We landed at lunchtime – however, since it was 10pm in our heads (and around midnight by the time we found the hostel), day one consisted of a jet-lagged munch on a Roxy Burger, followed by crawling into bed around 8.30pm. We girls know how to party on a Friday night! In all seriousness, stepping into an 8 hour time warp takes its toll… but on the plus side, we woke up bright and early the next day – very, very early. At the crack of dawn, in fact.
Having stuffed our faces with the free all-you-can-eat breakfast at HI Vancouver Central, we had enough calories in us to fuel an all day walk across the city. We strolled down Granville Street (heading south) and took a right down Davie (aka Davie Village / Davie District, Vancouver’s gaybourhood).
Rainbow tarmac met each foot as we wandered up towards English Bay, which – even with the dodgy weather – was stunningly beautiful.
Then we headed north down Denman Street with the intention of crossing the city and seeing Coal Harbour, but somewhere between The Body Shop and a Starbucks, we took a wrong turn… and ended up grabbing a beer at Back Forty. In true Vancourite spirit, we ordered a pint (or whatever the Canadian alternative is) of Granville Island Honey Lager. And then I downed the dregs of a Dead Frog (another Vancouver-brewed bevy). We made friends with a Canadian who told us to check out Wreck Beach, a naturist beach… but we never got round to it because the weather wasn’t really… well, nude-friendly. Same story with Kits Beach (Kitsilano Beach)– this one isn’t nude, granted, but beaches and monsoons don’t really go, do they? If you fly to Vancouver during a dry spell, I’d listen to that guy’s recommendation and check it out if you can.
Having quenched our thirst, we wobbled over to Gastown (we’re not used to drinking beer) and checked out the steam clock (a clock that is powered by steam, you guessed it!).
We had a spot of lunch and a drop of wine at The Flying Pig. The food was lush and the barmen were friendly and it was right in the hubbub of Gastown, the city’s oldest neighbourhood. This place gets two thumbs up.
Stomachs sated, we hopped over to China Town and wandered around the Dr. Sun Yat Sen classical Chinese garden. By this point, it was pretty late in the day so we headed back to the hostel to spruce up and get ready for the evening.
We started the night at Johnnie Fox’s Irish Snug… quite fitting, since we were meeting up with our Irish buddy. Great atmosphere and cheap beer. What else do you need?! We finished the night at Granville Room – this bar was fun and lively, and everyone was pretty hammered, including the barman / manager. He said our accent was hot and, thanks to our “Britishness”, he offered to put us down on the guest list for a neighbouring club (which we politely declined). If you’ve got a British accent (and if you’re female), I’d suggest milking it.