What’s the best way to travel to Vancouver? If, like us in this case, you happen not to arrive by plane, but by land, then it’s worth considering a journey with the Canadian train VIA Rail. This train offers you unique landscape impressions combined with the convenience of simply getting on in the middle of the Rocky Mountains and waking up at the coast … a really nice way to travel! From Jasper, the place of our last explorations, we take about half a day and one night to cover the 1,000 kilometres, full board catering and panorama sleeping car included.
Discovering Vancouver: As it’s Georg’s first ever visit to Vancouver, I take him past iconic sites such as Waterfront, Stanley Park and Granville Island.
Just a little hint: If you like it a little bit more unusual, we can recommend the indigenous hotel “Skwachàys Lodge” to you. It comes complete with its own souvenir shop, and has its hotel rooms furnished in the style of the First Nations of Canada. I still like to wear the shirts and jewellery I bought! The Lodge is also close to the oldest part of Vancouver, Gastown. You can walk to the Waterfront and have everything you need or wish to see within easy reach. Staff and breakfast are really great, too!
From Vancouver, we take to visiting Victoria, the capital city of Vancouver Island: A “Whale Watching Tour” is waiting for us here.
Georg was kind enough to organise this tour as a present for my 35th birthday! The surprise being perfect, we head out into the calm strait between Vancouver Island and the Canadian/American mainland: Supposedly, there are big schools of humpback whales to be found here. And yes: Again and again, the scouts of our “Eagle Wings Whale Watching” tour are able to spot them, bringing us very close to the gentle grey giants. Fascinating. When the whales dive up and down, the entire crew suddenly becomes silent: A natural spectacle commanding awe without pathos. Wow. Check this out.
The sea lions lodging on their small lighthouse island off the coast of Victoria have taken a liking to us, too! Georg is clearly fascinated: He has never seen whales & sea lions combined like this before, and my last time was many years ago in New Zealand! The large animals with their funny movements kept all of us, children and adults, spellbound and entertained.
Last but not least, we took the time for a very special family photo. Two years ago, during my first visit in Vancouver and the so-called “Southern Gulf Islands“, I got to know Darlene & Vaughan Walters from French Country Fabrics on the artist island Salt Spring Island. Both are just so adorable that I simply had to introduce them to Georg. So we again took the ferry from Victoria harbour to Salt Spring Island (about 40 minutes) and decided to fly back to Vancouver City by ways of one of these famous water taxi sea planes (about 20 minutes).
Check out even more travel stories about Vancouver & around to inspire and inform you:
- First time in Vancouver: #ExploreCanada: Sailing, Strolling & Sampling Vancouver & Whistler on a first-time visit.
- Exploring the “Gulf Islands” off the coast of Vancouver: Five Top Travel Tips for Visiting the Creative Island Gem of Salt Spring near Vancouver, British Columbia.
- First Nation travel tips for Vancouver Island: Lone Cone Hostel & Campground: The gateway to exploring Tofino the native way.
- For the #winelover among you: The Okanagan #Winelover Valley: Top Travel Stories from a World Class Wine Destination.
- Train travel tips: #VIARail Train Travelling across Western Canada: Travel Tips, Insights & Advice.
Find even more pictures here:
And most importantly: Enjoy yourselves in this truly beautiful part of the world!