Ferry: Vancouver, to Vancouver Island

You won’t see this if you fly; I have horrible motion sickness issues and I was just fine.

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Towards the end of the TransCanadian Highway (route 1) there’s a ferry you can take across to Vancouver Island, and the rest of route 1. The ride took about an hour and a half, and was highly restful and pretty… although granted we had fine weather.

First you go through a tollbooth kind of thing where they give you a ticket and you pay $71.75CD for your transit ($17.20 CD for you $56.45CD for your car — not sure what the exchange rate is, but the other day I bought some stamps at the post office costing $1.75CD, gave them $10US and got back $10CD and change), and then you go stand in a very long line of cars. I think there are like three different ferries that take off from this location. According to the people in the car next to me they won’t start actually loading the ferry for another 20 minutes and then it‘s not going to leave for another 20 minutes after that. Apparently there’s a schedule for these things and I was supposed to have checked but I just randomly showed up. But it seems like it’s a good thing because there’s already a boatload of cars behind me and I think I mean this literally… . I kind of thought that I would just drive onto the ferry and it would take off I wasn’t expecting the wait. Everybody else in the line seems to be far more prepared for it then I am, with coffee, reading materials… and things

After a while you hear loud and clear (remarkably clearly — amazing sound system) announcements about various ferries, and warnings if it’s time to get back to your car. Then the line starts to move and your directed by a host of staff quickly and efficiently into loading, with instructions you can’t miss all along the way (these folks really know their jobs). You can then stay in your car, if you choose, go to the full service cafeteria, hang out in the seating area, or up on deck.

The cafeteria was kind of huge; you could buy a full freshly made and tasty breakfast (which I thought was a tad overpriced), or burgers, sandwiches, sweet potato fries (which seem popular in Canada), raspberry rhubarb pie, or of course, poutine — which seems to be the Canadian national dish.

Stanley Park

According to trip advisor’s web site, probably the major attraction in the city of Vancouver, to be distinguished from the Island of the same name — so confusing… is this park. It’s sort of like Central park, only it’s not really ‘man made’ the way that one is, and is pretty densely forested.

Firstly, there is no free parking… even curb parking is monitored, so I parked my car at the first major lot I came to (figuring out how to pay for the parking took about 15 minutes, and then I had to spend another five minutes trying to explain it to the elderly American behind me — you need to punch in your license plate number, which is harder than it sounds, and then guess at how much time you’ll need), and then paid for the horse and carriage guided tour — the last one of the day.

There are also other things to do at the park, but I had limited time