Thursday 13 June 2013

Plan derailment

I’m rather kicking myself that it was only on the last night of our cruise that I remembered to ask Kripesh the butler (graduate of the English Guild of Butlers, natch) to supply me with a different pillow from the available menu, the extra soft one with the silk pillowcase and the lavender sachet in the corner. Bliss! But then came the cruel parting from the Silver Shadow, dragging our feet ashore, knowing that some other smug couple would be sleeping in our bed tonight. Sigh.

At least, though, Vancouver was putting on a bright and cheerful face for us this morning, the sparkling harbour buzzing with little flight planes nipping over to Victoria. We checked in to the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, a splendid and very grand old lady with a French chateau roofline in oxidised copper, marble floors, high ceilings and upper-end shops in the lobby, as well as a large and comfortable room. A Canadian Pacific Railroad hotel originally, she fits neatly with the next stage of the trip, which is the Rocky Mountaineer to Banff, via Kamloops.

Best-laid plans... Turns out there was a derailment on the line today so tomorrow we have to miss the first day’s journey and instead fly to Kamloops. Disappointing, certainly, but these things do happen – and I’m heartily glad it’s not my job to rearrange the itineraries of all those passengers.
Instead, I spent the afternoon gliding around the roads and byways of the city, taking an Art Wheelers bicycle tour of Vancouver. Dan, Josh and Matt escorted me along cycleways and the sea wall, stopping at some of the many art installations throughout the city, from sculptures and statues to street art and advertising to architecture and parks. It was a perfect day for a bike ride, and I did enjoy it (no real hills to speak of) – though possibly even better was being one of the locals, out relaxing in the sunshine, sneaking through lanes and past pretty gardens that I would never have found by myself.

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