Canada Trip Part 1 (Vancouver + Sooke)

Sooo, where to start? A lot has happened lately! Some of you have already asked me where I disappeared – sorry for that! I was in a bit of a vacation cloud and disconnected from the blog and Facebook for a while. The reason was that I fulfilled one of my lifetime dreams and traveled to Canada for 17 days!! Woohoo! You can’t imagine how excited I was! Since I booked the ticket in January, it was on my mind constantly and I couldn’t stop researching places to see, things to do and – of course – things to eat! If you do this once, you might as well do it right, right? ;-)

A lot of planning also went into the packing. Since I didn’t want to carry around a huge amount of luggage (plus, we rented a tiny car) I ended up packing very wisely, minimizing everything to the essentials. We decided to do laundry once during the trip, which was a good idea, so that I really didn’t have to take that much and also had room left for souvenirs. But now let’s continue with the more important stuff. Canada!!

 

Packing for the trip

 

I’m gonna add a song to this blogpost, because it’s just more fun to look at pictures with music. This song became the soundtrack of our trip. Just click play and keep scrolling ;-)

I didn’t travel alone but with two “partners in crime”, two girlfriends who also share the same passion for wildlife, nature and good food. And oh, did we experience loads of it!

 

Jump of joy ;)

Jump of joy ;)

 

Since there is so much to share with you guys, I decided to split this blogpost into two parts. Not that you get soar fingers from scrolling. ;-) But I try to keep things short anyway. I really hope that you’ll enjoy the pictures and maybe even get some travel inspiration for yourself.

Having said that, I must admit that I always feel a bit bad when I do big trips like that because I also know about the impact on the environment that traveling has. Nevertheless there are a few places that my heart aches to experience and Canada has always been one of them. So this was a bit of a selfish act of mine, but in return I feel like this trip has given me another insight on the beauty of the world and makes me appreciate it even more so. And that is something I hope to be able to share with you too now. So here we go…

 

Canada, here we come!

Canada, here we come!

 

Vancouver

The first highlight of the trip was actually food related (surprise!). It was the breakfast at the vegan Buddha-Full Cafe in Vancouver, on our first morning after arrival.  The smoothies, juices, wraps and salads were killer and we had to go back twice to indulge some more. My favorite smoothie was made with rose water, mango, almond milk, cardamom, dates and banana – it really tasted as special as it sounds. And they made awesome vegan sausage wraps, served with a salad that was topped with ginger-lemon-dill dressing. Mmmm!

 

 

That day we drove to Grouse Mountain, which is very close to Vancouver. We took the gondola up to do zip lining! Super exciting! The tour included five lines, from which the last two were most fun because they were long and high. It felt like flying above the forest, so cool! And it wasn’t as scary as I imagined it. If you ever get the chance, you should try it out!

 

Zip Lining, Gouse Mountain (photo credit: anna)

Zip Lining, Gouse Mountain (photo credit: anna)

 

We stayed in Vancouver for a total of three days, which was a good amount of time to experience the city. We rented bicycles to cruse around the Stanley Park, visited some of the beaches, walked through the neighborhoods (they have such cute houses!), met lots of cats, had awesome food and even visited the annual Zombie Walk that took place in the streets of Vancouver. Man, they know how to dress up! Here are some impressions of our days in Vancouver:

 

Vancouver

Vancouver

 

Beach at Pacific Spirit Regional Park

Beach at Pacific Spirit Regional Park, Vancouver

seagull

 

Zombie Walk Vancouver 2015

Zombie Walk Vancouver 2015

Some of the Zombies were chasing us for some picture fun. :-D

 

Vancouver Island

Even though Vancouver is very green with lots of parks and beaches, we couldn’t wait to take the ferry to Vancouver Island. We were hoping to see lots of wildlife and stunning nature, and that was exactly what we got. I really fell in love with that Island. Here are some pics of the ferry ride.

 

Taking the ferry to Vancouver Island

Taking the ferry to Vancouver Island

 

Sooke

The first B&B we stayed at, was one of the best of the 7 different places we stayed at. This B&B was in Sooke, near Victoria, and was located directly at the inlet harbor. We had the whole house to ourselves and besides the cozy fireplace, we had an incredible view from the dining table. Not only could we see the water, but there was a hummingbird feeder right in front of the window. Watching those cuties always made our day! The day we left we were even lucky enough to see a black bear walking by the house. Say what?! We felt like little kids on their birthdays. :-D

 

B&B at Sooke, Vancouver Island

B&B at Sooke, Vancouver Island

 

In the area there were lots of things to do and see. One of the days we visited Victoria, which I liked even better than Vancouver. A small charming city with beautiful architecture and cute streets to stroll through. Nature wise there was lots to see in the area too and I would have liked to stay longer to discover more. Mystic Beach and Ed McGregor Park were beautiful and one of those days we even tried Standup Paddleboarding (SUP) in the harbor, which was a lot of fun too. There were seals watching our every move, haha!

