The good news is that the world is reopening, albeit slowly, and I finally managed to reunite with the ones I missed. I did it! I hopped on a plane and went to see my family in my hometown of Vancouver B.C.

It wasn’t quite as easy as it once was but we managed to do it. I feel recharged and relieved that it is still possible to travel, and that seeing my family is no longer out of reach. Spare a thought for all those who are displaced and unable to return to their homeland. This taste of relative captivity has opened my heart to everyone who has ever gone through political turmoil which separates them from their loved ones.

Travel is back on the table and definitely worth the trouble. That said, if you’re going to do it, be prepared to get tested left right and centre. Before we left we had to have a PCR test and we had a ‘welcome’ test on arrival at YVR and then had to book an antigen test to transit at LHR. It was all worth it to spend 16 days in this amazing place.

The bad news is that somehow I lost my travel camera on this journey. Alas once a seasoned traveller I appear to have made a rookie mistake and left my compact camera somewhere and lost most of my photos. Sometimes I resorted to phone pics which are the ones I am sharing here. Voici a little pictoral visit to Vancouver – back to my roots.

city skyline and morning commute by paddle

more boats and skyline

The old familiar sound of seagulls and the view of downtown from my parents house had us feeling fine from day one despite the 9 hour time change.

Granville Island is just a hop skip and a jump from our base in Vancouver. Granville Island used to be an industrial area that was transformed into a public market with artisanal shops and restaurants. You can also go on whale watching tours from here. It is a great place to eat, shop, walk and take photos (just hang on to your camera).

There are city beaches all around with different vibes and amenities.

Hadden Park one of the dog friendly (no leash) beaches in Vancouver and Kits Pool (dang that’s big) sits next to Kitsilano Beach.

Downtown and Lighthouse Park

Downtown 31 Octobre where the kids where running around all dressed up and disguised for Halloween, on the other side of the False Creek.

Lighthouse Park used to be one of my favourite hangouts to watch the city from West Vancouver. It is still pretty mystical and beautiful even when it rains.

Fishermen’s Wharf heading west from Granville Island to Kits Point is a pretty walk that takes you past Go Fish, a little restaurant with Salmon Burgers to die for.

Just outside the market at Granville Island where you have to watch your food as seagulls (saw it with my own eyes) grab food right out of your hands if you are not careful.

Stanley Park is a 1000 acre park in downtown Vancouver surrounded by water for the most part. We saw Eagles landing in Lost Lagoon and even managed to have lunch al fresco on a lovely balmy autumn day.

Totem Poles in Stanley Park

Totem poles in Stanley Park are from the the Coast Salish people of BC, and one of the most visited sites in the province of B.C. These ones are replicas of originals which are either damaged or on display in museums. Totem Poles are the coat of arms of the aboriginal people of Canada. They tell real and mythical stories; each symbol having a meaning.

Seeing Vancouver again after an absence of a year and nine months and reuniting with my family and friends was primordial. I dedicate this post to all of you who have been separated from your family and or friends since the start of the pandemic and hope you all get to get together soon. 🙏

And just like that I am back in Toulouse. Bye for now Vancouver, see you soon.

I will never tire of the view from my mum’s roof terrace

I will be back to blogging about Occitanie in all its splendour next week but I hope that you have enjoyed this detour to Vancouver on the west coast of Canada. Sometimes returning to the source and to one’s roots is the most enriching travel experience possible.

A bientôt ………………………..Christina


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