Vancouver, farewell & ‘Coast Starlight’

Back on the land after a fantastic 7 days at sea on the ‘Celebrity Century’. I’ve never experienced anything quite like it. Wonderful sightseeing & shore stops, superb food & service, comfortable & well-appointed stateroom and great entertainment options. Now I understand totally why people rave about cruising!

Anyway, we disembarked onto shore at Canada Place, Vancouver around 9, went through immigration really quickly and before we knew it we were at some wonderful lodgings near Stanley Park organised by Dale’s sister, Diana.

We were soon picked up by our pre-booked Hop-On, Hop-off bus and we were off (several times actually) for the next 6 hours experiencing inner-city Vancouver.

Not hard to understand why Vancouver is so highly – regarded as a place to live. It’s wonderful harbour caps it off.

Two highlights of the day for me: Jeremy had suggested that we ‘do’ Granville Island in the morning & Stanley Park in the afternoon.

Granville Island was described to me as to Vancouver what South Bank is to Brisbane. Fair description; after lunch there (chicken pot pies for Dale & Glenn) we caught a tiny ferry across part of the harbour and re-caught the bus, hopping off at Stanley Park- a huge park … larger than NYC’s Central Park. Stanley Park was impressive indeed … so green … our horse-drawn carriage tour took us around just the Eastern part. Enough however to see some impressive totem poles, beautiful gardens & yes – Canadians playing cricket. Aaahhh!

Enjoyed dinner with Glenn & Jan at a nearby restaurant. This was a time of mixed emotions. Their youngest son Riley (working in Canada) drove many hours west to join us. Meanwhile it was our last time with wonderful friends Glenn & Jan. As of this morning we’ve headed off in different directions. It’s been great travelling once more with them.

A bit of a killer start. Awake at 3.30 , taxi to Vancouver bus station, 3 hour bus trip to Seattle before catching Amtrak’s 10 am service as far as San Francisco. We pre-booked a sleeper ‘roomette’. Didn’t take long to realize the ‘ette’!

Anyhow, I type this about 6 hours into our 22 hour journey. It’s been fun. Great being able to take in some wonderful NW United States scenery. Loved the (albeit foggy) Puget Sound & forest vistas of Washington State.

We’re currently travelling through grape-growing/wine-making country of Oregon. No surprise for Amtrak to offer a free wine& cheese-tasting session in the parlour car. That’s certainly kept me awake!

After a 5.20 dinner, we’ll turn it in nice and early. It’s been a VERY relaxing & scenic day – great way to take in the USA west coast countryside.

Cheers,
David

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