Most of the travelling we have done in Canada is limited to British Columbia and The Rockies. We did visit a small town called Niagara-on-the-Lake, near Buffalo and the Niagara Falls, when we did a tour from Buffalo. After our boat trip on the Maid of the Mist, we crossed over the boarder into Canada to visit this quaint and picturesque little town. We also visited Vancouver Island a number of times.
We always fly into Vancouver after a short stop-over in Singapore, I have a sister who lives in Maple Ridge, just outside Vancouver. Maple Ridge, it is claimed, is the wettest town in B.C.
Whenever in Vancouver, Charlotte always obliges and spends much time taking us around and showing us the sights that only locals know about. Although on our last visits there we owned our own car, so we got to see much on our own as well.
To us, Vancouver is one of the prettiest cities and rates in my list of 5 favourite cities. I love everything, except the traffic congestion, about Vancouver - from Stanley Park, Gastown, Mt. Seymour, the view from Burnaby Mountain and Golden ears Park near Maple Ridge. For something different, we love the hustle & bustle of Robson street, the main shopping street in downtown Vancouver. I love the steam-driven clock in Gastown, with its steam whistle.
Granville Island, the waterfront area of Vancouver is well worth a visit, look out for the very up-market house boats at on end. The fruit and vegetable market there is also very interesting. The is a large marina on the Island.
Vancouver is generally a very safe & clean city, the only area that is slightly shabby is East Hastings street, where prostitutes and drug dealers peddle their wares - but even in that area is it safe most times.
We spent Christmas in Vancouver with my sister, Charlotte and her husband Peter. For us, Christmas time in Vancouver is special and the 4 Christmas seasons we spent there are still the most memorable, especially the year Scott joined us, and then again in December 2005, when I flew Scott, Dee and our grandson Connor to Vancouver with us. The houses with all their decorations are fantastic, the atmosphere is truly special. In addition, hundreds of boats navigate the way in False Creek, all lit up, and people singing Xmas carols. This is best viewed from Canada Place.
A must do, albeit a little cold, is go on the miniature train ride through Stanley Park, the decorations and 100,000's of lights and displays will enthral you - no doubt whatsoever! Enjoy hot chocolate and roasted chestnuts at the same time.
Another great region to visit in BC is the Osoyoos area. This is the fruit growing area of BC and it is fascinating to see the different vegetation here. We stayed at an RV park right on the edge of the lake at Osoyoos.
I know there are many people who do not like zoos, but the zoo in Stanley Park has Beluga whales, which are most fascinating. A must see.
Whistler is one of the more famous ski resorts in the world, in winter it really is like a winter wonderland. A few hours drive north of Vancouver it is well worth the time and effort to visit this resort - if going in winter, check road conditions before attempted the trip.
One of our favourite small towns close to Vancouver is Harrison Hot Springs. As the name suggests there are natural hot springs, which one can enjoy whilst relaxing in an indoor swimming pool. The are a number of wood carvings in the area, these are done using chain saws, one, a Sasquatch, stands guard near the entrance to the town. The town is situated on a deep, large lake which has a good marina. Annually in either Sept or Oct a well known international sand castle building competition is held here. Very well worth seeing.
A ferry trip to Vancouver Island is also a must - allow a week to see the island. The capital of BC is Victoria which is on Vancouver Island. We entered Victoria many ways, by ferry from the USA, by car, after taking the ferry from Vancouver to Schwarz Bay.
TIP - Canada has a very good policy & system of TAX (14%) refunds, even on hotel accommodation. We were very pleasantly surprised to receive our refund cheque within 4 weeks of leaving Vancouver. So keep you till slips.
We bought our second RV in Canada, by buying it privately and not from a dealer we saved 7% sales tax. There is normally a 7% GST and a 7% PST, one of these tax amounts is not payable when one buys goods privately.
2005/2006 Trip with Scott & family