Monday, 1 September 2014

Travelling to Vancouver aka New Westminster, British Columbia


Well, travelling home to the UK I met two lovely chatty Canadian women who enlightened me that I had not seen Vancouver at all. I had spent two weeks in New Westminster, a different city to Vancouver. They enlightened me that I had not seen beautiful Vancouver and that is why I had been so confused and not enamored with the locality at all. They showed me pictures of beaches and mountainous terrain that was stunning. Now it all began to make better sense and I felt I was not going mad. It was further highlighted by my Virgin flight companion, Tanya, who again reiterated what I had missed out on and showed me beautiful pictures of her own stay in the real Vancouver. It was a long way to travel and not be immersed in the real beauty of Vancouver.

Sorry to anyone I may have offended or insulted with this particular blog...but sadly this was my experience of the Vancouver I ended up in!


Nestled on the west coast just above the US border between pine forests, working rivers, industry and bridges for as far as the eye can see is Vancouver. There must be over eight different design bridges I can view from the penthouse apartment I am staying in. The locals try to tell this true Brit that Vancouver, British Columbia is just like England but am sorry to enlighten those of you living with this illusion that is it nothing like my England or the my UK.

Surrounded by wide roads, freeways, American style road signs, scarlet fire hydrants on every street corner, houses that resemble the east coast of the US and primarily Virginia and row after row of high-rise apartment buildings and neon this is Vancouver. Out walking I come face to face, on every cross street, with the classic American “don’t walk tangerine hand sign” resembling the Arabic Hamsa which symbolises protection. Then when I am given permission to walk I see the USA white walking man; nothing close to my UK. Oh and I almost forgot, no roundabouts, but the other classic American four way stop. Not to mention the yankee range of stores.
Us Brits do not have anywhere close to the range of stores or the size. The breath taking variety and range of produce in each supermarket here is Vancouver can only be compared to the US, not my England. The weather is about the closest comparable to England. Seasons appear same time of year although Vancouver winters can be much harder and colder than the UK. Summers tend to be warmer.

Areas of Vancouver are very pretty and obviously wealthy but many areas are extremely industrial and grey. The river is a working river with tug boats pulling and pushing containers in and out all day. The freight train runs day and night with a slow low long horn blasting out across the city every few minutes and runs all over town. It’s good to see a hard working river but it does not paint a pretty watercolour. Someone commented to me that Vancouver is ugly and grey in the rain and I have to say I agree.
An attempt has been made at the waterside areas to make attractive eating spots and interesting walkways, but sadly not my cuppa tea, although I have drunk an awful lot of tea since arriving in a variety of vessels and situations but none of them served in a bone china English tea cup. And just like the USA tea is poor and weak and not English at all. I have bee lucky enough to drink good ole English Typhoo but still not as good as my home brewed PG Tips. Cheers.

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