were happy to travel in anything but a plane, we were sick to death of them! Banff National Park here we come!!
Love Adam and Louise xxx