Tuesday, December 09, 2003

First impressions of Vancouver & Adding up the pennies

Hmmm, cost of the trip... I almost hate to add it all up ;) The rail passes cost us $450, but I think they are more like $700 if you travel in peak season. Hostels were all about $18 per night. The polar bear tour was about $250 each for one day and we couldn't afford to stay in Churchill cause that would have been over $100 per night even for a crap motel. One guy we met paid $85 to sleep on someone's sofa!!! So, total, I would guess we spent about $1500-1800. Christ, is that scary...

Canadian hostels are nice, actually, or HI ones are anyway. We didn't stay in any independent ones, and I have heard that some of them are a bit dodgy. However, Hostelling International seemed good, and the membership was $40 for two years. Winnipeg, Edmonton and Vancouver all had 4 bed rooms, Jasper was one big dorm. They are all in good areas, though the one in Jasper is hard to reach without a car.

Vancouver is nice. I can't decide if I think it is any better than Toronto though-I had expected to like it better, but don't think I do. There are a lot of nutters and beggars on the streets-far more so than anywhere else I have ever been, except maybe Rome. And people over here really don't like people from Toronto, for no real reason I can see. They say people from Ontario ignore them, but most people I know in Toronto think that Vancouver, and BC generally, is a great place and we hear about them fairly often, far more than most other provinces in Canada. So I don't really understand their bitterness. It's a bit weird, the hatred of Toronto is not just a bit of a joke rivalry to many people here. I think it's all a bit juvenile and idiotic, myself.

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