We caught a Greyhound coach from Pacific Central Station to Whistler… although I think you can pick up a coach downtown (but we didn’t realise this). If you plan on spending a day or two in Whistler, I’d suggest pre-booking the coach tickets cos it’s way cheaper (also, if you’re a student, take your ID – you can get discounts in quite a few places). We hopped on the 10.30am bus which got us into Whistler for 1pm and we scheduled our return for 4pm, because we only wanted a few hours to explore Blackcomb mountain. If you’re interested in doing a bear excursion or a bit of skiing, you should aim for the 9pm return… or stay overnight somewhere. We had just enough time to catch the ski lift up to the top of Blackcomb mountain, take in the view, defrost with a glass of vino, warm the cockles with a Baileys Hot Choc, and descend back down to civilisation. Needless to say, it’s cold up there – so wrap up nice and snug! My boots and socks got soaked through with snow so I’d recommend taking a spare pair if you can be bothered… or if you’re a wimp when it comes to cold tootsies.
And here’s the highlight of the week – WE SAW TWO WILD BEARS!! Both were strolling along the road side around 5pm. They were so, so cute… even cuter since we knew they couldn’t maul us from our safe and comfy coach seats.
My friend took a photo of the real bear but I was too slow getting my camera out… so, until the wild bear snap is posted on Facebook, here’s a fake bear shot:
(Please note that bears are NOT this friendly in the wild).
A word about prices… I found it easier to add 25% on top of every order (10% for taxes, and 15% for tips). The tipping culture is the same as the States but it isn’t forced down your throat in Canada… for instance, they never include service charge as part of the bill. But it would be looked down on if you don’t include at least 15%. Also, if you’re going in a group, they’ll usually give you each individual bills. Makes things a bit simpler.