• 2 DAYS IN VICTORIA, BC, CANADA

     

    While I was visiting my friend in Vancouver, we went on a weekend trip to the nearby city of Victoria. Well, I say nearby but it was a bit complicated to get there. It went smoothly and all in all took about 4.5 hours, but you have to take a train, a bus, a ferry, then another bus and then walk to the hotel. You can take a plane, but that’s not cheap, so we went for the adventurous option. I think there’s probably more going on in Victoria during the summer though, there was mention of The Butchart Gardens which are supposed to be really lovely. Nonetheless we made the most of it and had a nice relaxing weekend.

    Accommodation –  We stayed at the Delta Hotels by Marriott Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort (such a ridiculous name). It was nice but the spa prices were a bit outrageous; the facials started at $100, which I know is common for facials but the rest of the hotel didn’t really seem to match that price point. We ordered room service for breakfast and it was a bit disappointing, just not worth the price. They forgot the tea, cream and juice. It was in a great location though, there was nice views of the city at night but it was just a short walk over the bridge to get to everything.

    Things to do – I liked just strolling around Victoria. It actually looks kinda European. I don’t know if I would want to spend a lot of time there but for a weekend get-away, it was perfect. We went to see Carrigdorrach Castle, which is not a castle, it’s a Victorian house. It seemed to be fairly popular and has a very interesting history.

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    Food – The food in Victoria was just as good as the food in Vancouver. I even had my first cronut from a bakery we randomly found wondering the streets and it was amazing! Here’s the restaurants I tried:

    Lure  – This is the restaurant at the hotel. We ate there the first night because we were too tired to go in search for anything else. I got the fish and chips, with their ice-cream sandwich dessert. It was pretty good and the place has great views. It’s a little over-overpriced but that’s to be expected from hotel restaurants.

    El Terrazzo – I loved this restaurant. It has great reviews both online and from the hotel receptionist and it did not disappoint! There were a few meat-less options on the menu, which I appreciated, and they gave us warm bread as soon as we sat down, what more could you ask for?

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    Jane x

  • VANCOUVER, BC, CANADA

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    Last week, I went to visit my friend in Vancouver. It was my first time in the city and it was beautiful. However, I didn’t exactly have the best weather while I was there. It rained. A lot. None the less, I tried to explore and experience the city as best as I could in the short time I was there. Below is an over-view of my experience, which should give you an idea of what to expect if you’re planning on heading that way!

    Accommodation – I stayed in my friend’s apartment in Gastown, which was a great location. The streets are really cute, even if it is a bit touristy. It’s magical at night as they have lots of lights strung up in the trees. There’s a steam clock there, modelled after Big Ben in London, that plays a song every 15 minutes. There were constantly a lot of people taking pictures but it was a cute thing to see none the less.

    Prices –  In general I found food to be well priced but everything else was a bit of a rip-off. Store that I knew from Europe and the U.S. were definitely more expensive, such as H & M, and the little boutiques dotted around the city were very cute but definitely more expensive that they should have been. I didn’t buy anything other than food except 2 postcards made of wood as a souvenir. Because of this, I was able to eat in a few nicer restaurants while I was there, but food was definitely very affordable. Transport was also reasonably priced while tourist attraction/activities were priced high.

    Getting around – It’s a very easy city to walk around, I only used the public transport to get to and from the airport, but it was very reliable and easy to use.

    Things to do – I spent the first day just wondering around and exploring Gastown and along the water front; it really is a great city to walk around. The second day, I took the hop-on  hop-off bus (well actually I took the one that they call a ‘trolley’ but it’s a bus that’s made to look like a trolley) . I know they’re so touristy but I genuinely like doing them when I’m in new cities. They give you a good over-view, and for me they help give me an idea of how the city is laid out. I only got off at Granville Island, where I found a fun store called made. that I would totally recommend checking out.

    Food – One of my favourite things about Vancouver was the food. It was very reasonably priced and tasted great. Here’s all the place I checked out:

    Lost and Found Cafe I loved this cafe! It had a great vibe and lots of options for  vegetarians! I got the Veg Sandwich with soup and it was delicious. They also have wifi which is a plus when you’re in a foreign country and don’t have data roaming.

    Noodle Bar I loved how customizable their menu is; you pick the sauce, then protein and spice level. I misunderstood the menu and put shrimp in mine which made it a little expensive but in hindsight, I would have been perfectly happy with the meal if it didn’t have shrimp so lessons learned. It was quite a big portion though and I did get lunch the next day out of it, so it was’t too bad.

    Cactus Club – Coal Harbour This was the only place that I think I would have struggled to find something to eat if I didn’t eat fish. The view was lovely and I really enjoyed what I got, the Prawn Spaghetti. I believe this is a chain restaurant, but the one at coal harbour is a bit more fancy and has different options on the menu. It’s a nice place but not anything too special in my opinion, but I’m not really the biggest fan of fancy restaurants anyway.

    Nandos I’m a big fan of Nando’s in Ireland and I’ve missed it while living in the US.  So when I found out their was one in Vancouver, I had to go. Despite being a known for their chicken, they actually have great vegetarian options. I think the menu was a little different to the one back home but the food was still familiar and great! Love a bit of Nandos (pictures below).

    Alibi Room We went here on the first night I got to Vancouver so it’s a little bit of a blur. I wasn’t sure how hungry I was until I started eating, then I realised I was starving. Not a lot of options for vegetarians but I loved the food I got, the Broccoli and Mushroom stir-fry. It was just want I needed!

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    While I did enjoy my trip, it started to frustrate me how everyone kept talking about how great the city is when the weather’s good. I get it, it’s definitely makes things easier when the weather’s nice but if you live in a city where is rains a lot, you should be able to deal with it. I like cities that embrace their weather and have a fun atmosphere all year round; it seems like Vancouver goes into hiding during the winter! I would definitely like to go back at some point in my life during the warmer months, but it’s nit top of my list right now.

    Jane x