We stayed in Vancouver for two and a half days. The first day, after a looong flight, you can imagine how tired we were. So, we took it easy and just strolled the waterfront which was right around the corner of our hotel. This is a place for walking and enjoying the weather; it’s also a pier, and you can as well see the iconic Canada Place which is “Canadian Sydney Opera House”, a beautiful building which has a function of cruise ship terminal. Here I recommend, before you start your walk, to buy some ice cream, but where, I’ll tell you later in my upcoming posts! Follow up!
On the second day, having woken up at 3 a.m., we were ready to explore!!!! RRRRRR! 🙂 I enjoyed our trip on the Vancouver Trolley Hop-On Hop-Off which we took right from the Canada Place. There are plenty of tourist buses, and you don’t know which to pick, but I’m glad we chose this one. You’ll see why.
The drivers are just funny: they drive and tell you stories. And the stories depend on the driver’s personality, so, if you take several trolleys, you’ll get to hear a lot of amazing stories!
They all, the drivers, wear funny hats. Some of them even sing! Not the hats, of course.
I do advice you to take the first, 9 o’clock trolley, so you have a whole day in front of you because there’s a lot to see. And especially if you are in Vancouver only for a few days and you are an every-corner-must-see freak, like me.
The good thing about a hop-on hop-off bus is that you can take it after your mood: if you want to enjoy the ride and just take pictures out of the window, you can do it, and if you want to get off at every corner, feel free to do it too.
We passed the financial district and drove right into the Stanley Park, where we got off at the Totem Poles. This stop is highly recommended because when you get off the bus and cross the road, you get a stunning view on the city itself!
The Totem Poles stop is quite interesting if you are into aboriginal art and just in general for your education. There are some poles placed there that were made, carved and painted by Native Canadians of previous or this century, which is quite fascinating. They all have a meaning and are dedicated to various gods.
When you go deeper into the forest, after the totem poles and towards the seaside, you will see a beautiful promenade along the seaside. Highly recommended! But! Don’t think that you can easily return to the same stop! We actually got lost: we ( or my husband! RRRR!) thought it was easy and quick to go around the park, but we were veeery wrong! And here I was, wearing high heels, having to walk to find the way out…
Moral: Either go back to the stop where you got off (till it’s too late) or find the way out yourself (that’s why it’s important to have a map of the place!).
Finally, we found a path through the forest and hills that led us to the Prospect Point where we saw people! Over there we could take a breath, drink some beer and wait for our next trolley which took us to…
to the False Creek Ferries! But on our way there we saw this old tree (or what was left of it). If you want to get the whole story, go to Stanley Park:) Ha-ha!
Some people get off at the Teahouse, so you can do it if you are hungry (why not to eat your lunch there?). But I you are a real foodie-foodie….I would wait till the next stop!
At the False Creek Ferries you take a ferry (the ticket IS already included into the price you paid for the trolley)! To Granville Island! And go crazy…. It’s the place you won’t have a slightest desire to leave. There is a food market, bakeries, breweries, kids shop, street performers, you name it… This is the first reason why I want to go back to Vancouver and spend a whole day at that lovely place. 🙂 You’ll find out more about the island in the food part about Vancouver.
If you are into food, a piece of advice: make sure you have plenty of time to visit the island. If I could, I would just spend the whole day on the island.
After the Granville Island the trolley passes various districts – little interesting, stay on the bus (sorry, trolley, woops)! However, a stop at The Urban Winery recommended (if you still have some room in you after you’ve hit the Granville market).
When you are all full, happy and in a good mood, after the winery, of course, you really don’t need to take another trolley (unless you feel like – because you can’t think straight at this point – you can’t be walking). Gastown is pretty near! You have to visit Gastown, rich in history, fancy, New-York style buildings, go down Water Street, look at the Steamclock and wonder how it works, eat a Polish sausage, admire Gassy Jack, but not eat at one of the restaurants…. I’ll explain why later, in the food section.
Did you know that Gastown is the oldest district of Vancouver?
And that’s basically your day! You see now why I said it was better to start it as early as possible?
P.S. My ultimate “secret” reasearch tool for Canada was Lonely Planet Canada (Travel Guide)
(Some links in this post may be affiliate links* meaning I get a small provision fee, without any extra costs for you, if you decide to buy the recommended resources.)
By the way, did you know that they filmed a lot of the X-Files episodes in Stanley Park? 🙂
Read about Day 2 here.