I remember Mark and I booking our 16 day trip to Canada in May 2017 after not much discussion. We just went into Trail Finders, sat down and explained that we had always wanted to travel Canada so we told the Travel Agent the sort of things we wanted to do and after around 45 minutes, we walked out with a trip of a lifetime planned for us. Insane.
Quickly and I mean veeeery quickly did the year fly by and suddenly, it’s May 2018 and we arepacked and on our way to the Airport. We dropped our car off at Purple Parking (which is very good, very cheap and super easy to use) and within a couple of hours we were sat on the plane ready to start our big adventure.
I hate flying. Not because I’m frightened of anything but because of how small the seats are, the rubbish food and the significant lack of space. I can never afford to upgrade and think the cost of that is pretty ridiculous so I do what all Brits do and just moan about it instead. Still, after watching a few films and having the odd uncomfortable nap, it wasn’t too long before we were in Vancouver.
I was so excited to start our travels in Vancouver. It’s always been a place I’ve desperately wanted to go and visit and it’s also the place where one of my best friends live so of course we had plans to see her and her boyfriend. When we arrived in Vancouver, we got the taxi straight to our hotel. It was really weird because we left to get our flight in the UK at 2pm and after 10 hours of flying we arrived in Vancouver at 3pm so we felt a tad all over the place.
Vancouver is a beautiful City. It’s bustling, fun and full of things to do. It’s the perfect place, really. It’s a City that has an abundance of jobs and is one of the creative capitals of the world so full of an eclectic of people and it’s surrounded by mountains and forests – so it’s obvious to see why it captivates the best of both worlds. Work and play.
We spent only two days in Vancouver (the day we arrived and the day after) and to be honest, it probably wasn’t enough. We travelled to Grouse Mountain (but I’ll do a separate write-up of that) but we enjoyed some lovely moments here. We went to Five Sails (check out my review of that super place here), we explored the City (only a tad) and we went to a couple of bars (can’t deny the girl a cocktail or two) but the one thing we were really surprised at was the amount of drug users in Vancouver.
Being from London, seeing users isn’t a rarity for me – a lot of lost souls live homeless on the streets of London and sadly there have been occasions where I have seen them under the influence of drugs but in Vancouver, it seems far more prominent. Users actively use in the streets and some lay on the floor where you walk and it’s very concerning. After doing a bit of research I found that Main Street and some parts of Downtown East Side have a chaotic throe of addiction, loitering and a desperate need to hunt for fixes. It’s incredibly heartbreaking to see.
You’re surrounded by gorgeous, glittering waters, tall extravagant condos, snow-capped mountains in the distance and the freshness of the pacific air hitting your face but among all of this is a dark side where people struggle to overcome this desperate pull of addiction.
Although sad to see, Vancouver is beautiful. It’s clear to see why people from all over the world travel here to live full-time, to raise their children here, to begin new chapters of their lives here. You’re only a short drive from Whistler, you have stunning scenery all around you and such a variety of restaurants and bars. It’s a wonderful social atmosphere and a place I know I can’t wait to visit again.