This is a guest post by Amy Baker, who recently found herself with a one day layover in Vancouver, Canada.
I never expected my first trip to Vancouver to be a whirlwind 24 hours, but when flight schedules and the travel gods worked together recently, the result was just one day in the city. While there is no question that visitors to Vancouver need much more time to explore, I seized the opportunity with gusto and began thumbing through my guidebook to create an itinerary which would make the most of the little time I had here.
Vancouver is the largest city in Canada’s westernmost province of British Columbia and is known for its natural beauty. The climate and mountainous lends itself perfectly to outdoor pursuits and off-piste shenanigans, which is why Vancouver is the liveliest of places to stay in British Columbia.
Unfortunately I didn’t have the right outdoor apparel to take part in said outdoor pursuits, but I decided I’d do my best at the shenanigans! The first thing that struck me as I cleared customs, collected my bags and hopped on the shuttle bus into the city was how friendly everyone was – always a good introduction to a country.
I chose to stay close to Robson Street which is one of Vancouver’s most vibrant shopping areas and fortunately for me, was surrounded by some of the best British Columbia hotels so I was spoiled for choice. I quickly checked into my hotel, dumped my bags, donned my comfy trainers and headed out into the city. Robson Street is the city’s major thoroughfare, leading from BC Place Stadium all the way to the Lost Lagoon in Stanley Park. I decided to walk the length of it so that I could take in all the sights, including Liberty Square, whilst ducking into a few of the enticing shops along the way.
Burrard and Jervis streets are lined with funky shops, designer boutiques (window shopping never hurts!) and charming restaurants. After I had been lured into several stores, I decided to head to the historic district of Gastown where I found myself enthralled by the cobblestone streets, Victorian buildings and historical monuments. By this stage I had worked up a serious hunger (shopping does that to you) and I headed to the area’s Salt Tasting Room – just in time for a tour which included tastings of fancy cheese, delicious cured meats and specially selected wines.
Although I was growing weary, my fellow tasters had mentioned great things about Chinatown’s teashops, and as any self-respecting English tea lover should, I headed straight there. I was not disappointed. After sitting down and being tempted with some of the most delicious dim sum I’ve ever had, I was well and truly spent and only just managed to drag myself back to my hotel and passed out like a rock.
One day in Vancouver is most definitely not enough and next time, I will make sure that I can explore this friendly city at a more leisurely pace.
Flickr photos by Brandon Godfrey and memories of time.