The Sunday Telegraph - Travel - - Canada -

Spend too much time in shared hotel rooms; that’s when ir­ri­ta­tion starts to set in. Em­pha­sise how nice it will be to spend time to­gether. They won’t agree. Book too many early starts – for teenagers, a hol­i­day means a lie-in. explore Van­cou­ver, they found them­selves re­luc­tantly agree­ing that the city is in­tox­i­cat­ing. We lost track of time as we wan­dered through pub­lic squares with fan­tas­tic wa­ter fea­tures and witty sculp­tures. We breezed through hip, Vic­to­rian-era Gas­town with its buzzing bou­tiques and cof­fee houses, our only con­cern being that, af­ter all the urban buzz, wild Van­cou­ver Is­land might fall a bit flat.

As exam stress slipped away, the twins’ mood lifted and we felt even more re­luc­tant to leave Van­cou­ver. Strolling along its beach­front board­walk, we re­marked on how it seemed like an ad­vert for healthy liv­ing as its cit­i­zens en­joyed rollerblad­ing, jog­ging and cy­cling. Hir­ing bikes our­selves, we whizzed through semi-wild Stan­ley Park on a guided tour, mar­vel­ling at First Nation totem poles, gi­ant cedars, rac­coons and a beaver lodge – all within walk­ing dis­tance of our hotel. Ex­hausted, we re­fu­elled at the Glow­bal Restaurant, which bills it­self as “un­apolo­get­i­cally chaotic” and serves spicy “stripped­down North American cui­sine”.

The wrench of leav­ing this wa­ter­front idyll was soft­ened by our lux­u­ri­ous rental 4x4 – a Ford Ex­plorer. Af­ter a civilised 1hr 40min ferry cross­ing from Horse­shoe Bay to Nanaimo, we pen­e­trated deep into what felt like Juras­sic Park. Just 30 nau­ti­cal miles off­shore and a third

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