I am Linda and along with my husband Richard and our dog Muffin we enjoy our summers on the UK's canal system

Thursday 21 July 2022

And finally Sunday 19th and Monday 20th June in Vancouver

I will start this blog post with an explanation.  As you read to the end you will see that we had a 7½ hour delay on our flight home and were extremely jet lagged on our return.  Three days after getting home, Richard tested positive for Covid.  He then gave it to me, my daughter and his son!  Fortunately Richard hardly knew he had it but Victoria and I were quite poorly and I tested positive for 12 days, it left me with extreme tiredness.  We have been home for four weeks now and I'm gradually catching up with things, but I'm afraid the blog hasn't been my top priority 😔  I have finally finished it and suggest that you sit down with a cup of tea and read it, as it is very long!

Sunday 19th June - Vancouver
We had a quiet morning as we had a busy afternoon in front of us. 
Our first trip was a harbour cruise, on Harbour Cruises, MPV Constitution.  However, we needed lunch first as we hadn’t had breakfast.  We bought a foot long Subway, had it cut into two, and sat on the harbour side eating it.
In 1930, Harbour Navigation purchased the MV Scenic, which delivered mail to those living up the Indian Arm. The MV Scenic was the only floating post office in the British Empire. It continued delivering the mail between 1932 and 1968.  A number of boats joined the fleet between 1932 and today but our boat, MPV Constitution, joined the fleet in July 1983 and is Vancouver’s only authentic paddle wheeler.

We set off down the Harbour and got a lovely view of the city and the cruise ships.

This is the SeaBus, a passenger ferry that crosses the Burrard Inlet, connecting Downtown Vancouver to North Vancouver and the terminal in North Vancouver. Each ferry can seat up to 195 passengers at a time and departs every 15 minutes during the day. It takes a short 12 minutes to cross the Inlet. 

After the harbour cruise we took a very leisurely walk along the harbour front as we had ages before our sea plane adventure.
This is the Vancouver's Coal Harbour Fellowship Bell.  The bell and the attached plaques are engraved to honour those many companies and individuals who over the years of 1891-1979 were to make up the fabric of Coal Harbour's long history. 

It was soon time to check in for the highlight of our visit to Vancouver.  When we booked the seaplane, we paid extra for a window seat, which was just as well as the plane was full.  I guess the plane is a 12 seater (I didn’t spend time counting the people!).  We had a quick safety briefing and set off.  It felt weird as we crossed the harbour as it sounded like a plane, but it was like we were on a boat.  However, we were soon hurtling across the harbour before we started to lift off.  The views were amazing as we were so low (the pilot told us later that we were never more than 3,000 feet above the water or as low as 200 feet above it!).  I just kept on taking photo after photo hoping that some of them might be good!  (It took ages to edit them all!!)  It was an amazing experience, and I was so glad that Grouse Mountain was in fog as I reckon our trip over the islands was miles better!  Before heading back to the harbour the pilot took us over the city, what a wonderful way to see a lovely city.  However, our 20 minutes (actually it was 25) were soon up and we came in to land.  I had wondered if landing on water might be softer than a runway – no not really!  I didn’t want to get off as I wanted to do it all again!  These are some of the photos I took from the plane, please excuse the mistiness of some of them as the window wasn’t very clean.

Just a bit on Harbour Air, who we flew with.  Harbour Air was founded in British Columbia in 1982. With two small de Havilland Beaver seaplanes and a plan to service the forest industry, Harbour Air began by offering private charters to log buyers visiting the coast. With growing success and an increasing demand on both commuting and touring service, the company quickly expanded over the years adding daily, frequently-scheduled flights between Vancouver and the Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands, the Sunshine Coast and Whistler
As it was the last night of our holiday, we were going to have a special meal.  We went back to the hotel to change, but both lifts were out of order and there was some confusion about the stairs, you could come down them but not up it appeared!  All this meant that we weren’t able to change
We went to Earls Kitchen and Bar which was just up the road.  We had an excellent dinner and talked over our most amazing trip.  We could have stayed there all night as there was so much to remember – not that I will ever forget it, thanks to my blog!
Monday 20th June – Vancouver
We didn’t have to leave our room until midday, which was fantastic.  It meant we could have a relatively easy morning though packing seemed to take an age.
We checked out and left our bags at the hotel.  We were heading to Gastown, and I had worked out a tram to take, but somehow we missed the first stop!  We got on the tram and the driver set off before I had sat down, and I fell onto an elderly lady.  I was mortified as I am fairly large, and she was very small.  She said she was OK, but I hoped she meant it!
We got off the tram at the correct stop and meandered down through Gastown.  We had a few pressies to buy and there were lots of gift shops, so we were a bit spoilt for choice.  We found the steam clock and stood and waited for the ¾ hour so we could hear it.

