In May 2008, I had the opportunity to travel to Canada. My boyfriend’s favorite aunt and uncle live in Vancouver and I was invited to visit for 3 weeks. I have to say, I was beyond excited about seeing Canada (or at least a small part of it).
The first week we stayed in Vancouver and explored the area. We went and saw the wonderful Stanley Park, North Vancouver, Lonsdale Quay Market and much, much more.
lonsdale quay market, north vancouver
Lonsdale Quay is located right by the water in North Vancouver, with beautiful views of the city’s skyline. At all the little shops and stands you can try a huge variety of food from all over the world. We tried everything from fresh fruit to baked oysters to great sushi and thai food to the ice-cream, there is something for absolutely everyone. You will not be leaving the quay hungry, I promise.
After the first week we headed off to Seattle for a night. The drive isn’t too long but customs at the US-border took forever. From Seattle we left on an 8-day cruise to Alaska, which I will be reporting on in the near future.
view of seattle from the cruise ship
On the last day of the cruise we came through Victoria, B.C. and were able to spend an entire afternoon there. I honestly loved it soo much!
Besides sharing my name, Victoria is such a beautiful town, inspired by the old english style. I have never really seen anything like it.
“the empress”, victoria b.c.
If you have enough time, make sure you stop by the Empress for traditional tea-time. We chose to wander the city instead and see as much as possible. After having seen the harbor, parliament and impressive architecture we decided to go for a little pre-dinner at Earl’s. Even though Earl’s is considered a sports bar, I still felt like being at a really great restaurant. They served lovely cocktails (my favorite, the „hypnotic beach“) and delicious appetizers. Since we were expecting a full dinner menu on the ship I didn’t get to try much of the menu but we were more than happy with everything we ordered.
The best eating experience by FAR in Vancouver was at Cactus Club. We went back 3 times, thats how good it was. The design of the restaurant is very cool and stylish, the staff is super nice and helpful and the food is heaven! I loved the wonton soup with shrimp, spinach-artichoke quesadilla, tuna steak with wasabi crust, … you get the point. I feel like they might have changed the menu a little since May 2008 because I can’t seem to find some of the things I ordered back then in their online menu.
cactus club, location: victoria b.c.
Besides eating, we also did other fun stuff. One day we went up to Whistler Mountain. I never knew a winter village could be so charming without snow. We strolled through town, looked into cute shops, sat in the sun and watched mountain bikers come down a crazy downhill course where you would usually find the ski-slopes in winter.
quick stop to look at some waterfalls
on our way to whistler mountain.
On our last day we stayed at the Pan Pacific Hotel Vancouver. Truly a beautiful experience! Our room had glass windows all the way to the floor and we could see all of downtown Vancouver. We spent the afternoon shopping on Robson St., grabbing coffee to go, wandering through Gastown and just taking it all in. Vancouver is a beautiful city with lots to do within a couple hours of driving. There is so much more I could write about in detail but I am sure I will be back some day and will follow up with another post about the west coast of Canada.
Dane Low (Flickr)