Fact: Canada has the world’s longest coastline. Despite this (nationalistic pride inducing) fact it has taken me 28 years to make it to any of that beautiful edging. Last weekend I met the lovely Nads & Hi-C to explore Vancouver and confirm my suspicions that Toronto is still
the best my favourite place in Canada. Vancity came prepared with a strong case for itself. So beefy a case, in fact, that I am forced to divide the title in half: Vancouver is (so far) the most beautiful large city in Canada. If I were to speak with someone who had never been to our fair country and they asked what ONE CITY they should see I would tell them Vancouver and be done with it. The city puts on a good first impression – even landing at the Van International Airport was a beautiful sight over the misty water with mountains framing the view. But (but!) as soon as the talk turns long term Toronto still remains more varied and big-city – it has the cliched “heart beat” I’ve yet to find elsewhere.
Enough comparison. With only three days I would say that I hit a good chunk of the city. Staying in Mount Pleasant with Nads and having Friday to myself I took the bus down to Stanley Park to tour the aquarium. Highlight: giant octopus eating.a.crab. Highlight #2: the view of downtown from across the water and the big tree in the park. From along the waterfront it becomes apparent that downtown Van is not a city but a condo farm. They all share the same DNA and were bred to look good beside the water. A difficult commodity to export, though.
The rest of the day was spent building up blisters by walking from Stanley Park to Gastown and then on to China town. Over the weekend we also explored Commercial Drive, Kitsilano and Granville Island. We partook at, according to the internets, the only hookah place in the city, shopped a bit including at a mini-flea market and ate excellent food. Vancouver would be a great place to be a vegan. On my walk to Gastown I ended up sitting at the bar of a humid underground eatery ordering a raw-vegan-organic “nice” bowl. The restaurant was aptly named Gorilla Food.