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Canadian Affair

First Day Explorations

After the excitement and exhaustion of yesterday and, having experienced my first ‘brain freeze’ in years from a huge Slurpee, I set out today, determined to fit as much as possible into one day.

Food was on my mind, I’m self-catering, vegetarian and on a limited budget. Eating out each day was not an option. I’d done my research before leaving the UK, so I knew I needed to get a day pass to travel all around the city. Bought it from 7-Eleven, who seem to throw in a tussle with a homeless guy each visit as an added bonus that nobody really wants. I found the best way to deal with him was to just ignore him.

Jumped onto the first bus I saw. No idea where it was going. Who cares, I just wanted to go out and explore. Fingers crossed that it wasn’t going to dump me in the middle of DTES (downtown east side); the place that everyone advises is best avoided. My strategy was simple; spot a supermarket and jump off at the nearest available store.

Of course, the first supermarket I spotted was one of the most expensive organic supermarkets in Vancouver. I didn’t realise this at first; just thought that Canada was ridiculously expensive and bemoaning the fact that my Canadian dollar was clearly not going to stretch as far as a US dollar. The prices were quickly forgotten when I discovered that I was in vegetarian utopia. It was like being in a Holland and Barratt extended superstore. Bliss! Vegan potato salad, vegetarian samasos and absolutely the best biscuits that I have ever tasted. Definitely worth a return journey before going back home. Bringing some back for the boys for sure.

Obviously, me being me, I shopped as though I had a car. Getting back onto the bus, knuckles practically grazing the tarmac whilst simultaneously trying to remember which way to look when crossing, proved challenging, to say the least! Part two of the plan was to return to my apartment, dump the food, have lunch then launch myself out again for part two of my discovery expedition.

Post-lunch, belly full and ready for the rest of the day, I set out again. Vancouver Library. A strange place to visit, I agree. However, the proximity to the hotel and the stunning architecture successfully lured me. Plus a heavy recommendation in my tour book. Amazing, amazing, amazing. Six floors, fantastically designed, really helpful staff. Well worth the visit.

Back on another bus and still strangely fascinated by the fact that they run on electricity, powered by cables above the bus. Combined with all of the taxis being Toyota Prius’, a big thumbs-up to Vancouver for its eco credentials and making a real committed to reducing pollution.

More explorations,  then finally back to my apartment for TV, dinner and bed – ready for Tuesday. My legs were actually aching, unaccustomed to walking the distances I covered today.

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