I am on my fifth full day in Vancouver so I thought I would give you a list of what I have done so far:

  • I did see a forest fire whilst flying over British Columbia. Since then BC has declared a state of emergency due to the number of fires and the strength of the wind. Fire and wind is truly terrifying.
  • Eaten Pacific salmon caught in the Fraser river by a first nation from the ? tribe
  • Bought a pair of trail shoes for my daughter and learnt that sales tax (13% comprised of 8% federal and 5% provincial) is not included in the displayed price. Not sure how kids deal with this.
  • Went to Fort Langley and learnt about making casks and how the dislike of two Scotsmen, James Douglas and James Yale, eventually led to the Hudson Bay Company owned New Caledonian being named a colony called British Columbia by Queen Victoria. This in turn led to the Canada being formed (not sure how).
  • The Hudson Bay company made a fortune selling salmon to Hawaii because there is a legend that the Hawaians were punished by a god (for what?) who made all colourful fish disappear. The coloured fish apparently refers to its flesh.
  • The first nations are not too happy about Canada celebrating its 150 years because they have been here a great deal longer.
  • I ate my first Burrito. It was good.
  • Canada earns two billion dollars a day through trade with America. This makes being truthful about Trump difficult.
  • Walked along a trail in Sunnyside Urban Forest
  • visited White Rock beach and saw a triple headed freight train going in both directions. Apparently it was full of American coal being transported to China from Canada
  • Shockingly Canada still makes and exports asbestos
  • Spend an hour walking around a local park early in the morning take photos
  • Travelling into Vancouver centre on the Expo line Sky Train.
  • Discovered that the Bill Reid Gallery is free on the first Friday of the month. Then discovered the said gallery is only free after 2pm.
  • Whilst the burgers at Red Robin are a reasonable size, their cheesecake is ridiculously large. I suggest one between three people.
  • The jewelry Bill Reid created was stunning.
  • I wish I knew more about Haida mythology (Bill Reid again).
  • Vancouver area roads are generally congested and public transport needs to be greatly improved particularly if you don’t want to go into the centre.
  • There are four or five ski areas just north of Vancouver but transport to them is difficult if you don’t live on the north shore or the city centre.
  • Early morning kayaking in Deep Cove is brilliant though I wish the boats had a bit more padding for my bum.
  • Cyclists are obsessed with climbing Mount Seymour. It is roughly a 1:10 slope that goes on for 10km. The guy we met in the gents restroom had completed it in 45 minutes
  • There are a lot of flying insects near the top of Mount Seymour, though opinion on whether they bite is divided.
  • The honey doughnuts in Deep Cove are to die for.
  • The north end of Kitslano beach has a section for off-leash dogs. It is a nice place to hang out if you are missing your own pet.
  • You can see some great basketball action near the main section of the beach though for some reason women don’t play. The beach volleyball was less entertaining when I went.
  • In general Kitslano is a great place to take pictures of people assuming you don’t use all your batteries up taking pictures of dogs. Also good if you want a cityscape of downtown Vancouver, Stanley Park with the coastal mountain range in the background. Wish I could get here easier after dark.
  • You can’t buy cheap analgesics in Vancouver. Drugs like paracetamol and ibuprofen are at least five times more expensive here compared with the UK even with avoiding the branded versions which is pretty hard to do.
  • If you know where to go, the food here is amazing.
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