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Vancouver - Out and About
Vancouver looks out over the Pacific Ocean half way between San Francisco and Alaska. The city lies on a strip of land, flanked in the north by Burrard Inlet and in the south by the Fraser River. With its 2 million inhabitants and its 2,500 km2, Vancouver is the third largest city in Canada and the largest in British Columbia.
Situated in a beautiful setting between mountains and sea, it is one of the most attractive and photogenic cities in the world. A recently founded city, Vancouver has the feel of a large metropolis with the relaxed atmosphere typical of a small village.
Vancouver, the cultural and commercial centre of the West Coast, is also the departure point for exploring the magnificent scenery of the islands and fjords along the Pacific coast. The heart of the city is located on the small peninsula between Burrard Inlet and False Creek. This is the site of both the old districts of Gastown and Chinatown and the Spectacular Canadian Pavilion, built for Expo '86. The complex is now home to a hotel and conference centre. The 18th century Gastown district is a wonderful mix of paved roads and 19th century public offices, restaurants and shops. An interesting Steam Clock , dating back to 1870 is located in Long Water St. The steam makes the clock' s siren sound every 15 minutes. Gastown finishes without any precise indication as it proceeds east towards Chinatown; a district of little interest from a tourist point of view, but nevertheless original. The district is full of highly colourful wooden balconies and shop signs.
The visitor should not miss Dr. Sun Yat-sen Classical Chinese Garden, a reconstruction of a Suzhou private garden during the Ming dynasty. One of the city's most well known monuments, Science World is situated south of Gastown, on the banks of False creek. The monument is a a large 47 metre-high dome and houses the Vancouver Science Museum. The enormous BC Place Stadium, the world's largest inflatable dome is situated nearby.
Robson St is the main road, which crosses the entire area of Downtown Vancouver and upon meeting Howe Street and Hornby Street, forms Robson Square. The Square is the site of the Vancouver Art Gallery, which houses an important collection of Canadian art and the largest collection of the works of the artist Emily Carr. The Downtown Vancouver Peninsula widens out and finishes at the site of Stanley Park, one of the largest urban parks in the world . The park is almost completely surrounded by ocean and is the site of Vancouver Aquarium. Vancouver's public transport system comprises, bus, tram( trolleys) and city train (Skytrain) services. The skytrain has four underground stops and a monorail service which runs through the suburbs. Fare prices depend on the zones. There is also a ferry service, operated by Aquabus, which links the two banks of False Creek.
Vancouver - Not to be missed
The largest part of the city of Vancouver stretches to the south of False Creek. The western most part of this vast area looks out over the Straits of Georgia and is the site of the University of British Columbia, the largest university in the province which is also responsible for operating numerous other cultural institutions including the UBC Museum of Anthropology. Founded in 1947, this museum houses a fine collection of indigenous modern, which includes totem poles, jewellery, statues and the work of Bill Reid, a sculpture, originally from Haida ( the original name of the nation now called Queen Charlotte Islands)
Vancouver - Walks and tours
Vancouver with its mountains and sea offers numerous possibilities the enjoy the great outdoors. Favourite sites for the outdoor enthusiast include Lighthouse Park, Bowen Island, Grouse Mountain and Lynn Canyon Park.A superb view over the city and surrounding area can be had from the top of Grouse Mountain, which during the winter becomes a popular ski resort.
Throughout the year there are numerous sporting activities in this area including the local sport of woodcutting with exhibitions of sculptures carved using a chainsaw. The Capilano Suspension bridge is an interesting and unusual tourist attraction. This magnificent footbridge, suspended high above the Capilano river, links the two sides of a narrow, deep gorge. The bridge is 70 metres high and was built in 1889 by the Scottish pioneer George Grant Mckay.
Vancouver - The traveller's notebook
Currency : Canadian dollar Electric supply: 110 volts
Climate : The Rocky Mountains and the warm currents from the Japan sea, protect Vancouver from the harsh Canadian winters. The city enjoys one of the mildest climates of Canada's main cities. There is however abundant rainfall even in July and August. December and January are the coldest months and the only months in which it is possible to experience heavy snowfalls
Language : English and French
Opening hours : Shops are open all day from Monday to Saturday from 9:30am to 6pm and from 12 to 5pm on Sundays. Banks are open from Monday to Thursday from 10am to 5pm and from 10am to 6pm on Friday. Many of the major banks are also open on Saturday mornings.
Telephones : To dial to Canada dial 001 followed by the area code and the private number. The code for Vancouver is 604. To call Italy dial 00139, followed by the area code and the private number.
Vancouver - A pocket guide
Vancouver offers a varied choice of night-life. A list of evening entertainment is available in The Georgia Straight newspaper and the Thursday edition of the Vancouver Sun. Gastown, Yaletown and the area around Granville Street are the liveliest areas of the city during the evening. It is worth noting that it is possible to consume alcohol only up to 1am and it is forbidden to drink alcohol under the age of 19. Vancouver has a vast choice of restaurants, both local and foreign, with the local cuisine being based above-all on the local speciality of salmon and oysters
Disclaimer: the above information is provided 'as is' and Hostelsclub accepts no responsibility for any loss, injury or inconvenience sustained by anyone resulting from this information.