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Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Vancouver Vacation

Hiyaa,
We came back from Vancouver yesterday night after a wonderful vacation. Here are the details:

Day 1
====

We started off from San Jose on Friday morning and arrived Seattle by 9:00 am. From there, we rented a car (the guys tried to upsell a higher priced model as usual and we refused ... as usual :)). After that, we started off on our drive to Vancouver. The drive was pretty indeed - the trees are dark green covering the freeways and so it is indeed a pleasant ride. However, we were stuck for more than a hour on the US-Canada border - i guess, we were not the only ones vacationing during that time :). After crawling past the border, we made our way to the Holiday Inn Express in downtown Vancouver. After checking in at the hotel, we went to the harbor from where our cruise ship was supposed to leave. The dinner cruise was just LOVELY - the weather, the ambience, the food, the people gave it all a heady feeling - we really enjoyed the dinner cruise. After the cruise, we headed to the hotel for a good night's rest.

Day 2
=====

We had a good breakfast at the hotel, watched a bit of soccer in the morning and then started off on our day. Our first halt was at the Capilano Supension bridge and it is just an absolute splendor. It hangs on top of a rainforest and so, you have a narrow canyon below, dark trees all around and in the middle is a suspension bridge which you can cross to go to the other side. This was indeed an adventure. After that, we headed further up the mountain to Grouse Mountain, which had a wonderful Gandola ride to the top. At the top, they had a world famous lumberjack show, which was a treat too. After spending some time there, we headed back to the sunny plains and wandered around at Stanley Park for sometime. Finally, we decided that we have had enough of driving and so, we parked in the downtown and walked around there. Vancouver has a fantastic downtown and as Susmita pointed out, the fashion and clothes of people resemble the Europeans a lot - that is actually very true - it is indeed "British Columbia". We ate at a wonderful Singaporean place and then headed to the hotel to sink into the bed :).

Day 3
====

We headed to Granville Public Market on the 3rd day in the morning - it is a wonderful place - lots of people, fantastic view of the harbor and the city line, live music, public markets, good food court and so, it had everything you need to spend time (and money). After spending quite a bit of time there, we headed to see Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Garden - the speciality of this Chinese garden is that it was set up to display how the Chinese scholars used to stay, meet guests etc. I must say that this is a good place to visit for knowledge seeking but nothing else :). Nevertheless, we took the time to relax in the cool garden. After that, we spent some more time at the downtown but we were a bit tired too and so, we decided to head to the hotel and relax.

Day 4
=====

We woke up in a lazy mood knowing fully well that our vacation was coming to an end :(. We made a stopover at Harbor point from where the whole of Vancouver and its buildings could be seen. We then went to the Pacific Center shopping mall, spent some time there and then started the drive back to Seattle. The vacation had come to an end - but it was one which we will remember for life.

Cheers,
Thyaga

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