I awoke on Day 2 of my Vancouver excursion to find my roommate asleep on the bunk below me. I tried to sneak quietly to the bathroom across the hall to brush my teeth, but I must have woken her up because when I returned, she was getting out of bed. She was a nice student named Monica from Mexico and she was traveling with 2 friends to try to win a Master’s degree project at a competition.
By the way, if you missed Day 1 of my Vancouver excursion, check out Vancouver Review before you continue reading.
The Cambie Hostel (where I was staying) offers huge, freshly baked muffins for breakfast (made at their own Cambie Bakery and Cafe), so Monica and I made our way downstairs to grab a bite to eat as we learned a bit about each other. I always forget how much I love meeting new people when I travel, particularly when traveling internationally and particularly in a hostel or guesthouse setting. I love exchanging ideas and learning about different cultures. Monica and I parked ourselves in the hostel’s common room and met up with Monica’s 2 friends, along with several other travelers.
Following breakfast, we returned to our room and I packed up to check-out. The hostel offered free luggage storage in the basement, so I left my bags and set out to walk to Granville Island – a direct route southwest on Granville Street (see the map for locations). It took me about 45 minutes to walk at a leisurely, broken-toe pace. The route along Granville St. was not particularly scenic until I reached the bridge to the island. The walking route got a bit tricky when I crossed over the bridge, so it was a good thing I met a fellow traveler on the bridge (a nice girl from Estonia) so we could figure out the shortcut to the island together.
Granville Island was such a neat place! Think of a super-sized farmer’s market with live music, small-town shops, and a beautiful view of Yaletown.
Seeing as the bridge to Granville Island was not particularly walker-friendly, I decided to return across False Creek via the Aqua Bus to Hornby St. for a whopping $3.25 per ride. I walked back to the Cambie Hostel via Hornby, which was a much more scenic route than Granville St. through the city. I picked up my bags at the hostel and walked a few blocks to Waterfront Station to catch the SkyTrain to the airport, costing me $2.50.
Arrival at YVR kicked off my 3 red-eye flights back to Tampa (Vancouver > Portland, OR > Houston, TX > Tampa, FL), but I thoroughly enjoyed my whirlwind Vancouver experience. And, I think I succeeded at my attempt at a budget-friendly excursion.
-Amtrak Cascades (Seattle to Vancouver): $36
-SkyTrain to Cambie Hostel: $2.50
-Walk to Stanley Park (free)
-Stanley Park 2-hour bike rental: ~$10
-Sushi dinner around the corner from Cambie Hostel: ~$7 (splurge)
-Overnight at Cambie Hostel: $27 [Average cost per night in Vancouver as of March 2011: $140]
-Muffin breakfast (free)
-Walk to Granville Island (free)
-Lunch (or dinner) at Granville Island: ~$7 (splurge)
-AquaBus: $3.25 (splurge)
-SkyTrain back to YVR (airport): $2.50
-Total = about $96
Worth every penny!