Saturday, August 8, 2009

Transit time in Vancouver

If I thought my previous visit to Vancouver over a year ago was a short one because I only had stayed for 2 nights and never got a lot of chance to go around, I never expected that the second time around I'll be in the city will be rather shorter than that.

Our group left The Butchart Gardens before 4:00PM for our ending destination that day - Vancouver, British Columbia. Everything is still part of the Victoria City Tour & Butchart Gardens en route to Vancouver package that I reserved via phone and picked up from the ticket office of Pacific Coach Lines in Victoria, BC.

On the way to the ferry terminal, we passed along the "Heavy Truck Show" of Saanich Historical Artifacts Society. It was such a sight to see!

We approached the terminal of BC Ferries in Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal around an hour after we left the gardens. A few minutes later our bus boarded a ferry that will take us to the other side of the water.

Passengers have to alight the bus as it cruised along the water for about an hour and a half.

Deck 2 - level where our bus have parked.

Went up to the passenger deck of our ferry, the Spirit of British Columbia.

I stayed for some time at the top-most deck of the ferry, enjoying the cool breeze of air and spectacular view as we cruise through the waters and the subtle heat from the sun that is about to set late that afternoon.

view from the deck

As we went along the cruise, I began to felt tired because I had woke up early that day to transfer hotel and catch a flight. I looked for a safe place to relax and slept for almost an hour at the passenger deck.

We arrived shortly by around 6:30PM in Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal. Our bus was among the first one that disembarked and in no time we have reached Vancouver, BC.

view from a bridge going to Vancouver downtown

Tuloy Po Kayo! - obviously this is a Filipino store

another view from a bridge going to Vancouver downtown

The bus took the passenger to their individual hotels in Vancouver downtown despite the bad flow of traffic that day. The driver had to take us to a route different from the usual to avoid the build-up. I am fortunate to be one of the first few passengers that was dropped off.

I stayed in Holiday Inn & Suites - Vancouver Downtown, where I redemeed a free night I got during a "stay 2 nights, get one 1 night voucher free" promotion of Priority Club. I earned a couple of nights free during my stay in Holiday Inn East Taipei for a leisure trip with my mom last June.

My room is on the 6th floor and I got the room exactly as I reserved online (1 king bed, Business Class, non-smoking type). I wondered though why I was able to reserve a room better than the usual standard or deluxe rooms, especially because I was redeeming free nights. Anyways, I do not have complains whatsoever!

my room

It was almost 9:00PM when I left the hotel to walk around and look for something to do and eat. Nearby is a strip of bars and night clubs although it seems early due to summer daylight.

As I wandered around the city, I saw the Vancouver Art Gallery and remembered that a countdown timer for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics is on the other side. I took a chance to have my photo taken on the same spot I was in more than a year ago.

Then I felt hungry and started to look for a place to eat. Apparently it was already late and most of the fast food places around the area were already closed. I saw a 7-Eleven convenience store and bought food to munch on while walking and for dinner later.

potato wedges! yum yum!

Immediately thereafter, I boarded the SkyTrain to pickup my ticket for early the next day to go to Whistler, BC at the Greyhound ticket office.

Pacific Central Station. This is mainly a train station for Amtrak (bound for Seattle, USA) and VIA Rail (bound for Toronto, Canada).

ticket office

After picking up the tickets, I decided to go back to my hotel so that I can get as much sleep as I can and recharge myself for activities the next day. As I pass through the strip of bars and night clubs, I can see that things are now starting to pickup. After all, it was on a Saturday night!

There are even establishments where there are long lines at their doors and bouncers controlling who can come in. I only see these things on TV for it is unusual in Manila to get rejected from entering a bar based on how you look.

As I entered my room, I again began to felt the feeling of being tired due to lots of things I did that day and the lack of sleep. Immediately, I just got my things ready to go for leaving the next day and I slept as soon as I can.

me, inside my room

view from the room at night

It was rather a short visit to Vancouver, BC- not even half a day (just around 9 hours) since I'll be leaving by 5:00AM the next day. Nevertheless, I still got the feeling of being comfortable at home during this short transit stay in the city.


RennyBA said...

Wonderful guided tour - thanks for taking us with!

I so much want to go to Vancouver in Feb next year. Norwegians are crazy for the Winter Olympics you know :-)

RennyBA's Terella

aceychan said...

pahingi ng potato wedges, pls. :D

say hi for my cousins in BC for me. :D

aceychan said...

a late happy thanksgiving! :)