My last major city desination travelling was Vancouver B.C. To get to the city I took a ferry from Nanaimo departure bay to West Van, which turned out to be another city, seperate to Vancouver. The ferry I went on was a lot larger than the one from Seattle, the journey was shorter and in my opinion a lot more scenic so I enjoyed this one a bit more. In Vancouver itself I would be staying with the Day's, Nina, Brian, Stephanie, Jamie and Andrew. Nina was kind enough to pick me up from the ferry terminal and drive me into actual Vancouver, driving through North Vancouver, the third city in this area with Vancouver in its name.
Travelling into Vancouver we went over the Lions Gate bridge, a three lane bridge that swapped the middle lane to face whichever way the most traffic was coming through. This bridge went over Stanley park the largest park in Vancouver with 400 hectares of natural West coast rainforest. The Day's lived near University British Columbia, the largest University in B.C, with a nice modern looking campus surrounded by forest and beaches. I also went to a museum of Anthropology in the campus which was really interesting and had a lot of preserved First Nations woodwork presented really well.
The other sites I visited in Vancouver included, FlyOver Canada which was a simulation of a flight over Canada with stunning scenery, Stanley park, Granville island where there was a nice market and art university, Chinatown, Gastown which was the 'old' part of downtown and Robson street which had a lot of boutique shopping. While staying in Vancouver, Jamie had a tennis tournament and so we went to the tennis club in North Van, situated on the side of a mountain that had great views down onto North Van and Vancouver itself.
Another trip we made was to Grouse Mountain, a Mountain not too far from Vancouver, where we took a Gondala to near the top. I was shocked to find that people frequently ran from the bottom to where the Gondala stopped which seemed like a really steep and long incline to climb. Equally surprising to me was that in mid-May there was still some snow at the top and some quite limited skiing. Near the top there were also some Grizzly bears in an enclosure which were cool to see. Travelling to the very top of the mountain we took an extremely slow ski lift to the top where there was a large windmill we could go up and have views of the Rockies and what would could just make out as Vancouver, as it was a cloudy day.
The last family I stayed with was Jennifer, Jean, Carian, Julia, Chris and William Lauzon in Surrey, a city just below Vancouver and very close to the American border. There was some nice coastline here with views on Vancouver and America, including Point Roberts,a peninsular attached to Canada that belongs to America due to the way the border was seperated. White Rock was named after a large white rock on the beach and had some nice restuarants on the waterfront.
With the Lauzon's I took a day trip up to Whistler, a ski resort further north in the Rockies. The resort held a few events from when Vancouver hosted the Winter Olympics in 2010 but reminded me a lot of Queenstown in New Zealand. Here I went zip-lining in the forest on incredibly long zip-lines and learnt about the type of rainforest on the North West America's.
This was regrettably my last stop travelling, this time but I couldn't have wished for a better last destination for a send off. Next stop Gatwick London!