This Time Last Year – Part 31: Into Canada

Part of a series of posts that cover my travel to Greece and the USA in April/May 2016.

May 15 2016 – Vancouver, Canada

My motel in Bellingham has a free shuttle to the airport. Today I am the only taker and my shuttle is a taxi. I’m taking the Seattle to Vancouver ‘Quick Shuttle’ bus that stops at the airport. The guy in front of me plays pokies on his cell phone, holding it up at his eye level and right in my line of sight. So banal. Perhaps he will get bored and put it away. Or maybe customs will take it off him. We cross the border at Peach Arch.

The Canada-USA border crossing at Peace Arch

Passengers offload and reconnect with their luggage to take through border control. For me it’s a breeze, perhaps because I have a Kiwi passport. ‘Have a nice day,’ the customs officer says. It wasn’t like this crossing from Canada into USA back in 2013.

I am staying at the upmarket ‘Le Soleil’ hotel after Jenise put me onto a last minute booking site. The ‘Quick Shuttle’ drops me around the corner at the Hilton and it’s not far to walk. My room is truly luxurious. But I have sightseeing to do. I don’t have 3G/4G in Canada as it’s not one of Vodafone’s $5-a-day international roaming countries, so I pick up an old fashioned paper map from reception.

A bus will take me right to the Granville Island Markets where the food market section especially entices me.

Fresh berries at Vancouver’ Granville Island Markets

I take a ferry ride on what is called False Creek, up stream and back.

Waterside houses on False Creek

I disembark on the northern side on False Creek and follow a walkway along to English Bay.

Part of the Vancouver’s English Bay walkway

I pass sculptures in the Vancouver Biennale Open Air Museum Exhibition.

One of the sculptures at Vancouver’s Open Air Museum

I turn off the walkway when I reach Denmam Street. Neil and I enjoyed a fabulous dinner at a French Restaurant here in 2013 but I can’t go back, it wouldn’t be the same. Instead I stop at a fruit & veg shop where fresh strawberries and Roma tomatoes tempt me. I call into two wine shops but neither have small format bottles.

In Robson Street I pass the cheap hotel I originally booked from New Zealand but cancelled within the two day grace period. I’m glad I decided to change.

Ah, a Whole Foods Market. It beckons me in. It’s about the size of Farros in Constellation Drive in Auckland, NZ but very small compared to the brand new one in Bellingham. I swoon over the cheese section.

Part of the incredible cheese selection at the Robson Street Whole Foods Market

I buy nothing fancy, just some processed mozzarella (as compared to fresh).

There’s a wine store among the shops in the nearby subway station. I find a small format bottle of Prosecco to accompany my ‘almost’ caprese salad – without the basil - and my desert of fresh strawberries.

Simple but satisfying dinner in my hotel room

It’s my last hotel stay of this trip.  I set my alarm and lose myself in the comfort of the ginormous bed.

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