March 21, 2005

Gr-Gr-Granville !

On our last day in Vancouver, we decided to have a litle walk round the city and also visit the Granville island area. Granville island (it's not actually an island - just on the coast) is most well known for it's food market which was pretty expansive when we visited (although probably only the size of Leeds Market) but the fruit and veg looked great as did the sushi (or at least according to Deb - I enjoyed a nice curry). We also took a few pictures around the city while we were there and found a uniquely named hotel ....

[2 Vancouver galleries here and here]

Posted by robl at 03:33 AM | Comments (1)

March 18, 2005


bye canada

Posted by robl at 08:07 PM | Comments (0)

Souvenir of Canada

It's our last day in Vancouver (sniff sniff) before we depart for San Francisco. I jotted down some words & phrases earlier to help remind me of being here:

Slurpies, St Paddies week frenzie, Time Crisis, otters, long bridges, free Seven Eleven vouchers, neon, no half pints, American Apparel, crazy tramps, 1$ pizza slice, exact change on buses, Wendy's, Douglas Coupland, sushi, 7/11 hot dogs, blue skys, hypermarket sized outdoors shops, Hyundai Tuscan.

Then I got onto general Canada:

Ice hockey, loonies and toonies, walk/ don't walk, tipping everyone, long straight roads, the grid road system, detatched wooden houses, Rocky Mointains, the feeling of extreme cold, real cowboys, Molsen & Kokanee largers, pickup trucks, lots of snow & ice, diners, iced up lakes.

I am sure there are more :)

Posted by deb at 12:51 AM | Comments (4)

March 16, 2005

You talkin' to me ?

We've been on a little trip to Victoria over the last few days, a really nice city with gorgeous weather on the tip of Vancouver island - also the provincial capital of B.C. - I never knew ...

We've got a few piccies although they're mostly of the harbour and the Ferry journey and a few of me bird watching - the avian variety :)

Most of the time was spent just wandering around Victoria grabbing a bite to eat and generally relaxing although we couldn't resist one really touristy opportunity - You talkin' to me ! They've got a couple of these places in Victoria - We went to the smaller of the two (hidden away on a side street) as the couple who ran it took time over getting the pictures right.

Victoria is a bit more pricey than Vancouver for food and the accomodation is more limited but still it's not bad value.

On the first night we stayed at the Turtle Refuge hostel which sounds cool but the reality turned out to be slightly different - more on that in the soon to come hostel reviews section but it was cheap at $35 for a private room with TV.

The second night we spent at the slightly swankier Strathcona hotel pretty much in the centre, at $69 it was close to our nightly limit for accomodation but was a nice change from the average hostel fair. It also has it's own themed Hillbilly bar, like the bowling green but with bra's :)

We've got a couple of tips for eating, most places are pretty pricey but the Smitty's down towards the harbour from the Strathcona Hotel was $11 for a steak dinner which was a nice change and there is a great sandwich shop named the 'Bun Shop' (I think) which made good sarnies for about $4, it's just down a side street by the Strathcona.

We got to Victoria on the Pacific Coach which runs from the Pacific station (get the Granville station skytrain eastbound to the science world stop - you can see the station from here) and then bought return tickets to Victoria for $65 each. You can do it cheaper (about half the price by the ordinary bus services) but with the backpacks and everything it was nice just to be able to stow them on the coach and not have to worry about being a foot passenger on the Ferry etc ... The journey took about 4.5 hours in total and you get to navigate between the islands on the ferry and there's plenty of birds to watch.

[2 Victoria galleries here and here]

Posted by robl at 01:08 AM | Comments (0)

March 12, 2005


cut and paste $company name here

Posted by robl at 10:20 PM | Comments (1)


a street for the smiths!

Posted by robl at 08:37 PM | Comments (1)

March 11, 2005

Otterly Brilliant

The Jeep has now been prized out of our mits and we are now car-less, wandering around Vancouver. We've been here for a few days now, the city is fantastic and the weather is great for the time of year. We've managed to find ourself some cheaper accomodation and it's only $1 for a big slize of pizza so our food bills have gone down considerably :) We've also found a good place for free wireless (well, if you buy a coffee), Blenz Coffee House on Bute St/ Robson St.

Yesterday we took the bus over to the Aquarium in Stanley Park. I'm not a big fan of Zoos etc but these guys did seem to take care of the little critters and lots of the animals had been rescued.

The highlight of my day was seeing the Otters - they just reminded me so much of Rob - in a nice way of course. They feed to satiation and they are very furry! hehe

[2 Aquarium galleries here and here]

Posted by deb at 12:20 AM | Comments (4)

March 09, 2005


ahh ! civilisation ...

