VAN­COU­VER:

Australian Women’s Weekly NZ - - TRAVEL -

We start our hol­i­day with two days in Van­cou­ver, where we are col­lected from the air­port by a Star Limo (all part of the Rocky Moun­taineer pack­age and some­thing I could get used to) and taken to the Fair­mont Ho­tel. Af­ter check­ing in, we join the city’s many cy­clists, hir­ing bikes to ex­plore the pretty water­front, where hop­ping squir­rels and a bois­ter­ous seal eat­ing a salmon in the sea pro­vide de­light­ful en­ter­tain­ment. The gi­ant mar­ket at Granville Is­land gives us an op­por­tu­nity to sam­ple lo­cal treats, in­clud­ing gi­ant straw­ber­ries, pas­tries, hand­made choco­late and craft beer. As evening falls, we stroll the main streets of Van­cou­ver with their bright lights, late-night shop­ping and hum­ming cui­sine scene. On day two we hit the tourist spots – the wob­bly Sus­pen­sion Bridge (not for the height pho­bic) and a spec­tac­u­lar Skyride to Grouse Moun­tain, aptly named the peak of Van­cou­ver. On the moun­tain we en­counter our first griz­zlies – safely con­tained, but still mag­nif­i­cent – and then have lunch over­look­ing Van­cou­ver at The Ob­ser­va­tory. To round off the day we see the city by boat, on a Zo­diac har­bour cruise – a fun and com­fort­able ad­ven­ture which gives us an­other per­spec­tive on the city we’ve al­ready fallen in love with. Van­cou­ver, which is aim­ing to be the world’s most sus­tain­able city by 2020, is un­sur­pris­ingly lead­ing the way with its farm-to-ta­ble fare. Less an­tic­i­pated is the in­cred­i­ble Ja­panese food it has on of­fer. At Raw, in the Fair­mont Ho­tel, we are served an ex­tra­or­di­nary Ja­panese meal – the ul­tra-fresh lo­cal seafood and the skill of this in­no­va­tive culi­nary team make for an un­for­get­table ex­pe­ri­ence which will change the way I eat sushi and sashimi (hold that soy sauce!). The food is ac­com­pa­nied by cus­tom-made cock­tails cre­ated to suit your al­co­holic pref­er­ences and tastes. Mine – white spir­its, sparkling, sweet and cit­rusy – they nail slightly dif­fer­ently every time… I won’t give away how many!

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