Thursday, August 20, 2009

Canada today!

John Brown discretely informed me that Canadians don’t say Hey all the time, but rather it’s eh……

So now that we have that bit straightened out, we felt armed and adequate to head on over the boarder into Canada today.

We were ready for all things bad when we pulled up to the boarder. The customs guy asked where I was from, and what my business was in Canada. I told him I was a tourist from Kansas City, and that was all he needed to know.

"Have a nice time in Canada Sir!"

So we drove thru the short bit of countryside to the suburbs of Vancouver. Then under a river by going thru a tunnel, and we were in Vancouver. This is a large and busy urban city. The interstate, or divided highway, motorway, or what ever Canada refers to them as, ended right at the city limits.

We found ourselves driving from ethnic area to ethnic area. The city is a melting pot of many nationalities. We found that Kansan wasn’t one of those nationalities, LOL.

The city center, as the signs continually pointed the way, could have been any city in the US just as easily. Same tall buildings and same vacant businesses in the older parts. We never did get out of the urban sprawl, to find or enjoy any country side.

Our lunch ended up being McDonalds in the Vietnamese section of town. The Visa card kept us from having to deal with any exchange issues, but I’m sure our US dollars would have been just fine. The change would have been Canadian, which would have caused us problems back on the US side. The exchange rate is never favorable when you use USD in that fashion.

Our Toyota car has Km’s/ hr on the inside ring of the spedo, so the 100 Km limit was not hard to honor. Also 60 and 40 in the town areas. Like usual, you just move along with the traffic, but I did find one brave soul that passed me like I was in his way, when I was going 105. He had to be doing 125 or more.

As the afternoon slipped away, we decided to head back to the boarder. It was well after work by now and rush hour was upon us. Traffic was grueling. The sign at the boarder said the wait was over an hour.

But were retired, eh! We sat and enjoyed the nice park that the Canadians had built on their side of the line. Peace Park they called it. On the US side there was the old familiar square block government building, with the flat metal roof. Boarder Patrol folks all over, in full uniform, and broken rutted pavement. What a contrast to the nice offices and roads the Canadians had built. Seemed like we were coming back to a third world country!

Again the same questions, where do you live and why were you in Canada? "Kansas City tourists on a day trip." “Welcome back Sir!”

As I sit here thinking of the experience, we had hoped for a more rural experience of country side and the ocean, but found the city instead.

If we go back to Vancouver again, it will be with a planned destination in mind. Our roads will be mapped out before we leave, and then we will be more in control of the situation. I hope!

Retired Rod

4 comments:

  1. Hope you enjoyed your visit to Canada eh & you all come back now you hear:))

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  2. Glad you took the time to go to Canada! Vancouver is indeed a busy city. You should try driving it in a 1 ton truck! Too bad you didn't go to Stanley Park. It is quite beautiful and the Vancouver skyline from the park is lovely as well with the water in the foreground. Hope you'll come back to our country again!

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  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  4. Good Morning Rod, Yes you need to go back in to the Vancouver area... You must go visit Stanley Park... it is a beautiful day there...

    http://vancouver.ca/PARKS/parks/stanley/

    And then go over to Grouse Mountain & Capilano Suspension bridge... You won't be sorry!

    http://www.grousemountain.com/Summer/summer-activities/

    http://www.capbridge.com/rates_information/

    The city is good for a drive through but the real beauty lies beyound there...

    Have Fun & Travel Safe
    Donna

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