Technically, I've been home for two days, but I'm recording what I did on my final few days, as I didn't get around to doing it in Canada:

On Saturday I visited the Museum of Anthropology. It was good, (and not just because an episode of Smallville was filmed there) but it's quite hard to produce a quality museum when the civilisations and cultures it should be dedicated to have been completely wiped out.

I then wandered around some botanical gardens, saw the Bloedel Conservatory (as seen on Stargate SG1) but didn't actually get to go inside because the guidebook lied about closing times. In the evening I went to the second largest Mall in Canada, which turns out not to be a very impressive boast. I ate mall food and bought a Ben Folds Five CD. It probably wasn't worth the trip, even if I did get to experience Canadian teenagers on the skytrain (exactly the same as other teenagers, but with even more stupid hair).

There were few animals or interesting coffees on Saturday, so it wasn't as good as my other days.

Sunday contained the most ridiculous decision made by me throughout the holiday (with the exception of waiting until Vancouver to buy butter pecan coffee syrup, more on that later). It was raining. Very Hard. I decided to continue with my plan to hike up Lynn Canyon. I got wet. Very wet. Even my underwear was soaking and a bus driver and some Australians laughed at me.

However, Lynn Canyon was stunning and the downpour only contributed to the effect, There was a 10km hike around Rice Lake, the 30 ft pool, two falls and the far-more-rickety-than-the-last-one suspension bridge. There was even a sign telling me how to be "Bear Aware". I deliberately contradicted it in the hope of becoming aware of a bear, but it didn't happen.

Monday was Kitsilano beach (georgeous, I could live there), the sighting of the only domestic cat I saw on my whole trip (grey, fluffy, unsociable), Vanier Park, the Inukshuk statue (very cool, got slightly sunburnt), Bloedel Observatory (actually inside this time), The Daily Planet, and the scouring of all three known locations of second cup coffee houses which the website totally lied about. There was no butter pecan syrup.

Tuesday was another trip to Kitsilano for my last flavoured latte of the trip (a straightforward caramel one) and then a rather long trip to the airport and the frantic spending of my Canadian change on Hershey chocolate.
Yesterday I spent an entire day walking Stanley Park - all the way around the sea wall and through the middle (probably about 12km in total - look I am using foreign distances!). It was stunning and a fantastic mix of sea and woodland. Also, I fed a racoon my lunch in clear violation of all the warning signs telling me not to. It wanted my lunch, who am I to say no?

I visited the fantastic aquarium, the high point of which were the sea otters. Second on the list of cutest animals ever, with only the tree kangaroo beating it. And nothing will ever beat Tree Kangaroo. Tree Kangaroo has backstory.

Today, I sacrificed myself on the alter of tourist trapism, and visted Grouse Mountain, (wore snow shoes, got lost and almost fell down a ravine) and Capilano Suspension Bridge, (really, really wobbly, ate a hotdog). I failed to see any bears (they were "hibernating" - a dubious excuse if ever I heard one. I'm beginning to think canada has made up the whole bear and moose thing)

I visited Lonsdale Quay and Granville Markets, and miraculously came out with most of my money still in my wallet. I also encountered a number of Canadian Men With Ridiculously Sized Dogs. It seems to be a trend.

I found some exciting coffee syrup but a woman wouldn't sell it to me. However, my mysterious Canadian commentor has informed me there are Second Cup Coffee Houses somewhere in Vancouver. I have their addresses. I shall break in if necessary.

March 2014

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