Posted by robl at 03:28 AM | Comments (1)

March 07, 2005

Rockies and Roll !

We're on the last day of the roadtrip now - we've made it safely to Kamloops and we've got free wireless again :)

We spent some time in Banff and saw some great views from Sulphur Mountain via the Banff Gondala and had a nice soak in the Banff hot springs - I'd really encourage people to do this as the springs have views over the Rockies and it's incredibly relaxing. We also saw the Banff Cave and Basin but only wandered around the area rather than went in as it seemed a bit of a nonentity but the surrounding walks are nice. The Banff hostel was fantastic (although a bit more expensive than normal) - it was log cabin style and as good as a quality hotel with free wireless (which probably sold it to us!!).

We were around and about in Banff for a couple of days and then went on to stay at the Lake Louise Hostel. We took pictures of Lake Louise in Winter, the last time I saw it, it was a blue lake - a bit freaky to see it frozen over and to walk on it !

The next day saw us drive to Jasper along Highway 93 which includes the very impressive Icefields Parkway. We saw the Columbia Icefields, Crowfoot Glacier, Mistaya Canyon and the Athabasca Falls. It's amazing that there are so many impressive sights along one Highway, although I've got to say I was glad to have 4WD as it got a little hairy in a few places. These sights are normally photographed in Summer so it's nice to see them caught on picture during Winter/Spring - especially the Athabasca falls - they look spectacular frozen.

We stayed in Jasper after the drive and went on an evening Ice Canyon Walk - lots of interesting Geological stuff and some icey walks even with Crampons on.

[2 Banff cave and Basin galleries here and here]
[2 Sulphur Mountain galleries here and here]
[2 Lake Louise Galleries here and here]
[2 Icefields Parkway Galleries here and here]
[2 Columbia Icefields Galleries here and here]
[2 Crowfoot Glacier Galleries here and here]
[2 Mistaya Canyon Galleries here and here]
[2 Athabasca Falls Galleries here and here]
[2 Maligne Canyon Galleries here and here]

Posted by robl at 05:43 AM | Comments (4)

March 06, 2005



Posted by robl at 04:57 AM | Comments (0)

March 04, 2005

Yeeeehaaaaaaa !!!!!

We've had a fun time getting from Fernie to Banff - on the way we've seen stripping cowboys, a science museum and lots of Rocky Mountains - Deb said she preferred the first one :)

In Calgary we saw a few of the local attractions, including the Calgary tower and a bit of the local nightlife at 'Cowboys' night club where it was Ladies Night.

We picked up our new car yesterday - we were expecting the bargin basement sub-compact but we got upgraded to a Jeep Liberty Sport - Deb says it's a really big red one.

We're just about to leave the Banff hostel now - but we're taking advantage of the free wireless :)

I need to think up a new poll too. We'll probably post one when we get into Vancouver - any suggestions are welcome ...

[2 Calgary galleries here and here]

[2 Rockies galleries here and here]

Posted by robl at 06:12 PM | Comments (5)

Roadtrip Diary

I thought I'd put some notes down on how we got from Fernie to Vancouver to try and help any other weary travellers out there :)

I'll update this with useful info on the journey as we progress ...

For reference, the notes relate to this entry.

Transfer from Fernie to Calgary

There are a few companies out there that provide a shuttle service to and from Fernie - we used the Rocky Mountain Sky Shuttle. It's about $62 for a one way transfer and takes about four hours. They only drop off at Calgary International Airport.

Transfer from Calgary International Airport to Calgary Downtown

The cheapest way is the bus/c-train - go down to arrivals and go to bus stop 20 and jump on the #57 bus and get off at Whitehorn station. It's $2 for a ticket (make sure you have the exact change and that you get the ticket from the driver as you need it for the c-train).

Calgary downtown to Calgary hostel

Get off the c-train at City hall and head out of town a little (not into town - it's a little confusing from the website/hostel leaflet) and you should come across the hostel - if you're heading towards the tower then you are heading the wrong way. A private room at the hostel is about $60.

Car hire getting on the Trans-Canadian 1

There are about four or five major car hire centres about a five minute walk from the hostel - all on 5th Avenue SE. We got our car via a broker from Thrifty (£116 for five days). From there, you need to take three rights and go over the river onto sixteenth which joins the TC1. There are looooads of places to get food from on sixteenth so stop off and grab a bite as there isn't much between Calgary and Banff.

