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Stefan’s Travel Diary

Wednesday, 25 Oct 2006

Location: Fernie, Canada

MapHelloooooo everyone,

I've been in Canada now for about 10 days but feels like soo much longer. I've managed to sort out a lot of things already, as well as having a lot of chill time, it feels strange not working! (:

Anyway, Canada is an amazing place and I've been enjoying every second of it so far! Vancouver was a lot of fun, it's such a nice city, and I normally am not a city person. I stayed there in the hostel for for 4 nights. It was such a busy hostel with people coming and going all the time - I had an interesting range of room-mates to say the least! The day I arrived in Vancouver it was raining and kind of cold but that only lasted about a day and then the weather was beautiful for the rest of my time there. The first thing that got me when I walked around the central city of Vancouver was the number of bums (homeless people) asking you for cash on the streets, especially the area where the hostel was! I felt safe though as most were not aggressive etc.

I managed to do lots of walking around town as my legs were rather stiff after the 23 hour trip from home. Vancouver has an amazing urban park only 15 minutes walk from the central city. It's one of the largest urban parks in North America. I cycled all over it, there is a bike trail along the seawall around the edge of the park and the views changed all the time - amazing place!! It really didn't feel like being in a city cruising around the park.
Other highlights of my time in Vancouver included visiting China town, which is the second largest in North America. It felt like being in Asia somewhere if you just pretended that the climate was warmer! (: A really busy place where you could buy just about anything, mainly asian food though - lots of interesting smells. Another great place for food in Vancouver is an area called Granville Island, it's basically a 7 day a week farmer's market that's huge. People selling all kinds of specialty foods from all over the world, YUM YUM YUM!
I also visited the Chinese gardens, it's the largest full-size Chinese gardens outside of China. A lot of the materials used to construct the garden were brought over from China, from big rocks to roof tiles and wood for the buildings! I spent a few hours there, just chilling out, a great retreat from downtown Vancouver.
So I had a great time seeing lots of things and meeting lots of great people from all over. Vancouver definitely gets the thumbs up from me - great city!!

From Vancouver I caught the greyhound bus to Fernie - An 18 hour bus trip!! Yeah it was long (: Left Vancouver at 6pm so a lot of the trip was overnight but in the morning the scenery was just incredible, driving into the rockies and seeing a dusting of snow on the tops of the mountains is something that will stick in my head for a long time. I met a kiwi guy called Nick on the bus, real nice guy and he was also heading to Fernie so we had the same ideas and got along great. We stayed in the hostel for 4 nights and met lots of people there, alot of Aussies, nice Aussies though! (:
The hardest thing in fernie is finding a place to live so we got on to that straight away and found a nice place on the second day we were there. Nice and central and not too expensive. Nick and I both looked at a few places but decided this was the best, we moved in with another guy who was was already there, a Canadian ski instructor who is an amazing artist as well!! So Nick and I are sharing a room because it's cheaper and we get along. It's an upstairs of a house so the roof is a bit low in areas, but nice and homely. We are all quite tall so it's like we are giants in this place. I've only banged my head once so far - don't plan on doing it too often either! It's a cool place though and we have our own entrance on the side and a covered outdoor area with a BBQ!!! So BBQ's in the snow are going to be great, can't wait for it.
The lady we are renting off (Kathleen) is soo lovely and also has a HUGE dog called Hercules. He is half husky and half wolf! But he is soo mellow and incredible. Kathleen said in the winter he has pulled a sled around, but hasn't done it for a while - getting a bit lazy! I'm keen to go dog sledding though (: Check out the pictures of him that I'll put up soon.
Fernie is a nice small town - for now anyway! It's situated on the western side of the Rockies and get's the most snow on avarage out off all the resorts. Storms come in from the West and seem to circulate around this area and DUMP lots and lots of dry snow! This is from the Fernie website: On average 29 feet of snow falls in Fernie each year. That is enough snow to cover a three-storey building. So you get the picture (: It's got an old town feel about it, the main town area has been nicly restored and it's filled with different shops and varoius bars and restaurants, but not too big if you know what I mean.
The job fairs have just passed and I've handed out about 15 resumes and have had a few interviews. If you work for the mountain company that runs the lifts work doesn't start till early December when the mountain opens, so I would rather work for a place in town - start sooner and closer to home. The ski hill is only 5 minutes drive away but I'll be hitching up there as that's the way lots of out-of-towners get around! So that's where I'm at now, got a place to live but not a job quite yet, although I have been offered a couple in restaurants.....

I'll be posting pictures soon.
Hope your all well , take care!!

Stefan