Day 1 – To Vancouver, Canada
On the first day, we decided to head North to Vancouver from Seattle/Bellevue, where we were staying. As we braved the winds and incessant rain, we soaked in the greenery of the state despite the gray hue. Canada border is about 2 hours from Seattle and then Vancouver another 30 minutes from there. We have heard great stories about Vancouver’s beauty and the liveliness there. .. maybe later in the year that might be the case, but for right now all we saw was a gray and rainy city. Not to let that come in our way, we used our imagination and pretended it was summer and still enjoyed the drive around the very modern city.
Our first stop was the Banana Leaf Restaurant for lunch in Vancouver – a good mix of Malaysian and Vietnamese cuisine. From there on, we headed over to the famous Stanley Park that is spread over 1001 acres. It was opened in 1888 by David Oppenheimer in the name of Lord Stanley of Preston, the Governor-General of Canada. It is more than 10% larger than New York City’s Central Park and almost half the size of London’s Richmond Park. Driving around the park in the bitter cold and rain was not particularly fun, but we still managed to use that opportunity to jump out at every sightseeing spot (and there were quite a few of them – Siwash Rock, Totem Poles, Lost Lagoon, Second & Third Beaches) and take some good pictures. The picturesque Prospect Point at the highest spot in the park, gives a fabulous view of the bridge, the bay, the city, the trees. There is a nice little cafeteria there where we had some hot cocoa by the fireplace and enjoyed the surrounding view via the ceiling to floor glass windows.
We flew the previous night from San Antonio to Seattle, a flight of about 3 hours. As expected, Seattle was rainy and grey, unexpectedly a tad too much for the month of March though. We had expected to see the first blooms of springs there, but it was mostly snow and water everywhere. Nevertheless, that did not dampen our spirits and we set off early next morning for our adventures.
Vancouver is a very cosmopolitan city, brimming with life. Wish the weather had cooperated and we had more time to cross over the bay into Victoria Island, but we still made the best of our time there.