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Posted: February 13th, 2010, 1:25 am
by mrsl
I've always known your country was beautiful, in fact much like ours, and now more than ever, I wish I had taken the time to travel through Canada, since the Olympic opening made it look so very enticing. I don't know what has gone on before as this is the first time I've ever watched an Olympic opening and they kept saying the last one was impossible to equal, but this of Canada certainly made it look like the place to visit on a person's next vacation.


Posted: February 13th, 2010, 7:52 am
by Ollie
I've been a long-time visitor to Vancouver, often for months at a time. When I look east from downtown, I see lush green forests, and to the west, the sparkling blue Pacific. An extraordinary set of vistas. Downtown has two great pedestrian turista areas, too, and make for a great walking tour between them. The downtown also has a variety of city-block parks that are tucked away among some narrow streets (ie, residents know about them, no one else does except for wayward wandering turistas). Cafés of every ethnicity, and I have found most-excellent Mexican joints up there, great salsa, great chips - the acid test for Tex-Mex. Also, a Chinese population that is relatively ancient for the Western World although a good amount of those places are natively Cantonese; in these later years, I've found a nicely growing population of Northern China dishes.

They also have incredibly fancy McDonalds, too - and like Bill Shakespeare once said, "A rose served even in a boutique café still tastes like a Big Mac." Or something like that. It's still hard to drive past some of those and not exclaim, "That canNOT be a McDonalds, can it?!!"

Of course, anyone who escapes Vanc without living on seafood has wasted a trip to a great seafood capital.

We have a place farther north, past Prince George, but we leave our truck garaged in Vancouver, fly or take the train up there, spend a week in the city (also to make sure the truck runs well!) and then we head for Prince George and beyond. Then, after a couple of months, come back to Vanc, stay another week or so and head back home. Vanc is sort of a wonderful 'ideal' for me - it can be as pedestrian as Manhattan, or easily drive-able.

I'm sure Vanc and Whistler - and that 50 mile drive between - is a madhouse at this point and I'd hate to dampen an Olympic enthusiast's visit, but I have a feeling "any other time of year" will be a very wonderful time to visit for the casual tourist. It's a VERY easy city to visit, too - for a week or two, find a hotel downtown and just wander. No need for a rent-a-car - just stay downtown and walk everywhere.

You will undoubtedly find one of the most evil Canadian empires, a small string of eateries called DEATH BY CHOCOLATE. Don't say you weren't warned-!