The first day of our Alaskan trip was a long one as we flew to Vancouver and then went sight seeing with friends.
Our taxi came on time at 06.45 am and the journey to Heathrow Terminal 2 was free of traffic. Air Canada check-in was quick and easy and we even sailed through security without any hassles.
I had Eggs Benedict at Blumenthal’s restaurant airside. Given the price of the breakfast I would have thought it might have been served warmer than luke warm. After sitting for a while our gate was announced with a 15 minute walk required to get there.
Once on board the Boeing 788-9 Dreamliner we had a slight delay before pushing back from the gate.
We were on the starboard side of the plane nearly over the wings in the aisle and centre seats. We had a great choice of movies on the plane and I watched some of them in between catching up on some sleep. When lunch was served I was caught out when I ordered a beer and some wine as this meant that Linda was unable to have a drink! It seems that Air Canada only allow one drink per passenger. The lady in the window seat ordered a wine and gave it to Linda. My meal was chicken with lots of tomatoes and a slice of stale bread. The beer helped this!
I chatted to the lady at the window and discovered she had been an engineer in the RAF working on engine management as part of the acceptance team for the Typhoon jet. Subsequently she had been in the Falklands with MoD. She had visited lots of the sights around the islands. I was able to fill her in on some of the changes since she had last lived there.
Through the window I managed to grab some images of the mountains and finally the outskirts of Vancouver as we came into land.
Vancouver International Airport (YVR)
Once off the Dreamliner we followed all the signs and found ourselves in a large hall queuing for Immigration. It turned out this first queue was to use the automated machines where we entered our details. The second queue we joined was to present the print out from these machines to an Immigration officer. Everyone was so busy that our passports were not even stamped.
From the Arrivals board above our heads we could see that our flight was just one of nearly seven flights. These flights had just arrived from Europe, the USA and Asia. No wonder there were lots of queues!
Our cases were on the carousel and we then joined the queue for customs. Out in the concourse we were met by the Princess Cruises’ representative who accompanied us to the queue for taxis outside!
Once we reached the front of the queue after about 15 minutes, the representative gave the taxi driver a chit and sent us on our way to our hotel.
Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre
The Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre Hotel was on Burrard Street in downtown Vancouver and it was 2 pm local time when we arrived there.
The room was in one of the three towers of the hotel across from the tower where we had checked in.
Our Canadian friends were coming to pick us up at 4 pm. We unpacked enough clothes for the three days in Vancouver and then had a quick shower. Once back outside the hotel I took images of the hotel towers and the reflections in their glass windows.
A whistle stop tour of Vancouver
Our friends took us on a whistle stop tour of Vancouver through the city around Canada Place, out to Stanley Park, over the Lionsgate Bridge, up Mount Seymour, Horseshoe Bay, Deep Cove Park and finally back into the City for a late dinner. Coming back down the mountain we followed a cyclist who at times was going faster than we were.
Here are my images from those few hours.
Lots of insects made life very uncomfortable up here.
The viewing platform had gone so our views were restricted by all the trees.
Here is the cyclist going so fast down hill we couldn’t pass him.
And then back into the City after searching for a filling station that served diesel we passed a street art mural and paused in Gas Town by the Steam Clock.
After dinner we were dropped off at our hotel at around 11 pm, making this first day of our trip a very long one! Our last act before turning in was to put a notice on the door that requested our room not be cleaned the next day for a 5 Canadian Dollar voucher.