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British Columbia is the pacific province of Canada. It is basically the top of the Rockies and is certainly the most scenic of the Provinces I visited. It doesn’t snow much in the south e.g. Vancouver but apparently it rains or is severely overcast for 300 days a year.

After speaking to the locals and experiencing it myself, the BC government is a bit old school, very British if you will and apparently BC stands for Bring Cash because if you need anything from the government it will cost you heaps of cash. Much like Australia

Fraser Valley:

  • Catching a train through the Fraser Valley is like setting up a million postcards side-by-side and walking past them. No one person on earth could take enough photos of the place in a single passing
  • Apparently this is one of the rivers where the Salmon spawn

Vancouver:

  • Is a mixture of about 100 other places I have been, I know it is familiar but I just cant put my finger on it. Best I can explain it is Half Auckland and half Katoomba – Aucktoomba
  • I stayed on East Hastings St. When I booked it I did not realize it was the worst street in Canada, perhaps North America. Full of Junkies, drugos and other recalcitrant. You know a place is bad when you ask directions at the station and the guy says, “Don’t go to East Hastings“. I say I have to, so he says “Good luck, be safe”. I could not believe how bad it was until I walked from West Hastings, which is a downtown well to do street, until the road you cross to East Hastings and BOOM, I felt unsafe.
  • Granville Street is the Party Street, Half Kings Cross, Half George St, It has it all
  • Robson Street is the shopping St
  • All the good attractions are just out of Downtown Vancouver, but it is still a cool place to go
  • Rogers Arena and BC Place are next door to each other and as per Canadian Sporting Venues, they are world class. Would love to have seen a game at either
  • The Mountains are right at Vancouver’s doorsteps, Literally right there in West Vancouver which is actually north of Vancouver
  • There is a huge Punk/Goth/Metal scene in Vancouver, it is like the early 90’s has only just hit

ICBC (Motor registry and Insurance branch for BC motor vehicles)

  • To complete the insurance and registration and plate issue is one form, this form produces 8 others that need reading and signing
  • It is more expensive than New South Wales Car Registration, like double
  • It must be done in person and you need to have the seller there as well. The process actually involves removing the license plates from the car and changing them for your plates

Squamish

  • Squamish is beautiful, and seems to be the kind of place you go to be all outdoorsy and adventure driven
  • The Gondola to the top of the mountain was amazing, I felt like an eagle soaring over the cliffs (and was shitting myself at the same time)
  • So much natural beauty and a suspension bridge to cross to boot
  • Worth the drive, especially if you are heading to Whistler anyway, it is worth stopping in

Whistler

  • Is a ski town, everything is set up to support the ski industry
  • Is pretty and looks Swiss alps-ish, all wooden buildings etc.
  • Great pubs and restaurants and a pie shop (the only one I’ve seen in all North America
  • Apparently there is great hiking and sights to see at the top of the mountains, next time I’ll make it to the top

Northern Lights

  • I missed the Northern Lights whilst travelling through Canada, apparently the week prior they were quite prolific, oh well, next time
  • Would have been amazing but it does give me a reason to return

Driving through BC

  • Was a relatively painless exercise, no real issues
  • Would have been a whole different proposition if there had of been snow and ice about, My poor little car would have been in all sorts of trouble
  • Drives seem friendly enough and the whole experience was great
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