The Vancouver skyline as seen from the deck of our ship as we departed

The Vancouver skyline as seen from the deck of our ship as we departed

While we didn’t spend sufficient time to do Vancouver, let alone the rest of the province justice — like visiting our friends’ new home in Victoria Island, hopping on a bicycle or kayak, or taking a trip to Whistler/Blackcomb or the Okanagan Valley — we very much enjoyed what we saw and did. We consider this a scouting mission, with a return trip a must at some point.

Our experience of Vancouver revealed much to recommend it: from the fabulous Stanley Park (which contains a petting zoo, minature train and acquarium), distinct and human-sozed neighbourhoods from historic Gastown and rocking Robson Street to the low pressure and independent design district in Soma.

It is also a well structured and well maintained gateway city — to the region, the far east and of course, Alaska’s Inside Passage. Many locals advised us that the only reason Vancouver is so impressively spanking clean is because it rains so darn much that the water washes all the dirt away. But we also noticed people recycling with care and cars actually giving pedestrians the right of way.

Here’s part 1 of an unknown number of installments from the trip. Click here to view the photos from the Vancouver leg on Flickr.

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