PICTURESQUE Vancouver in the Canadian Province of British Columbia has become a mecca for tourists from all over the planet, made more famous by the 2010 Winter Olympics in a city where one can often see the floodlit snowfields of nearby Grouse Mountain.
Downtown Vancouver is a city of glass and skyscapers based on the Burrard Inlet and Vancouver Harbour.
North and south are joined by the Seabus service and together with a comprehensive bus network it makes getting around this city easy.
There are markets on both sides of the city (under the Granville Island Bridge downtown and adjacent to the transport terminal in North Vancouver) and the selection and price of fruit and vegetables and other items is amazing.
Downtown Vancouver on the south side has a huge underground shopping complex and also the more funky precinct of Gastown where little shops and restaurants abound.
Like most modern cities Vancouver caters to all palates with a host of eateries to choose from with Chinatown and the West End being popular.
Besides being the gateway to the Canadian Rockies, Vancouver has become the hub for Alaskan-bound cruises and we were to later to depart from here on our northern adventure.
Often lambasted for its many rainy days we were blessed with blue skies and moderate temperatures and were able to enjoy walking in Stanley Park and other downtown areas, visiting the Lynne Park suspension Bridge in North Vancouver and enjoying a day trip to nearby Vancouver Island.
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