We were up excruciatingly early to catch the train to Vancouver. Seattle’s mainline railway station could not match Portland’s marble grandeur. Notices posted around the main hall promised that the false walls and ceiling would soon be removed to restore the station to its former glory. But for now the station had considerably less appeal than Woking or Basingstoke. John went round the corner for some coffee and Danish, while Brigid guarded the luggage.
Once on board, things improved dramatically. We thoroughly enjoyed both the trip from Portland to Seattle, and the trip from Seattle to Vancouver. The scenery was fantastic.
We caught a taxi to our hotel in ‘downtown’ Vancouver. It seemed a pleasant enough place, though the room was sweltering in the midday heat. Conveniently, there was a pub on the ground floor.
The first thing we had to do was locate a motorcycle assessory shop selling Joe Rocket clothing. Clare’s in Ontario had promised that there would be no problem in getting a refund, so long as the jacket was returned to a shop in Canada. (A batch of Joe Rocket jackets was known to have had the waterproof membrane installed inside out!) It was a warm sunny day, so we chose to walk across the bridge to Carter Honda.
To give them their due, Carter Honda were as helpful as one could possibly expect anyone to be to two Brits with a faulty jacket that they hadn’t sold … After a couple of phone calls to Clare’s, they agreed to hand the jacket to the Joe Rocket agent the following week. As soon as Clare’s received confirmation from the agent that the jacket had been accepted, they would issue a credit. Simple.
We took our time wandering back into town. The view from the bridge was a treat. Vancouver really is a very attractive and individual city – so much cleaner than many US cities, no doubt benefiting from the cool air from the surrounding mountains.
We bypassed the hotel, and walked all the way across to Gastown, where we stopped for a bite to eat in one of the many trendy restaurants. Back at the hotel, we thought we would stop in the pub for a quick ‘nightcap’ before bedtime …
Before we even reached the bar in the dimly-lit Dufferin Pub, it became apparent that this was not your average pub. Men kissed and canoodled on the dance floor, and the few females in the joint seemed unusually tall and muscular! We left quickly.