In Vancouver

We cross the border to Canada for the third time, but this time it’s different: I’ve just achieved my childhood dream of visiting the US. Vancouver and Victoria are the last stops of a 9+ months road trip in North America. We drive to meet the couple that’s interested in the van, they’re 65 years old and even though they like the van they’re not sure they can deal with the manual labor of setting up the pop top and the bed. They also think it’s too expensive for its age, but we’re convinced that with care its value won’t drop, and with years it will actually go up. We haven’t heard back from the couple in Seattle, so we don’t really know what to do… We decide to visit and wait a little bit on the van.

Vancouver is rainy most of the time so I don’t want to use my DSLR and have to take pictures with the phone… We start by an evening walk in Granville Island. It’s tiny and a mix of shops in old warehouse buildings. There’s lights in the streets and a nice indoor market, straight away I get excited about the idea of living in the area. We drive to a street in North Vancouver to park for the night. On the way we go through downtown and the Lions gate bridge and see the city lights. This city is different, I’m used to see CBDs with office and hotel skyscrapers, but Vancouver island is filled with high rises with turquoise windows and they’re all residential, I’ve never seen that before. Next day we visit downtown. The old town is called Gastown and isn’t as charming as I expected. We walk around Chinatown and the trendy Yaletown. I feel a bit bummed, I had high expectations, it’s rainy but still, Vancouver seems to be lacking charm and arts. It needs a pedestrian street and artsy back lanes maybe. The city is always competing with Melbourne for quality of life, so there must be something else to it.

Next day we get a bit of sun so we drive to Queen Elizabeth park and Jericho beach to enjoy views of the city. We also go back near Granville island for a nice fish and chips.

We continue visiting not-so-attractive neighborhoods before going to our first NHL game: the Canucks vs the Las Vegas Knights. Surprisingly the atmosphere is pretty quiet, there’s no supporter team either.

After our visit of Victoria we still had a couple of things to see including Stanley Park. We’re lucky to have a break from the rain and even some sun on Monday afternoon to visit this beautiful park. At the tip of the land, just next to West Vancouver (which by the way is where I would live because it’s packed with Asian restaurants) the park offers views on all sides. The drive loops around and we get a nice cloudy sunset over the city. I think Stanley Park made me like Vancouver more.

Tuesday and last day before crossing back to the US, we depressingly try to fix some new issues in the van (radio not working, curtain broken). After that we visit the museum of anthropology, filled mostly with native art.

It’s then time to say goodbye to Vancouver. We couldn’t drive to Wistler because of the weather.

Regarding the van, the couple in Seattle decided to buy a Westfalia so we’ve dropped our price. We still have more repairs to do like the furnace that keeps blowing cold these days… brrr. We’re heading back North of Seattle to get the issue diagnosed and will hopefully have one visit there on the weekend. We’ve had interest from a person in Hawaii, one in Idaho, one in Sacramento, but nothing really happening yet. 

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