Welcome to Canada! Where the sun shines brightly, the wifi is free, and the lattes come double-shot by default… in fact… it’s a lot like Seattle. This is English Bay Beach, in downtown Vancouver. Flickr photoset is here, or read on for more.
I took the bus over the border to Vancouver. Customs was actually pretty good - a few questions, a stamp in the passport, and off I went into the wild blue yonder (well, it was raining, so the wild gray yonder might be more accurate). The bus arrived at the old Pacific Central Amtrak station, which stands imposingly on one edge of the city, and from there it’s a quick monorail ride into the city. A polar bear dressed as a barrister was waiting to greet me. For a city that’s all the way up north in Canada, Vancouver’s weather is really nice. I ate dinner at Milestones, a little place overlooking the beach (they do a great steak, and it’s pretty cheap). Vancouver’s CBD is packed full of apartments, unlike Seattle, which has a more commercial CBD. I kinda like it - more people in the CBD means more shops, more activity, and a nicer feel to the place. It’s a bit like Melbourne in that regard. One of the apartment blocks had a giant tree on the roof - I couldn’t help wondering how they stopped the root system from breaking the building apart. Further down the beach, I stopped off at a clutch of barnacles and spent half an hour playing with macro mode on the camera. There’s some nice places along the waterfront, including this fully-detached house - must be worth a couple million dollars, easily. Even the land would be worth a fair bit, given that it’s prime beachfront land. And finally, for your entertainment, this advertisement featuring Avril Lavigne.