A luxury problem you might say but at first I had no idea what to do with the two free tickets I had won through a sales incentive at the travel agency where I work. I could chose from any North American destination offered by KLM any time of the year, but I had no remaining holiday to use the price for as I had already booked my trips for 2015. The solution was to go on a weekend trip and a skiing trip to Canada was my choice.
We had also gotten some free accomodation at one of the hostels that my agency offers so except for food, beer and skiing it would be a free trip to see the city and what is regarded as one of the Worlds best ski resorts, Whistler Blackcomb.
Our hostel was right on the main street and we spent quite a lot of time just walking around along the harbour and the city center. When asking the receptionist at our hostel about the mariujana smell everywhere, they said that it was technically illegal but that anyone could get a medical perscription within five minutes by just saying that they were suffering from headaches etc. Quite a weird system, as they had really strict liquor licensing laws where you after having two to three drinks would be asked to buy a meal as it was the law to mainly sell food in restaurants and not just beer.
The beer culture was great through and we got to visit several breweries in the old city/”Gastown” (from pic above), where Alibi Room having nearly 50 beers on tap was our favorite. The beers there were all served with a glass of tap water, as it was a place for beer tasting and not binge drinking. The yellow and red sour beers were two really distinct beers that could easily be reccommended- also for people who do not like beer!
Prices were probably around a 30 percent cheaper than back home, but when 15 tax were added to every purchase and the reccommended 20 percent tip were added to the restaurant bills it was not really a cheap destination.
Next time visiting Vancouver will be during summer when I can go downhill biking in Whistler, rent a car and go camping in the national parks. The landscape we went past was beautiful and the people we met were nice. A long weekend trip from Friday to Monday was great for just visiting the city but next time I will make sure to stay longer and see more of what the rest of the country has to offer.
Left; Watching hockey and drinking beer quite sums up our evenings in Vancouver. Right; Vancouver Harbor Front by night