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« Food glorious food | Main | Vancouver to Victoria »

End of the holiday


After 17 days during which we visited Seattle, Alaska and Vancouver (above), we arrived back at eight o’clock last night having had very little sleep for 26 hours.

The flight from Vancouver to Heathrow took off at 10.00pm (Western Pacific time) and arrived at 2.15pm (BST) almost nine hours later.

As luck would have it we were upgraded to premium economy. We were also in the first row which meant there was plenty of legroom and we didn’t have the annoyance of the person in front reclining their seat directly into your face.

On the other hand a fellow passenger in our section snored constantly - and very loudly - for hour after hour and there was nothing anyone could do about it.

(My wife, never short of a word, said, “Now you know how I feel.”)

Meanwhile, in the row next to us, a rather sweet baby gurgled and cried quietly (like a cat) before - eventually - drifting off to sleep.

His slightly older brother, however, who was no more than a toddler himself, kept up a running commentary - demonstrating an impressive use of the English language - long past his normal bedtime.

Eventually he too slipped off to sleep before waking up a few hours later, crying loudly and wailing, “I don’t like this! Why are we still flying? My tummy hurts!”

The joy of being one of the first off the plane and sprinting through passport control in a matter of minutes was then dashed when it was announced that a technical fault meant we would have to wait almost 90 minutes for our luggage.

To cut a long story short we eventually arrived home almost six hours after we landed.

Anyway, a final word on Vancouver which has just been rated the ‘friendliest city in the world’ in an online survey.

I don’t normally pay much attention to these things but it won’t get any argument from me.

I’d read a lot of good things about Vancouver (the food, quality of life etc) and in the short time we were there it didn’t disappoint.

Without over-exerting ourselves (it was a holiday, after all) we saw quite a bit of the city.

Highlights included the Roedde House Museum, a fascinating snapshot of life for one middle-class family at the turn of the 20th century.

A delightfully eccentric pair of volunteers gave us a guided tour of the small house, built in 1893 only seven years after Vancouver was established as a city.

The tour concluded with afternoon tea being served in the parlour room.

We also discovered some wonderful restaurants.

Kosoo, which serves traditional Korean food, was an unexpected treat. We stumbled on it by accident after finding that Sura, the Korean restaurant we intended to book, was closed on Monday night.

Another find, courtesy of my wife, was Salmond n’ Bannock which describes itself as the city’s ‘only First Nations restaurant’ serving ‘Native Canadian fare such as wild fish, game meat and bannock’.

I ordered duck sausage, bison hot pot and sea lion.

With the help of a local ‘guide’ I also visited a couple of cannabis stores, one licensed, the other unlicensed (ie illegal).

That was interesting too and when I get a moment I’ll write something about it.

I may also post pictures of some of the food we ate while we were away. As anticipated, I have gained half a stone and some of the trousers I took with me are, how shall I say, a tighter fit.

In the meantime, excuse me while I catch up on lost sleep ...

Below: The catamaran on which we returned from our day trip to Victoria, Vancouver Island, on Tuesday

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