Published: August 28th 2011August 27th 2011
Continuing from last blog:
So, after France we spent just over 3 weeks back in England, continuing to catch up with family and friends, etc. We sold the car, which turned out to be a little gem, just prior to leaving for Canada and the USA, last stops before returning to New Zealand. As this marks the end of our 4 months away from NZ we had mixed emotions - looking forward to discovering new places but knowing it's all nearly over.
Wed 24th Aug - early start to Manchester airport, couple of hours at Heathrow then 9-hour flight to Vancouver, delayed by an hour in London and with an 8-hour time difference a very long day! Plus it took forever to clear immigration in Vancouver. However, once out of the airport it was an easy and pleasant sky train ride to downtown then a brief walk to the hotel - Coast Coal Harbour. The location was excellent, views of the water from the room on the 14th floor. And a very nice 21 degrees temperature mid-afternoon. The only downside was not having a kettle in the room (wierd - just a coffee maker but tea and hot chocolate
sachets provided - what are you supposed to do with them?) but a quick call to guest services soon rectified that and at last I could have a cuppa! Also interesting to note that earthquake procedures are in the info pack in the room - back to reality, Christchurch is only a couple of weeks away!
We forced ourselves to stay awake to try to manage the jet lag and wandered to Robson Street for dinner, where we found Robson Sushi and all you can eat for about $18 - highly recommended. Great, fast service too.
Thurs 25th Aug - staying up til 10ish last night definitely sorted out the jetlag, I think the huge comfy bed and blackout blinds helped a lot too! Had a great sleep. Breakfast at Tim Horton's on the waterfront then wandered around downtown and Gastown: Canada Place, the Marine Building, Visitor Centre, Christchurch Cathedral (!), the Pendulum Gallery, Pacific Mall, Steamworks Brew Pub, the Steam Clock, Gassy Jack Statue, Blood Alley, Woodwards, and a few other places. Talked to quite a few people, very friendly and laid back feel to the city today. Ate dinner at Sura Korean Restaurant - had to
wait a while for a table but the food was well worth the wait.
Fri 26th Aug - walked along the seawall, watched the seaplanes taking off and admired the boats in the marina. One can dream.............!
Kept on walking about another 10kms, all round Stanley Park (totem poles, lighthouse, beaches, lost lagoon, etc) and along Robson Street. Back to the hotel for a quick swim - quick because the pool is small but we were aching so much from two days'continual walking! Have clearly got out of practice in England! Ate dinner at the Old Spaghetti Factory in Gastown (again, great food) then wandered to the Chinatown night market (don't bother, more like a poundshop extravangza combined with the smells of Blackpool seafront). Continued on to the Jimi Hendrix "shrine"- a small shack were Jimi's grandmother used to cook and he supposedly came by quite often!!!!!!!!!!
Sat 27th Aug - caught the skytrain and bus to Granville Island - the public market was excellent, food heaven, had lunch there to sample some of the salamis, breads and salads on offer. Resisted the rows of chocolates and cakes, not sure how as they looked amazing too. Saw
some whacky houseboats and did the Granville Island Brewery tour - 3 samples to taste, the Cream Ale and Wheat beer were excellent, the bitter was middlin'.
Continued on, via the bridge, to Yaletown and sampled the Yaletown Brewing Co beer - again an excellent wheat beer for me and porter for Mac. Now we're back at the hotel contemplating where to eat tonight........ decisions, decisions!
There are more photos below