First day in Vancouver

Thursday August 16, 2018 – approx. 48 km today – approx. 2.384 km total

Today, I spent the entire day in Vancouver city. After breakfast, I drove to the closes station of the Vancouver Sky Train and parked my car there. Unfortunately, the information from the website was only half true, so I had to pay 14 dollars instead of the calculated 10 for parking. However, I bought myself a day ticket for the Sky Train which would also allow me to use the Sea Bus which I did not have a clear idea what it was at that point in time.

From the King George station to Vancouver downtown, it took me about 45 minutes. There, I looked for the visitors center to get some ideas of what to do in the city. Unfortunately, the advices of the employee there were good, but not exactly what I had expected. However, I managed to get a better idea of what I could and should do during the next days in Vancouver. After the visitors center, I strolled a bit around Canada Place and headed then to the Vancouver Lookout tower. From up there, you have beautiful view to downtown and the surroundings. I spent quite a time up there also planning my walking tour through the city from the birds eye perspective.

Financial district of Vancouver city from the top of the Vancouver Lookout
Canada place from top of the Vancouver Lookout

Back to the ground, I walked along the Waterfront from Canada Place all the way to the aerodrome and watched the sea planes coming and going. This is really a cool thing and I decided to bring my big lens tomorrow to take some closer pictures of that landing and take-off spectacle. I also dropped by a few bike rental companies as this was my idea for tomorrow. From what I have seen up to that point in time, I was impressed: Vancouver is really a beautiful city!

With one of the electric busses, I made my way back to the part of the city called Gastown. On the Vancouver Lookout I have read that there are supposed to be a lot of cafes and sandwich shops and in the meantime I felt a bit hungry. Unfortunately, I did not find anything appealing, so finally, I returned to Canada Place and got myself a sandwich there.

After lunch, I went over to North Vancouver with the Sea Bus which is essentially a large ferry boat shuttling back and forth from Waterfront station to Loneby peer. My idea was to have a great view onto the skyline of the city, but unfortunately the sun was directly shining against my view and with all the smoke in the air, the view was quite limited. I decided to come back here tomorrow evening to take pictures of the skyline at dawn.

In the later afternoon, I strolled a bit through Chinatown which in fact was not really that appealing. In contrary, I accidentially even turned into a street which seemed to be the ghetto of homeless and drug junkies of the city. The next day, I actually found this blog post when searching for information about the city of Vancouver. The mentioned Hastings Street East is exactly the one I accidentially turned into.

From Chinatown, I made my way back to the Vancouver Lookout about an hour before sunset as I wanted to be up there for sunset and the time after seeing all the lights in the city to come up. Luckily the ticket was valid for the entire day, so I was able to go up there once again.

I spent about one hour and a half on the Vancouver Lookout, watched the sunset and finally the lights of the city. At around 9:30 pm, I went down and took the Sky Train back to the King George station since my parking ticket seemed to be valid only until 22:30 pm. I quickly returned to the campground since I was unsure until which time, I could enter it, but there was no gate closed whatsoever. So I decided to drive to a Boston Pizza restaurant to have dinner there. The pizza there was good but also nothing that spectacular.

Shortly after 11 pm I returned to the campground where the gate was now closed. But the guard on duty did not even ask me anyhing and just let me in. I directly went to my tent and fell asleep quickly.