Vancouver in the sunshine felt like Melbourne. That is high praise because I love Melbourne. Both cities have lots of impressive steel and glass structures and a welcoming friendly feel. Both have great restaurants and craft beers. Both are easy to get around. But, if I were pushed to say which one was better….I would say Vancouver because of its location surrounded by water and wooded hills.
With a self-confessed hippy as a Mayor, Vancouver wants to win the “greenest City in the World” title by 2020. There are lots of bike lanes but I think this ambition is likely to be thwarted by Canadians’ love of gas-guzzling pick-ups.
Vancouver also has a homelessness and drug issue – much more evident than any other city I have visited. It didn’t ever feel threatening, but it was sad to see in such a rich city.
But the (occasional) grime of the city is easily escaped by walking around Stanley Park (a peninsular jutting out into the sound that forms a park bigger than New York’s Central Park)
or by taking a trip into the surrounding countryside where you can appreciate pine forests and rivers.
There is a lot to see in Vancouver and I would highly recommend a visit, but a few days there is enough to get a feel for the city. The quickest way to our next destination would have been the sea-plane service from the downtown waterfront.
But we took the slower, cheaper way to Vancouver Island on the ferry.