A city is, really, just a city
15.09.2010 - 17.09.2010
Day 1 saw us touch down In Vancouver during early afternoon. Bearing in mind that many of us had been up since 3am that morning, spent 10 hours on a plane and were now 8 hours behind the time we were used to, we were pretty tired. And by pretty I mean really, really tired. All told, by the time we got to the end of the day the 15th of September 2010 would have lasted 32 hours for us. So, yeah. Fun times.
The other BUNACers are all very cool. Bramm, Scott, Rob, Chris and myself decided to go and get some food at a Chinese place, which was nice (I got a seaweed salad, which really hit the spot) and then go for a couple of (very expensive) pints at an Irish bar. I had the Rickards dark, which was very nice. Chris had the Rickards light, which was also good. I would later have the Rickards red, which was... utterly average. Well, Two Out of Three Ain't Bad as they say. We headed back to the hostel, Samesun, which, incidentally was not that great, but we'll get to that. Anyway, we headed back to the Hostel had a couple more pints and played some cards before heading to bed for a very well deserved rest. Ok, by this point I've been up for, what, maybe 28 hours? I was knackered, but still slept terribly. It was hot, damn hot, so we had to keep the window open all night, the problem with that? The huge AC unit just outside for the building next door, so it was also noisy. Oh and the beds were creaky, not just mildly, but to the point where you couldn't move without bringing on the wrath of the squeaky spring spirits. So yeah, fun times. Oh and to top it all off, the jet lag woke me up at 5am they next morning. SO, a good start to my trip all in all.
Seriously though, it was a great first day. On the second day of my Canadian adventure we would start off with an orientation at the SWAP offices. This was, predictably, fairly boring, but it did give us some pretty useful information. Once we had got that out of the way we headed to Vancouver's Stanley Park (via a coffee shop, black coffee and pumpkin muffin, yum!). Stanley park is very odd. It almost seems like an anomaly this, huge, pretty lush area of woodland, right in the heart of Vancouver. The trees are high and block both the view of the city and most of its noise. If you travel deep enough and in the right direction you come out on a little beach by the harbour. Very nice. Very nice indeed. Once we were done here we had a couple of beers at a Bar and Grill, (not called Bruce's, unfortunately.) We headed back to the SWAP office and I got the email address of a little place called Victoria Farm, out on Vancouver Island (which, I've heard is beautiful) and made a mental note to email Carol later that evening. The job doesn't pay, but I do get food and housing in exchange for a few hours work a day. Not bad.
Had an awesome burger at The Famous Warehouse bar, and actually ate at the bar itself, which was a novelty for me, but the meal was very generous and very delicious. There was a quiz that night at the bar in Samesun, where I teamed up with 3 German lads and we got thoroughly spanked. I don't think our team had a wide enough knowledge base to really provide any competition unfortunately. Never mind, it was still a fun evening, even if I was knackered by this point.
Day Three saw a reply from Carol at Victoria farm asking if I would like to head out that day. I decided that that was indeed a good plan as it would save me quite some money on hostel fares. That would be the late afternoon though, so, for now, the gang and I (as I feel we had become) decided to check out another hostel down on the beach front, that would hopefully be cheaper and nicer. Not too hard, I wouldn't have thought. On the way we passed through Point Gray, a very rich neighbourhood, each and every house was different and obviously custom built. It was this area that really showed me why Vancouver is currently one of the most desirable places to live in the world. Anyway, we eventually got to the hostel and it is beautiful and in a fantastic location. If I come back to Vancouver I will definitely be staying here!
After that bit of adventure we made our way back to Samesun, I picked up my stuff and said my goodbyes to the other BUNACers, which was pretty sad. We may have only known each other for a few days, but they all felt like friends by this point. Hopefully I can meet up with at least some of them again. With that I headed across town to the Ferry terminal, Vancouver Island and Victoria Farm. But that trip I will save for my next entry.