It’s my last day of waking up to this fantastic view, tomorrow I will be waking up to Heathrow airport and then to street level, there is no floor-to-ceiling window at home.
I never do get to have pancakes at the very local Joe’s Grill in Davie Village, upon which the Century Plaza is situated on the end of. Instead, I decide upon a last look at Gastown, the old part of the city on the edge of the water that Vancouver is built around, including the statue of ‘Gassy Jack’, John Leighton, around whose pub the area was built so the nearby mill workers could have a drink. They say Gastown is less touristy and much improved but I remember enjoying this neighbourhood much more last time.
Yesterday, I spent the best part of an hour trying to catch a photo of a bus when the sign flashes up ‘Go Canucks Go!’. The buses have had this all week so why I choose my last day to try and catch a photo I will never know. In any case, when I’m standing at the right spot for a bus to go past me that had the signage (it seemed like they all had it but it’s not the case) I realise I can’t take the shot as I can’t work the zoom on my phone, I gave up on the dodgy camera long ago. (Incidentally, I decided to buy a Canucks supporters item but too late again, I was already at the airport and all they had were shirts, no mugs or pens or anything I would actually use. I do buy the Oprah magazine though!).
I love how the whole town ha ‘Go Canucks Go!’ signs everywhere, from small shops with posters to big stores, train stations and mobile phone shops that have electronic messages posted as large as they can. There’s something to be said for just having one team per city rather than having derby matches.
I’m not allowing myself in any more book stores but have a very long list of books to buy upon my return, particularly coffee table books like ’This is East Vancouver’ and fashion photography by YSL. The case ends up being.7lb over in weight anyway. I also want to buy every home decoration magazine but I figure I can import these later if the addiction holds.
I have noted that in Vancouver my train tickets have not been checked once; do they have electronic monitors that check you are carrying a ticket maybe?!
Today is about walking. After I realise there is indeed nothing doing at Gastown, I race to find the place I went to yesterday, knowing they serve breakfast until 11.30 and I’m so glad to make it. After checking in on-line for tonight’s flight and a little blogging, I tuck into my last pancakes then work my way back through Yaletown, saying goodbye to all the book shops, boutiques and vintage stores on my way back to Davie Village.
So, the neighbourhood where I’m staying at is the perfect one. It wasn’t last I was here but now Davie Village has come out, a fact that is immediate as I turn the corner onto Davie street which is covered in flags to represent Vancouver’s gay village. For the solo woman traveller, this is the best place to stay.
I’ve walked from Yaletown all along the beach so go a little further than I plan, almost into West End and so dive into the first coffee shop I see, (I think Meeches but no amount of searching has found it). Finally I hear John Cougar Mellencamp (Hurts So Good) – my trip is complete! I always say when I turn on the radio in North American I’m guaranteed to hear certain artists within the first hour, usually Bon Jovi, Journey or John Mellancamp. I’d heard the former so this felt very apt for the last day!
I drink my last London Fog and make my way slowly back to the hotel to get changed for travelling and then have a final drink. I reflect I’ve not been to the cinema once, a habit I normally have each night of North American travel. There wasn’t anything on and besides, I was busy!
Century Plaza is the most green hotel I have stayed in. I imagine Vancouver (probably Canada) is more green than most cities as the country customarily looks after it’s environment. Vancouver is also much more social media savvy than the UK; every shop, guide book and even the bus advertises their Twitter name.
Century Plaza give $5 back each day if you say ‘no’ to housekeeping. For them this actually means I don’t have a housekeeper come to the room at all so it means making my own bed and doing the washing up – like I do every other day of my life. I’ve asked for ‘no towels’ before but housekeeping normally still just give you them, despite my hanging them up to dry.
I accumulate $5 vouchers to spend in the hotel so it meant a large chai for me each evening, without leaving the hotel, and now whilst I wait for my bus to the airport.
What a fantastic week; this time the pre-trip excitement is validated and I cannot wait for Calgary next.