Calgary to Banff

The drive takes about one and a half hours and has some lovely scenary as the Rockies come into view. The parks toll needs to be paid - it works out about $10 a day up to a maximum of about $90. If you see Sunshine Village then you've gone too far (like we did !).

[More to come]

Posted by robl at 05:31 PM | Comments (0)

Photoshop Friday

We spent the final day in Fernie playing around in the terrain park and thought we'd try and create some pictures like you see in all the snowboarding magazines. We both spent a bit of time taking pics in the park and after Deb applied some photoshop magic this is what we came up with ...

[2 galleries here and here]

Posted by robl at 04:54 AM | Comments (0)


the new car !

Posted by robl at 01:20 AM | Comments (2)

March 03, 2005


calgary by night

Posted by robl at 02:02 AM | Comments (0)

February 28, 2005

Dude, Where's my car ?

Well - we're just about snowboarded out for now. We've got the hire car booked for Thursday and we're going to make our trip from Calgary to Vancouver hopefully seeing some of the more scenic bits of British Columbia. We've cobbled together a routemap from the votes in the poll and have a brief description of each of the legs that we'll take over the five days.

Days 1 and 2

The first leg is a quick trip from Calgary downtown to Banff (about 2 hrs) where we can have a look around Banff (hopefully the bears should be hibernating) and jump in the hot springs. We're spending the nights at the Banff Hostel (apparently one of the best in Canada).

Day 3

This is the big drive up through the Icefields parkway and up to Jasper National Park all of which should be a pretty spectacular drive (about 5 hours). We'll also stop off at Lake Louise on the way. We spend the night at the Jasper Hostel.

Day 4

Another big drive down to Kamloops (about 5 hours again) where we can stop over for the night and have a few beers on the Beach :)

Again we stay in the nicely priced Kamloops Hostel.

Day 5

This is the final drive down to Vancouver where we get to see some lovely rockies scenary and stop off at Hells Gate where the Fraser river runs fastest - we won't be able to take the airtram but it should still be pretty impressive. We then finish the drive into Vancouver and drop the car off.

Here's the map of the Journey :-

Posted by robl at 10:37 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 27, 2005



Posted by robl at 04:51 AM | Comments (1)

Snow Buddies

Here's some pictures of Rob showing off and erm, me just boarding ;) I actually spent some time in the board park this time, mainly taking pictures of Rob of course, and when I finally plucked up the courage to get on a rail, the camerman didn't catch it :(

... and here's a movie of Rob neatly taking a jump :)

[2 galleries here and here]

Posted by deb at 02:58 AM | Comments (0)

February 25, 2005


yey !

Posted by robl at 08:45 PM | Comments (0)

Snow Patrol

We've found somewhere with a card reader so we can put up our first set of pictures from Fernie ... There's a lot of mountain pictures and not many of us - probably for the best :)

[2 galleries here and here]

Posted by robl at 03:10 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

February 23, 2005


hockey dude !

Posted by robl at 03:20 AM | Comments (5)

February 22, 2005

New Poll

Since we're going on a roadtrip from Calgary to Vancouver I've put up the new poll - have a look at the BC website and see what looks good - I've put up some suggestions but if you see any that are better then suggest them and I'll add them to the poll (and remove the losing entry). It looks like I lost the previous poll by getting 42% of the vote but I'm not convinced Deb didn't enroll some help ... I've also changed the recent entries section to recent comments as they can be a bit difficult to find. Anyhow we're going up the mountain now to have a look at the terrain park - enjoy work :)

Posted by robl at 07:18 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 21, 2005


mmm ... mountains

Posted by robl at 12:39 AM | Comments (4)

February 20, 2005


Well, it took 22 hours in total for us to reach Fernie bit it looks like it was worth it ! We've been out on the mountain today and ridden for about five and a half hours. We're staying in the Raging Elk Hostel for the next three days - it's a nice place with good people , in fact the whole of Fernie seems to be full of nice people (Stepford Wives music begins). We're having a little trouble finding wireless hot spots so our connectivity is limited to web cafes (Mug Shots currently). So it might take a week or so to get some pictures up on the site. We're going to be spending the next few days on the mountain so we'll post after that ... Oh and I'm going to put up a new poll then as well - I'm fed up of losing !

Posted by robl at 10:47 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


yey - snow !

Posted by robl at 07:31 AM | Comments (2)


deb has a 'small' coke

Posted by robl at 01:58 AM | Comments (0)

February 18, 2005


hello canada

Posted by robl at 10:36 PM | Comments (0)