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Canadian Affair

North Vancouver Island

Wow, today was busy!

Most notable was my trip by Seabus to north Vancouver. The trip was by catamaran, 15 minutes across the water just to see what was there. It was amazingly easy to navigate the transport system, thanks again to the fabulous $9 day pass. I figured out how to get to Waterfront, almost by accident and waited patiently to board and cross. It’s a regular commuter seabus used by thousands each day to make the journey to and from the island. Of course, there’s a shopping precinct there, as a reward for my compulsive spending alter-ego, which made the trip even more alluring.

I enjoyed the ride, trying not to look too wide-eyed like the tourist I clearly was. When I got there, the weather was predictably hot, cold, freezing, chilling, hot, warm. I’m finding it impossible to know what to wear!

Went into the shopping mall and had a wander around. Lots of interesting stores, including an ‘adult’ store which I innocently walked into, lured in by the funny badges and cards on display. Needless to say, my eyes were opened and my jaw dropped. How, why, who…? were the main questions in my mind when I saw some of the products on display. Clearly being in one relationship since I was 18 clearly means I have had a very sheltered life!

Onwards to a fantastic fresh, organic soup place. Vegetarian spicy soup to die for. Yummy dinner for that night. Then, more explorations before zipping back to the port to go to back to mainland Vancouver. A quick ride on the Skytrain back to the city centre, getting off at the fabulous Pacific Centre in search of Mac makeup for my sis and a surprise present for my great-niece from her grandma.

Pacific Centre was lovely. I discovered Zephora which, in turn, led to the discovery of Nars makeup. I was totally hooked and got a free super-diva makeover, complete with fantastically dramatic eye makeup! The prices didn’t do it for me though. Vancouver is so blooming expensive. I decided to check the prices online before deciding whether to buy here or back at home.

Quick stop at the London Drug Store. Just because it had London in the title, I guess. Made me feel at home. turns out that this is the place to go to buy things at regular prices, without the over-inflationary hiked prices found elsewhere. Pretty handy, but also pretty sickening, considering the prices I had paid elsewhere!

A trip out the suburbs beckoned next. The bus drivers here are clones, I swear. Super-friendly and super-helpful. Almost as though John Lewis has taken over the transit system. One guy told me some nice places to stop and have coffee etc. When it was my time to get off, he called out ‘London, come over here!’ Looool, I’ve never been called London before!

Another bus, this time a long journey to the ‘burbs. Lovely. More me than the City. I’m not really a lover of high-rise city living, much prefer to be on the outskirts. One thing though, Vancouver has a noticeably high population of Chinese people. I’m not one for any place that has a high dominance of any particular ethnic group. I prefer a good mix of people and from what I have seen, this was definitely not the case here. Even the suburbs reflected the same pattern as downtown. If I were to live in Canada, I’d need to be in a more ethnically diverse area for sure, particularly given my own Caribbean heritage.

I ended up at another sky train junction and, by this time, I was so cold that I jumped on, rather than braving the sharp cold winds that had suddenly descended. Canada has a very different kind of cold. Similar to what we recently experienced in the UK. But this cold, it has a knack of spotting under-dressed and ill-informed foreigners, getting right to the bits that have been foolishly left uncovered!

In search of a clothes shop called Addition Elle, I found myself lost. More worryingly, it was getting dark and it gradually dawned on me that I was in the red-light district. What is it with me and porn during this trip?! More homeless people, this time a bit more scary and threatening. No bus in sight. So, I started walking, quick-smart. Turns out that I was only a few blocks away from the familiarity of Robson street and back to the relative comfort of my apartment.

As someone with zero sense of direction, I find the street labelling and the straight roads quite comforting. The traffic travelling on the wrong side of the road? Now, that’s a different matter entirely; I just can’t seem to master whether to look right or left when crossing!

Back to the hotel, frozen and exhausted. Crashed out in front of the television, becoming strangely hooked on a renovation program hosted by two brothers. Trying to figure out if they are twins or not. Loved the way they renovated some fabulously rundown properties and turned them into dream homes.

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Discussion

2 thoughts on “North Vancouver Island

  1. Love your descriptions of the areas, I can almost picture you there!
    The ferry and sky thingy-me-bob sound like a much nicer way to travel than the London tube network!
    Sounds like you are having an amazing expedition. xx

    Posted by circusmum | March 15, 2012, 9:27 pm
  2. Thanks for your comment CircusMum.

    The catamaran was indeed very civilised and a great way to get to work.

    The Skytrain is similar to our very own DLR system, which I find endlessly fascinating!

    Posted by TheTripletsMum | March 21, 2012, 4:19 pm

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