Vancouver city tour

The next morning, Saturday, was our Vancouver City Tour departing at a more reasonable 830AM, coupled with our spa visit in the afternoon. This was probably the most leisurely day we had – this was not a relax kind of vacay. This morning, since we were on an early schedule, we actually woke up with a little time for breakfast before we headed out. Discovered some nice yogurt to put with the incredible and copious array of fruit.

We then piled in a luxury bus to tour the city. This was the sample platter, the Vancouver tour overview if you will. Our first stop was Stanley Park where we walked around, viewed the real totem poles made by Canada’s First Nations (the people Americans would call Native Americans) for the park. The city was very proud of its cultural diversity and especially of the last 20 years of efforts to incorporate the First Nations people perspective into their retelling of history and in to the cultural fabric.

Vancouver City Tour - Stanley Park

Vancouver City Tour – Stanley Park

The view from the Stanley Park waterfront looking back at downtown Vancouver was also stunning.

Stanley Park Waterfront

Stanley Park Waterfront

We also got to learn more about our guide’s upbringing, having been brought to Vancouver as a child from The Netherlands. More than 35 years later, Vancouver was her city. She never wanted to go home.

We continued north across Stanley Park on the Vancouver city tour to a lookout over the Lionsgate Bridge in to West Vancouver. The Lionsgate Bridge was actually built by the Guinness family as a product adjacency/real-estate investment which also could presumably couple for lodging for Guinness employees brought over from Ireland. I might be making all that up, but it sounds reasonable. Brendan and I also wonder whether the film company, Lionsgate, is a Vancouver-based company. This is the Hollywood of the north after all.

Lionsgate Bridge on the Vancouver City Tour

Lionsgate Bridge on the Vancouver City Tour

Our guide mentioned that now West Vancouver is one of the priciest areas in the city – there is no industry at all on that side so it is extremely desirable.

While the weather was not great that day (50s and overcast), the park was a lush rainforest with that wet tree smell that lingers in your memory.

We continued on our Vancouver City Tour on to Queen Elizabeth Park, the highest point in the city and also a lush garden.


There was a gorgeous looking restaurant at the top with wood burning stoves outside on a covered patio that caught our eye.

We loved the fact that there were so many public (and nice!) parks in the city. We were starting to fall in love with Vancouver too!

Selfie time!

Queen Elizabeth Park

Queen Elizabeth Park

Our last stop on the tour was Granville Island, a hipster indoor mark and outdoor industrial aesthetic art walk concept. It reminded us of a nicer version of RiNo in Denver.

Granville Island on the Vancouver City Tour

Granville Island on the Vancouver City Tour

Even the cement factory was artistic.

Granville Market was my favorite part though. It had a fish market, a meat market, a produce market and a gourmet market, spattered with small cafe, boutiques, and quick-serve high-end options. We were looking forward to returning, even though a few others on the Granville Market tour (the 3 hour version that we would take on Monday) said it was a bit boring and expensive. Since we were looking for souvenirs and art, however, it was right up our alley.

Brendan at Granville Market on the Vancouver City Tour

Brendan at Granville Market on the Vancouver City Tour

We were thinking about taking our own transport (the water taxi) back in to Vancouver a bit early to go grab dim-sum prior to our massages at 2 and 3PM. But we quickly gave up on that as we realized we were running out of time. We ended up taking the tour bus back with the group after all, and then decided on a quick lunch in the hotel prior to our afternoon relaxation sessions.

The massages were only 50 minutes (could have had it for double the time) but were very good with the deep pressure I like. After some naps we were ready for the evening – the dinner cruise on the yacht (pictured below behind Brendan). We sailed for approximately 3 hours between 7 and 10PM.


This was the highlight of the nights for me personally. The views were absolutely magnificent with the sunsetting over the city as a backdrop to the best meal we actually had. And, oh, it was an uber-luxury yacht. Travelport Star Awards knows how to treat us.

It was striking to see how “glass” the city was, sparkling, where water blends in to building, blends in to sky.

Glorious shot from the yacht

Glorious shot from the yacht

Back on land and at the hotel, we again fell in to bed – too exhausted to rage against the dying of the night. The next day was our really long day at Whistler in the mountains.


About therestlessroad

The tar in the street starts to melt from the heat And the sweats runnin’ down from my hair I walked 20 miles and I’m dragging my feet And I’ll walk 20 more I don’t care And I’ll wander this world, wander this world Wander this world, wander this world all alone I’m like a ghost some people can’t see Others drive by and stare A shadow that drifts by the side of the road It’s like I’m not even there And I’ll wander this world, wander this world Wander this world, wander this world all alone Well I’ve never been part of the game The life that I live is my own All that I know is that I was born To wander this world all alone, all alone Some people are born with their lives all laid out And all their success is assured Some people work hard all their lives for nothin’ They take it and don’t say a word They don’t say a word Sometimes it’s like I don’t even exist Even God has lost track of my soul Why else would he leave me out here like this To wander this world all alone And I’ll wander this world, wander this world Wander this world, wander this world all alone –Jonny Lang, “Wander This World”

One thought on “Vancouver city tour

  1. […] the overview of Granville Market as part of our Vancouver city tour on our first full day (blog here). We already briefly walked through the market previously, but now we had several hours to enjoy it […]

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