Vancouver by hop-on, hop-off bus

I got a lot more sleep last night and woke feeling better than I have in the past few days. I went to the gym, came back, had breakfast and got ready for another day exploring Vancouver.

Today I decided to catch the hop-on, hop-off tour bus to get my bearings of the city, see new sights, and to not have to walk so far and get tired. I caught the bus at about 10:30 and was surprised to find it was being driven by an Australian woman. Her name’s Natalie and she lived in Perth for 15 years. She has one of those very clear Australian accents, kind of like Kylie Minogue.

We went through Chinatown and Gas Town, up by Canada Place, past the Art Gallery and then up to Stanley Park. The map Natalie gave me makes it look like the stop for the bus is close to Beaver Lake so I took the risk and head off again. Turns out it was only 400 metres from where I was yesterday and takes less than an hour to get to and walk all the way around.

It was so beautiful walking through Stanley Park. It was slightly cloudy and so the greens were really green and the place was very moody. Unfortunately I didn’t see any beavers (though there was something in the lake that may have been a dam), but I did see a few different birds (including one that was very bold and hung around me, probably waiting for food) and a very cute grey squirrel.

I got back to the bus stop with plenty of time. I read one of their signs about wildlife which said, “Can you see the bald eagle nest in the fir tree straight away?” I looked up and said, “No. But I can see the eagle!” At that moment it launched from the tree and flew around the sky. Its mate joined in and I got a few minutes of them circling. When nature performs…

Jumped back on the bus and down to False Creek where I took the aquabus across to Grenville Island to check out the market and some shops. I really liked the food markets there, even more than St Lawrence Market. I was very bad and bought some not-so-good for me food, but it was delicious.

I bought a walnut and chocolate tiny scroll thing, then a salted caramel chocolate square from Rogers (OMG this was so delicious, I could have eaten so many), a pecan and fruit roll, and then a chicken Vietnamese roll. I think Glen would like this market too.

I ran to catch the bus (which was late), got off at the library, which is this really impressive Coliseum style building, and later caught the bus one last time to Canada Place. I walked to the edge of the pier and looked out towards North Shore, before walking through the city and down to the sea wall and back to Liz and Mark’s.

I’m very happy with how much I saw today, and how long I was out for. It didn’t rain today so that made it so much easier. Vancouver is a pretty easy city to be in, very chilled and relaxed, so it’s made for a chilled couple of days.

Glen arrives tomorrow morning and we’ll go around on the bus together (I bought a two-day ticket). Looking forward to having him here.

9 Replies to “Vancouver by hop-on, hop-off bus”

  1. Ooo I have a visitor coming in May and I was wondering whether it would be worth it- I’ve been on a few touristy busses in other cities where it’s been disappointing so thanks for the review!


    1. I suppose it depends what you want to get out of them. For me, it was a good way of getting around the city and going to the places I wanted to go. It can be a bit expensive for $45 for two-days but if you want to save time on walking, then I think it’s worthwhile.


      1. That’s been my worry- whether I can just show him everything on foot or not. The weather will be better by then, hopefully. So much of it depends on the narrating of the bus driver or the type of audio recordings they have available- I don’t know a lot about the history of Vancouver.


      2. The history isn’t bad. Some of the recordings are a bit corny but I think that’s to be expected. I learnt that Vancouver used to be called Granville 🙂


  2. I’m glad you like Vancouver so far. I wa very happy there when I lived there for 3 years. Am looking forward to seeing it again when COMINT over to your day in October.


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