I’m Rosie. A pink hair enthusiast, closet Come Dine With Me fan and Digital Designer at STA Travel’s head office in London. I recently got sent to Canada with eight other lucky STA-ers on an educational trip (otherwise known as a ‘don’t hate me because I work in travel’ trip). Here’s what happened.
Beautiful places make for beautiful pictures, and Canada’s West Coast gave me no shortage of insane photo opportunities.
Our first stop was Vancouver, one of North America’s most populated cities. British Colombia’s (BC) weather was thankfully on our side. As we headed from the airport to our hostel, the contrast of city and mountains was unmistakeable. It was a sunny Saturday as we headed into the suburbs, amidst community fairs and weekend soccer matches.
Arriving in Jericho, we definitely were not in Vancouver city anymore. Jericho’s coastal area is home to beautiful beaches where we enjoyed lunch at the Jericho Sailing Centre. As you can imagine, the fresh fish menu did not disappoint.
An early start the next morning brought us to Stanley Park for a cycle along the sea wall. Stanley Park is a unique hub of forestry, beaches, lakes and houses; and attractions including an aquarium and outdoor pool.
Next up, we headed over to Granville Island Public Food Market. Every corner I turned was a foodie heaven. From grocery goods to artisan meats, Granville Market offered a world of fresh food to enjoy, and we enjoyed a lot of it.
Our tour guide led us from the market through to the colourful streets of Chinatown, onto hip district Gastown and onto Capilano Park.
Next morning, we caught the ferry from Vancouver’s Pacific Central station. We were all blown away by the distant but phenomenal view of Mount Baker, visible for the majority of our coach journey to the ferry port. Amongst the rustic scenes, the peak stood its ground for all to admire.
A few hours later and Victoria was our new home. The colonial city welcomed us with its old town vibes. The iconic government building was one of the first buildings we saw, and it set the tone for the rest of Victoria’s historic architectural endeavours. To say the least, Victoria is beautiful.
Before we knew it, it was time to catch the Orca Mist and see some whales. Containing my excitement was a challenge at this point…
The lighthouse island at Race Rocks, the southernmost point of Canada. We spotted some hefty sea lions and surprisingly terrifying American bald eagles here too.
Early rise and back on the bikes, this time pedalling through the city streets. Our tour reached beautiful heights, with the breathtaking views of Victoria from Moss Rock.
Already our time in Victoria had come to an end, so another journey across the pond was next. It was a few hours until we arrived in Whistler, one of the top wintersports destinations in the world.
Our bus journey included a couple of stops with Moose Travel. We were lucky enough to see two quintessentially British Columbian sights – Porteau Cove and Shannon Falls. Even though we were knackered from the day’s activities, we were completely woken up after getting to experience these beautiful places.
We had a few hours to kill before our journey back to Vancouver, so we decided to take a walk around Whistler’s golf course. The views we discovered on the walk were second to none. Ethereal mountain ranges took us by surprise on most corners turned, the kind of stuff most people only see on desktop backgrounds. We were pretty much in love with Whistler by this point, and a sunny day to end things off was the cherry on top.
Vancouver felt like home by the end of a whirlwind week in BC. As our return bus headed through Capilano, over Stanley Park and through the Friday evening Vancouver traffic into Downtown, we remembered all that the we had done after landing so far from home a week earlier.
Canada is home to active, outdoorsy and adrenaline fuelled people, and we felt well and truly part of the action. Vancouver, Victoria and Whistler had exhausted us, but in the best way possible!
Tempted for a Canada adventure? We don’t blame you! Head over to our website and get those wanderlust taste buds tingling some more…