It seems everything in Calgary is big. It has a big tower, big beef steaks and big cowboys with big hats. The 36 hours we spent in this ultra modern city of a little over one million people gave us just a taste, but our short stay was certainly worth it. Here are a few things we did and some things we'll add to our list for next time.
We are on our way to Alaska, the last frontier, not by dog sled to find gold in the Yukon, but a more modern, luxurious style of transport, the beautiful Celebrity Solstice. It's a brilliant, hot, late summer afternoon in Seattle harbour for our departure. The sun, gracefully setting over the crowded marina, provided perfect pink and lilac hues. That must be the cocktail hour ambiance we preordered. We are on our way to see magnificent glaciers, towering fiords, breaching whales and wild bears in one of the world's most pristine environments.
So, what do you do when the summer sun is full blaze in Vancouver? Get wrecked on a beach of course. Or better still, spend the day at Wreck Beach near the University of British Columbia, about a 30 minute bus ride from Davie Village. However, it's not where it starts, it's the end part of this journey you'll never forget.
When we travel overseas we often choose bicycle riding to really get in touch with the area we are exploring and Vancouver is one of the most bicycle friendly cities we have visited. There were literally thousands of bikes riding around the Seawall in Stanley Park the day we set off on our biking adventure. We hired our bikes from Bicycle Sports Pacific or BSP, just one block from Davie Street. After a false start with a bike seat problem and a few adjustments we were on our way.
We knew Davie Street was in the middle of the gay district but we didn't realise just how gay this village really is. Most shops in this main thoroughfare proudly display a rainbow flag in the window to identify their pride and welcome their colourful community. Even the intersections are painted with rainbow colours and walking down the street you can't help but feel you're in friendly territory.
We found paradise, relaxation, stunning island beauty and friendly Melanesian people when we visited Vanuatu and the Isle of Pines on a recent cruise around the Pacific. Although we discovered no gay factor in the islands during our short stay, we did find a few fabulous things to do.