Round The World and other travels

A frequent flyer's collection of trip diaries

July 2005 : Vancouver & Victoria


Vancouver is a bustling city of some 2 million people in the south-western corner of mainland BC. It's a busy seaport and is also the terminus of both the Canadian National and Canadian Pacific railways, which played such a key role in bringing Canada together as a unified nation. For all its sprawling size, it is hemmed in to the north by the coastal mountain range and this, together with all the water, provides an interesting combination of natural beauty and man-made cityscape.

Entrance to Vancouver's historic Gastown district, with the Harbour Centre in the background.

Looking southwards from the Harbour Centre, typical downtown buildings surround Holy Rosary Cathedral.

And northwards, we have the cruise ship terminal, Burrard Inlet and North Vancouver.

Harbour Centre from Water Street

The Gastown Steam Clock pleases the crowds with its 10am performance.

The short SeaBus ride over to Lonsdale Quay gives a different perspective on the downtown Vancouver skyline.

Everything from fresh fish and mouth-watering local fruit to arts, crafts and souvenirs at Lonsdale Quay Market

Downtown Vancouver has the Burrard Inlet on one side and False Creek on the other. Granville Island, on the latter, is a fun part of town, popular with tourists and locals alike.

The island has another selection of lively markets, with the focus more on local produce.


Situated on Vancouver Island and closer to Seattle than Vancouver, Victoria is an older city and is the Provincial capital of BC, despite being only a fraction of the size of its mainland rival. With its relatively mild climate, sense of style and total lack of big-city stress, it has become the retirement capital of Canada. I certainly find it a very civilised place and one, I feel, that I have not seen the last of!

The BC Parliament Building, remarkably the first ever commission for 25-year-old architect Francis Rattenbury, looks out over Victoria's inner harbour.

Queen Victoria, after whom the city takes its name

View inside the dome, with the Provincial motto "Splendour without diminishment".

The famous Empress Hotel vies with the Parliament for dominance of the inner harbour.

Clock Tower, marking a helpful spot for visitors : the Information Centre.

As news filtered through of the terrorist outrages in London, flags were lowered to half-mast.

Built by Scottish entrepreneur Robert Dunsmuir and lying outside the city centre, Craigdarroch Castle is a monument to conspicuous Victorian wealth.

The ornate Drawing Room

This bedroom has a definite masculine feel about it.

Based at :-

Crowne Plaza, Vancouver

Coast Victoria Harbourside

Linked report from same trip :-

Flight Log : BA87