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What to do in Vancouver in 7 days

The number of people vaccinated kept increasing day after day and yet Ontario refused to move forward with the reopening process. So, with some friends, we decided to leave for Vancouver to escape the restrictions and breathe a breath of fresh air of freedom. To put you in the context of June 30th (where I am writing this), it is still forbidden to gather indoors or to gather more than 5 people outside. Unlike many parts of Canada that are already open.

Day 1 Arrival in Vancouver

I left home and if at first I thought that the day was starting badly because the train to the airport was late, things started to reverse. First of all because of the delay, a not very patient person offered me his ticket preferring to take an Uber to reach the airport. Once at the airport I also discovered that a friend who was not supposed to come for the trip, had finally gotten off work at the last moment (but had not told us so as to surprise us). Then the pinnacle of the surprise was, just before I got on the plane: I received an email from IRCC confirming that I had obtained my permanent residency and that I had to fill out some information to receive the status. What an incredible symbolism just the day before Canada Day!

When we arrived, it was already evening and we decided to go to Davie Village, the trendy LGBT district of Vancouver.

Day 2 Canada Day : day at the beach

Small walk in the morning to discover what Canada Place looks like. On the way we also see that the Vancouver Art Gallery is covered with shoes, paying homage to the buried native children recently found in an old school. For Canada day, most places were closed. So we took advantage of the day to have a picnic by the beach on English Bay Beach with some friends. A moment of rest before several intensive days.

Day 3 Visit of Vancouver

We are in the morning, and it is time to go to the serious things. We begin with a jog through the streets of Vancouver to discover the city while making sport.

The afternoon stroll in Gastown to see the Steam Clock, a clock which smokes every half hour. We also take advantage of it to buy beers of the corner in the breweries in the neighbourhoods as SteamWhistle then we take the ferry on Waterfront station to go to Lonsdale Quay Market.

Finally, a good meal in Raglan Bistro making excellent cocktails and Mexican nachos for a quantity defying any competition... frankly I recommend you. On the way back, we meet a musician maestro with his guitar who puts us full of ears with a concert of street.

Day 4 Lynn Valley Canyon

It is time to visit the surroundings of Vancouver!

Early in the morning to go to Lynn Valley Canyon (accessible by bus since the city center) to walk us in paths through the forest. On the menu: waterfalls, bridges, but also a beautiful place to swim near the waterfalls. You will be able to jump on the 30 Foot Pool to get some thrills!

It's Saturday. And in the evening, we decide to make a little tour of the bars sides of the city. First of all the Cactus Club which is in the Coal Harbour. We can admire there a magnificent sunset as well as the lake. Then direction the bar of opposite Tap & Barrel which has a good card of beers but also of a sight on the mountain opposite the lake .... a magic landscape of night. Then the evening continues in the more festive corners of Vancouver at Cavo Bar. Unfortunately, we can only enjoy the music while sitting down, as the clubs are still not allowed to let people dance on the floor. That's for another time!

Day 5 Groose Mountain and Stanley Park

As soon as our visit is over, we go back to Vancouver to visit Groose Mountain located north of Vancouver. Once parked, 2 choices are offered to you. Either climb the mountain by a path of several hours, (but then you will have to do the same thing on the way back) or pay the cable car also called the Gondola for the sum of 61$ round trip. We took the cable car because we didn't have time for the return trip on the trail. Once at the top, it is a spectacle that unfolds before our eyes. I admit that I was expecting something a little more... wild. And it is a little a vacation village that we find with bars/restaurants, but also animations such as shows. You can also observe animals collected by carers. And if you wish to reach the peak of the mountain to have a view on Vancouver, you will have to take the chairlift.

As soon as our visit is over, we go back to Vancouver to visit Stanley Park. Impressive by its size and a must-see in Vancouver, we saw a multitude of animals and took pictures of the Lions Gate Bridge which gives an air of San Francisco.

During our visit to the Park, we also met Joseph, a photography enthusiast and former train driver. He told us about his amazing passion and insisted on taking pictures of us with vintage cameras including a very old one from 1850. If you want to take a look at his work, click here.

After a busy day, back home to eat sushi. I highly recommend this place since it's near the ocean. Here are 3 excellent ones:

  • Manna Sushi

  • Naruto Sushi

  • Samurai Sushi

Day 6 Whistler

We start the road to our next destination: Whistler. There are a lot of trails to do there and you have to leave well equipped. The parking costs 10$ the day and the cable cars which are a must cost 78$ per person during the week. It is worth it when you know that the cable car to reach the summit takes 25 minutes. And almost the same amount to go from one mountain to the other. We walk the mountain trails, which allow us to reach a breathtaking view.

We even have the chance to see animals like a marmot or a brown bear. For the bear don't hesitate to ask at the reception where you can see them during the cable car ride, they receive regular updates of their positions.

In the evening, our photography fan contacts us again! And he has a present for us! At our second meeting, he offers us the photograph taken of our group developed on a glass frame dating back more than 100 years. It is really a dream and unforgettable souvenir gift!

Day 7 Sea to Sky trails

Last day before departure. We take the road to do a trail in Murrin Provincial Park. I advise you to take the Murrin loop and the Jurassic RIdge Trail for the more adventurous. As a reward at the end of the trail, you can swim in a lake!

Then we headed to Squamish for some sushi before spending the rest of the day swimming at Porteau Cove Maine Park. What could be better than swimming while watching the mountains in the distance.

In the evening, we have a well deserved drink after this day at the Top Of Vancouver Revolving Restaurant. What better way to enjoy a 360 view of the city during the sunset while sipping a cocktail!

Day 8 Brunch and departure

It's the last day, and we don't have much time to spend before the big departure. Hop! Direction downtown to fill our bellies with a good brunch at BRUNCH. Their pancakes and potatoes are to die for I recommend!

We head to the airport and watch the England game in an airport bar just before heading back to Toronto with a head full of memories...

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