Vancouver, Canada

Situated in Canada’s British Columbia, Vancouver is a trendy yet relaxed city with so much to explore. We visited towards the end of January for a 10 day holiday, and used the wonderful public transport to get around.

timbits

We arrived in the evening at about 8.30pm and went straight to sleep, but woke up at 5am starving. Luckily the airbnb host had provided bagels 🙂

We went for breakfast at Tim Hortons and got a very inexpensive box of 20 TimBits, basically tiny doughnuts balls of different flavours, so tasty!

vancouver apartment

This was the view from the apartment, it was incredible to be able to watch the whole city and the sunrises were amazing! (We saw quite a few of them due to the jetlag!)

Exploring Vancouver in January

Our Airbnb apartment was in Chinatown – (the largest Chinatown in Canada!) and we were there for the Chinese New Year Parade, which was the only time it rained for our whole holiday! Similarly to Yorkshire, it seems to always rain on a parade. The weather every other day was lovely, fresh and bright.

The main thing we noticed about staying in this area was the number of homeless people; there were so many! And a lot of them quite clearly on drugs. The taxi driver did tell us that this would be the case, he also said that they were harmless enough which was true. In fact, we actually got used to it after a couple of days. On Sunday evening we popped into the local 7-Eleven (like a Londis or SPAR but selling slushies and hot pizza) and in the queue in front of us was a one-eyed homeless man in a wheelchair with a massive rabbit on his lap. To be fair if I was homeless I’d probably get a rabbit for company too..

The fun activities, beautiful scenery and variety of delicious food made this a great trip, and Vancouver is such a lovely place to visit. We would like to go again in the summer, I think it would be quite a different experience.

Vancouver

This is a picture I took in Stanley park. We had just visited the Vancouver Aquarium, which was brilliant, and we were walking back through the park. The sun was setting, and the view was beautiful. I love the mixture of city and nature. I was quite keen to go in the horse and carriage around the park, but it seems like they don’t do it off-season!

Chinese Garden

Here is the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden which was just around the corner from our apartment. There was a lovely lady who volunteers there who took us on a tour, explaining about the Ying and Yang of the garden, it was very pretty but quite chilly. I think it would probably be better in the summer, but it was still a lovely way to spend an hour.  They usually have Koi carp, but apparently, they had been taken indoors somewhere to make sure they didn’t freeze, there was quite a lot of ice on the water.

What to wear in Vancouver in January?

I really didn’t know what to expect. I thought it would be really snowy and icy, so I pretty much just packed skiing clothes. This was so unnecessary, the weather was more pleasant than it is in England in January! Take a brolly, because it can be rainy, but you don’t need cold weather clothes, just plenty of layers. If you’re from England you’ll be fine, if you’re from somewhere glorious and sunny you might feel a bit cold. Luckily there are plenty of shops in Vancouver, so if you do realise that you’ve made a fatal packing error, you can always pay a visit to Old Navy. It’s all very laid back, so it’s definitely worth choosing comfort over style, you won’t feel underdressed 🙂

I just wore jeans or leggings and a top, jumper and coat. Cute comfy trainers are the way to go! This is me posing with a llama outside one of the nice quirky shops at Granville Island – I took my coat off for the photo, because I was wearing a coat in pretty much all the other photos, and I had just bought this denim shirt in Old Navy and wanted to show it off!

granville island outfit

Is Dine Out Vancouver Worth It?

Dine Out Vancouver was on whilst we were there, it was from 20th January – 5th February 2017, and I think it is usually around the same time annually. I had thought it would be really good, and was one of the contributing factors to why we booked our trip for the end of January. In reality though, we didn’t use it once! I think if you are the sort of person who really loves food, and trying new things, it is great. They did have some vegetarian options, but it is all mostly set menus that to choose from. So if you don’t like the veggie option then you won’t want to do the deal. There are events and shows which looked quite good, but quite costly. The veggie options are usually the cheapest thing on the menu, and I never really bother with puddings or starters (unless there is something that sounds particularly delicious), so for me, the Dine out Vancouver wasn’t worth it. The website does have the option to filter on vegetarian menus which is handy 🙂

You can either schedule lots of activities, or just spend your time wandering around through the various districts stopping off for food and to look in all the shops. We went skiing on Grouse Mountain had the most phemonenal view. There are bears up on Grouse Mountain, however they were hibernating so we were not able to see them.

If you’ve got any questions about planning a trip to Vancouver, please do let me know.

If you enjoyed this, then you can read about my trip to Portugal here. 

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Dream Travel List

In my job I am often coming across amazing places, so I started compiling a list of awesome things I want to do and places I want to explore (and animals I want to see in their natural habitats). 

This list is growing all the time, and if you have any suggestions please do let me know! ?

1. Churchill (Manitoba, Canada)

Friendly Canadians and polar bears! You can’t go wrong!

churchill-manitoba-polar-bears

‘Gaiter and Earring’ by Emma

2. The Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

Sea lions.. who doesn’t like sea lions!

the-galapagos-islands-sea-lion

‘IMG_1042’ by Boyd Dwyer

3. Plitvice Lakes, Croatia

For ultimate tranquillity, and incredible waterfalls.

plitvice-lakes-croatia

‘Plitvice Lake’ by 29cm

4. The Maldives

Paradise!

maldives

‘Kuramathi Island, Maldives’ by Mac Qin

 5. Bear Watching in Finland

More bears? Yes! ?

bear-watching-in-finland

‘Bear Watching Karhu-Kuusamo Finland’ by Gary Bembridge

6. Vancouver, Canada

Potentially meeting Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki

vancouver

‘Canada – Vancouver – False Creek, Burrard Bridge’ by Harshil Shah

7. Hawaii

hawaii

‘Hula silhouette’ by Brad Hagan

8. Warner Bros. Studio, California, USA

warner-bros-studio-tour-hollywood

‘Central Perk’ by William Warby

9. Seville

plaza-espana

10. Japan

cherry blossom