Posted by: TomA | 20 September 2006

Leaving the UK, arriving in Vancouver

It has been a couple of days coming, but here it is. My first blog entry. Where to start?

The airport. Ridiculusly long queues for the security checks, good hour or so. I was also told that I was only allowed one piece of hand baggage, and that a laptop and camera case were distinctly two. However, if I put them both in a plastic bag, that would count as one, and it’d be ok. A slight element of logic, perhaps…

…until you get through to the departures lounge, and realise you can buy the best part of a pub or a library in the duty free and take it all on board as handluggage. Anyway, the plane was uneventful, 10 hours passed fairly quickly, and I arrived more or less when I left. More lengthy queues in immigrations, and over hearing some rather interesting conversations from the people being interviewed, most of which seemed to have little idea where they were, what they were going to do, or why they should be allowed in. Having waltzed through that, i met Becky and we jumped on a bus in the drizzle.

Bus drivers are jolly friendly people. Try asking a bus driver where to change busses in Nottingham or London, and you might get lucky. Here, you get explicit detail and some friendly banter too. It’s ace.

Vancouver harbour

Harbour and Canada Place

Yesterday I had a nice wander around the city while Becky was in lectures. The sun came out, I strolled around the harbour, took photos of the mountains, watched seaplanes take off, walked around the shopping bit and picked up bits and pieces I needed, and got a bus back to UBC. The busses are awesome. They seem to be electric, and run off overhead power in the same way as trams do.

City streets

Trams however, have tracks, so can’t veer far from the power. Busses can. So, heading up a hill, round some roadworks, the driver puts his foot down, nothing happens, and we roll down the hill for a bit. Backwards. Which was rather fun. Seems the public expect this, so while cars will stop and let you cross the road whenever, it seems one should be on the lookout for silent runaway busses instead… People passing by also seem to now how to get the busses started and re-connected, which is handy.

UBC view of mountains

I’ve also had a nice walk around UBC, which is rather pretty, and went to see Owen Pallett play as Final Fantasy in a cinema on campus last night. Apart from the fact I was overwhelmingly sleepy, it was great.

Oh, and its really raining today. Lovely lovely rain…


  1. So it’s not like the US then? Sounds fun . . . .

  2. The buses sound lovely. No mention of tea or beer though. You need to give us full details…

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