 

Mystic Beach and Ed McGregor Park

Mystic Beach and Ed McGregor Park

 

Beautiful details. Moss, wood, algae on rocks

Beautiful details. Moss, wood, algae on rocks

 

Standup paddleboarding and chilling on the dock

Standup paddleboarding and chilling on the dock in the evening

 

One morning I was awake early (thank you jet lag!) and decided to put on a warm sweater and go sit by the water for a while. Watching the sunrise and taking in the calmness felt like a very special moment.

 

Calm morning at Sooke

Calm morning at Sooke

 

Tofino would be our next place to stay for a few days, but before that we stopped at Nanaimo for snorkeling with seals, which was an exciting yet exhausting experience. It was great to be so close by the seals and almost all of our group (except me and my friend) saw them under water, swimming right next to them. At the same time it was a bit uncomfortable swimming in those floating wetsuits. I felt like a floating potato, haha! I guess I enjoyed more watching the seals from the standup paddle board, but snorkling was definitely an experience!

 

Cathedral Grove at Port Alberni

Also on the way to Tofino, there was a very old Cedar forest, called Cathedral Grove, where we took a beautiful walk. It felt humbling to be amongst those moss covered trees who have been there for generations. The oldest trees there are about 800 years old! I wish they could tell us their stories…

 

Cathedral Grove

Cathedral Grove

 

This is it for now, but I’ll post part two of the trip during the week. Coming up is our stay in Tofino, which was probably my favorite place of whole Vancouver Island! Have a great start of the week everybody! :-)

 

5 Comments

  • Eva @ Four Leaf Clover

    16.11.2015 at 04:36 Reply

    I’m so happy for you! This looks and sounds like an… what word do I use… amazing, incredible, spectacular, awesome experience! Your photos are gorgeous! I have to go back to Canada, hahah! Reminds me of my favorite spot in Canada (maybe even the whole world): http://www.notyouraverageordinary.com/sanctuary-awenda/ :)

    • Greenderella

      16.11.2015 at 09:28 Reply

      Thank you so much Eva! It really was an amazing time that I will never forget. Canada is stunning! I also love the place you write about, it looks amazing! I remember you once told me about it… it’s so nice to see pictures of it. And the way you explain the feelings you have when you spend time there almost makes me feel like being there too. Lovely!

  • Corinna

    22.12.2015 at 13:54 Reply

    Hi Franziska,
    wow wow, einfach nur wow! Das sieht alles sooo toll aus und klingt fantastisch :)
    Ich plane gerade mit meinem Freund unseren nächsten Jahresurlaub und jetzt denken wir beide, dass es vielleicht tatsächlich Kanada werden sollte! Die Flüge an die Ostküste scheinen wohl etwas günstiger; warst du da auch oder nur im Westen? Wie hast du dich für ausgerechnet den Teil entschieden? Und kannst du mir noch etwas zum Preisniveau dort sagen für Unterkünfte und Essen?
    Danke jedenfalls für den inspirierenden Post, ich bin ganz verzaubert!
    Alles Liebe,
    Corinna
    http://www.kissenundkarma.de

    • Greenderella

      26.12.2015 at 12:25 Reply

      Liebe Corinna, vielen lieben Dank für deinen netten Kommentar! Ich freue mich riesig, dass dir der Blogpost so gut gefällt! :-)
      Kanada ist ein wunderschönes Land, was ich schon seit Ewigkeiten bereisen wollte. Die Ostküste würde ich genauso gerne sehen, doch wir hatten uns erstmal für die Westküste entschieden weil wir 1. schon so viel Gutes über Vancouver & Vancouver Island gehört hatten und 2. suuuper gerne Wale und Grizzly Bären erleben wollten. Und Septemebr ist in der Region eine super Jahreszeit dafür. Ein anderer Traum von mir ist aber einmal eine Tour von Montreal nach New York zu machen. Das muss im Herbst auch unglaublich sein! Hach, es gibt viel zu entdecken dort! :-) Preislich war die Reise ganz schön teuer. Aber dazu muss ich sagen, dass wir auch echt viele Touren etc. gemacht haben und auch viel auswärts gegessen haben. Da könnte man sicherlich noch so einiges sparen, wenn man wollte. Das Essen ist in jedem Fall teurer als erwartet. Die Unterkünfte wiederum waren überraschend günstig mit Air B&B und dazu wunderschön. Lass mich wissen, wenn du noch genauere Infos zu irgendwas von unserer Reise haben willst. Aber erstmal wünsche ich dir noch ein wunderschönes Weihnachtswochenende! Liebe Grüße, Franzi

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