What's the Frequency Kenneth?

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North America » Canada » British Columbia » Vancouver
February 28th 2018
Published: March 26th 2018
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So we made it to Canada ... I've wanted to come here for such a long time, but for some reason we've never quite made it. Our first stop is Vancouver, but we're only here for a night so don't have time to really see the city.

I hadn't checked the details of mobile phone roaming for North America before we left and found my old "not-so" smart phone which I use for traveling does not find the GSM networks here. I knew that American phones used different frequencies but hadn't realised that GSM networks in Canada and North America run on a different frequency to the GSM networks in the rest of the world, so not all phones will work here. I go and buy an basic unlocked phone in a Vancouver store - it will work here, in the States and in Central America so will be useful for a while. I fire it up and it roams OK from my Aus account. Technology has moved along as J's smart phone does roam OK here even though its not a particularly new phone.

For reasons not entirely clear to me Vancouver is often compared to Melbourne so I'm keen to see at least a little of the place. We have a cheap and ok hotel in the eastern end of the cbd so in our free morning take a walk into the centre. From admittedly a very limited exposure, I'm a little disappointed with the city. Certainly the eastern end of the cbd feels very poor and there is plenty of rubbish around, I don't see any appealing architecture, the public places don't really impress and there aren't many good shops. On the positive there are some up market coffee shops, but it is very noticeable that there are alot of homeless people living here and most people we pass on the street seems to be just a little weird.

We are staying right on the edge of Chinatown so on the recommendation of the guy at our hotel reception visit the Chinese garden which is considered to be one of the best in Canada. Nearby is the narrowest building in the city which I believe has been featured in a recent TV series. Maybe I ought to come back and see Vancouver in the Summer - I'm sure it will seem like an entirely different place.

Our next stop is Whistler which is just 2 hours away from downtown Vancouver. When is snows in Whistler I can imagine that not alot gets done in Vancouver as everyone will just head for the hills

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