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.

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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.

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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)

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or by taking a trip into the surrounding countryside where you can appreciate pine forests and rivers.

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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.

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But we took the slower, cheaper way to Vancouver Island on the ferry.

 

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