Raymond Saunders' first steam clock was built in 1977 in Vancouver's Gastown neighbourhood. It was built to cover a steam grate, part of Vancouver's distributed steam heating system. Although the clock is now owned by the City of Vancouver, funding for the project, estimated to be about $58,000 CAD, was provided by contributions from local merchants, property owners, and private donors. Incorporating a steam engine and electric motors, the clock displays the time on four faces and announces the quarter hours with a whistle chime that plays the Westminster Quarters. The clock produces a puff of steam from its top on the hour.
We needed lunch and ended up in the Parkside Brewery Café where we had a very good meal.  While we were eating, I got a text from British Airways to say that our flight was delayed by 3 hours.  We knew what was going on in the UK and other countries with flights, so we weren’t too surprised.
We walked back up through Gastown as I wanted to get a totem pole, not a 20 foot one though!  All we could find were some made out of resin but they weren’t very nice, but finally we found a wooden one.  As we had plenty of time we decided to walk back to the hotel and I’m glad we did as we saw Canada Place, the 2010 Vancouver Olympics cauldron and some other interesting looking buildings.


We go back to the hotel where we sat reading for a while in the reception area, but I could feel that Richard wanted to go, goodness only knows why!
We got to the airport about 6.30pm for our new flight time of 00.05am.  At check-in we were given a $10 voucher each to get something to eat and then headed towards the dreaded security checks - flying would be so much nicer if we didn’t have to go through that nightmare!!!  We walked up to the gate and found a Subway where we got a foot long sub and two bottles of water for $22.  We were some of the first at the gate and staked our claim.  Gradually more and more people arrived including the BA staff who were inundated by people worrying about their connecting flights in the UK, with good reason. We began to realise that we wouldn’t be taking off at 00.05am and, in fact, we finally boarded at that time.  We were all seated, but we could hear crashing and banging from the hold.  The Captain came on and said that we would be delayed as the bags were still being loaded.  This went on for ages, well three hours in fact.  The Captain kept us updated but he sounded more and more frustrated which each update.  The last update he gave us was that damage had been found to the plane and someone was coming on board to brief the crew and fill in the log.  We didn’t hear another thing until at 04.05 we finally pushed back.  We were actually on our way, 7½ late!  Of course, the first thing was dinner – dinner at 4am???  Then the lights went out and were switched on at about 7pm (UK time).  I don’t think any of us knew what time it really was!
As dogs can fly on internal flights in Canada, they have their own restroom!

 Tuesday 21st June – Heathrow and home
We landed at 8.30pm (UK time).  I was very impressed with BA as there were a number of staff there to greet everyone and help all the people with onward flights.
Of course, there is also a shortage of baggage handlers at Heathrow, and we didn’t get our bags until 9.15pm.  We were some of the lucky ones though as I reckon half the flight were still waiting as we walked out.
Our taxi driver wasn’t able to collect us as he had another client to take to an airport.  Fortunately, Victoria and James were able to step into the breach and were waiting for us.
We got home at 11.30pm and we tumbled into bed and slept like babies even though our bodies thought it was only 3pm!
We had an amazing, awesome, stunning, remarkable, incredible, impressive, astonishing, marvellous, phenomenal holiday.  OK, so I asked Google to help me out with the words as really there are no words to describe the holiday.  Since we got home people have asked what the best part of the holiday was and, honestly, we can’t give any one things, but I guess Niagara Falls have to be very close to the top of the list – if there was a list.
We were lucky enough to see 3 black bears, numerous elk and deer, 2 chipmunks - one at top of Whistler Mountain and one raccoon.
I would like to thank some people who helped make our holiday such a success.
Firstly, my new cousin Sandy and her husband Joe who took two days off work to take us round Boston and out of the city.  We look forward to seeing you in the UK in the future.  Secondly, Joanne and Steve in Toronto who allowed us to park in their drive for two night and took us to Niagara.  We look forward to seeing you both here on Hayling Island next month.  Thirdly, another new cousin, Kathy, who sadly was in Europe while we were in Vancouver but had helped me with the planning of the British Columbia part of the trip.  We will see you in Portugal when you move over to Europe next year.  And finally, a couple I have never met but were so helpful with RV campgounds and general RV questions.  Gordon and Miki have a YouTube channel Hike’nRV which was very educational for us.  Thank you so much to you all.
My final words are, if you are thinking of making a trip of a lifetime, DO IT!!


  1. Amazing you did all that and then had Covid! Brilliant blog Linda👍

  2. Sounds wonderful xx