We’ve just come back home after two weeks of travel and vacation in North America.
We’ve been traveling in Canada – Vancouver, British Columbia and Victoria for five days – and in USA – by cruising for a week in the southern part of Alaska.
Visiting Vancouver has always been one of my dreams, and it’s placed in British Columbia region, which is worth visiting as well. In plus, after our first cruise in 2012 – from Copenhagen to Cape North and back – we desired so much to repeat the same kind of travel along the fjords of Alaska, so you can imagine how much I was waiting for this travel!
Actually, we’ve been so far from home in these two weeks, and we’ve seen so many places, that I still can’t realize that I’m back to work and to ordinary life.
When our plane landed in Vancouver airport after 9 hours flight and I saw the Pacific Ocean for the first time and the Vancouver Island archipelago, I immediately thought: wow, that’s what means to be on the other side of the world!
Canada and USA, as much as I’ve appreciated, are both close and far away from the old Europe. It’s absolutely impossible to not be fascinated by them!
Vancouver is a super modern city with so many skyscrapers, with a huge skyline towards the sea and surrounded by high mountains and a wild nature.
In my mind, Vancouver has always seems like some idealistic cities of a science fiction movie.
It’s not the kind of big city that is crowded by tourists – at least not Italians – and it’s peculiar charming. I think that it’s the kind of city that you can appreciate most as long as you live in. It’s full of hipsters and design shops, craft breweries, street food restaurants and alternative fashion boutiques. I have to reserve a post only for them!
And what about the weather? That’s the kind I appreciate most: cool, windy, with an amazing blue sky in the sunny days. No matters of the rainy days. As people from Vancouver usually says: in doubt, bring every day both umbrella and sunglasses!
And fall is coming fast, even if in the middle of August!
Almost all the modern architecture of the downtown is made of beautiful skyscrapers covered by glass, but you can find some historic buildings in Gastown – my favorite district – which reminds of a vintage, almost neo-gothic, look. Do you know that there’s also a clock in the middle of Gastown working with a steam engine? That’s pretty steam punk too!
If you walk along the waterfront – between the sea and the skyscrapers skyline – you can see the water plane’s airport, which is used for moving around by local people and tourists. Or maybe you can get into a movie set just by walking in Downtown, which is pretty common because many movies and TV series are filmed in Vancouver. And if you want to relax in a true Chinese Garden, you can find Dr. Sun Yat Sen Park in Chinatown.
Moreover, Vancouver is one of the most tolerant and friendly cities I’ve ever visited. We went there a week after the PRIDE and we still found many official fliers around the city. LGBT flags are waving everywhere.
Moving with the public transportation we also saw fliers that invite people to immigrate to Vancouver from all the corner of the world. I’ve never seen so many colors and faces in only one city!
In fact, my impression of Vancouver has been that local people don’t care who you are, where you are from, what is your religion – even if you believe in God or not! – if you love men, women or both, as long as you bring value to the city and the community.
Who couldn’t be charmed by a place like this?
You know, all that glitters ain’t gold: Vancouver is a city that both benefits and suffers of an unlimited growth – with all its consequences like high rents, property speculation, gentrification and huge social differences between riches and poor. I saw the greatest number of homeless in my entire life – I’ve been shocked! – and even if our 26th floor apartment was really beautiful and perfectly located (you can see some picture of the view on False Creek which was stunning!) we heard that local people hardly cannot afford a house like that in downtown, so most of them are moving in the suburbs or outside the city in more convenient towns. However, the debate about these topics is really heated: politicians and local people are totally aware of these problems – as you can see in many wrote and slogan we found – and determined to find a way out.
Anyway, if you love a place, you have to embrace its contrasts, don’t you?
You can find everything I’m talking about in following pictures which have been taken during our first day spent discovering Vancouver.
More are coming soon… Enjoy them!

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