We had chosen our plane seats on the Airbus 330 to Honk Kong and after an hour or so in HK, we continued our journey on a Boeing Later edit:
We were met at Vancouver airport and shown to a hire car and we were soon at our hotel, the Marriot Pinnacle in West Hastings Street. The Sunday afternoon car traffic was very heavy. We showered and changed our clothes and made it for the 6pm trip briefing where we met our travel group who we would spend quite some time with over the next couple of weeks. I suppose the briefing took an hour and we then headed out for a wander and dinner on our own.
Mountains, mist, humidity, heat and tall buildings can be seen from HK airport. Yes you can see the humidity.
Vancouver airport was not monstrous and we painlessly passed through.
At the briefing someone gave us a good tip. Join the hotel club and you will get free wi fi. We did so. I had planned to buy a data card for my phone to use it as a modem for our internet but we managed quite well without our own connection in Canada.
Our room was very comfortable. North America does not seem to have rooms configured with one double bed and one single. Every place we stayed had two large beds. One single would have given us a little more room, but then that means you spread more stuff out.
Plumbing in North America is very different to our own and can be quite complex. The shower is usually over a bath so first you turn the taps on and then adjust the diverter to send water to the shower head. The plug can be a repeat push style or a lever or something to block the drain. The toilets can be rather alarming as they seem to use vacuum to flush.
No idea what these gold balls are.
There were some very nice drain covers.
A sculpture resembling a bed of nails.
Warm weather and the kiddies love to get wet.
Looking across Vancouver Harbour to the north. Geography lesson #1. Vancouver on Canada's west coast is the largest city in the Canadian province of British Columbia. We stayed on the southern, the main side of Vancouver Harbour. Greater Vancouver has a population of around 2.5 million.
We found a nice pizza restaurant, Bellaggio, for our evening meal and had our first experience of tipping. We wanted to pay with a card and the machine was brought to our table and it had the facility to add the tip. R dealt with the money on this holiday so I didn't get to use the machines but R said they were all slightly different and quite confusing. 15% seems to be the standard tip, but more on that later. Still full of airline food, we shared a simple pizza with wine.
The post boxes did not seem solid or permanent, but they were widely spread through Canada. Let me tell you about the post box incident that wasn't. I left our hotel on my own to post some post cards and as I stepped onto the street a woman on the other side of the road was slowly strolling along. She was clearly a working girl and I did not want any interaction with her but I had to cross the street to post the cards. I stopped for a bit to let her get ahead of me but then she went into the doorway of a hotel, but only just inside to presumably quickly display her wares before being kicked out. Damn, she came out just as I was going to cross the street. Ever so slowly she strolled along with me on the other side of street strolling even more slowly. Eventually she moved on and I posted the cards. A five minute job had turned into a fifteen minute job.
The hotel was quite nice and well maintained. There were many hotels in the area, a prime place for tourists to stay.
My old travel note book was full so before leaving home I bought a new one at Daiso. Grace in Perth has had some unfortunate news so she may not be reading this but I thought the cover would appeal to her Francophile tendencies.
While we have Japanese maples in Australia, they are often fritzed by our hot summer sun. Not so in Vancouver. They were stunning.
I think we slept quite well as we had been awake for something like thirty hours.