Vancouver was beautiful! We had an awesome easy going trip from Seattle with the Quickshuttle bus services. Our bus was practically empty and our driver was so sweet and helpful! We checked into the Samesun Hostel on Granville St. We did have a little bit of a mix up with our room and was originally put into a 4 share room, this was a nice easy fix though so Colin and I did end up in a private double bed room. Now staying at the Samesun was AWESOME!
We had delicious food and awesome service at "The Beaver" downstairs and met some of our fellow "Working Holiday Club-ers" heading to Lake Louise (some off to different areas). It was so good to have a drink and just get to know everyone! And so far, everyone has been incredibly nice and awesome! It was also a relief to hit it off with so many people, there is always this worry that you might not get on with anyone and the whole adventure will suck but we learnt something ----- HAVE A DRINK! Oh that's right, we are Aussies, all you need to do is have a drink with someone to become their fast friends!
Because we got in a little late, we didn't bother trying to organise any of the important stuff - just strictly chillax time with our new mates. On Thursday morning however, we had to get our serious faces on! We headed straight down to the Sinclair Centre to get our SIN (Social Identification Number). Here we thought it would be a huge hassle, waiting in long lines and signing heaps of paperwork. It actually went by super quick. We were in and out within 30 minutes and everyone was super helpful. From there we went straight to CIBC to organise our Canadian Bank Accounts, this took a lot longer but wasn't bad at all. I think it took long because we were chatting to our Account Manager quite a bit. But wasn't an issue, we got all our accounts all sorted and ready to go!
Afterwards Colin wanted to go on the Samesun group adventure of the day to Grouse Mountain. We were under the impression that we would be catching a cable car to the top for $10. When we got there, it was a 2 hour strenuous hike to the top! We were going to turn back, both of us in jeans and winter clothing. But there was something in us that liked the challenge! It did take us two hours to travel to the top!! AND it was torturous! We did love the views, the nature, the squirrels and the amazing fresh air but the hike itself was horrible!
The top was stunning! We could see Vancouver and all the amazing nature! Just knowing we hiked a mountain together (without fighting or anything) was perfect for us, so we bought Grouse GRIND shirts. We had the opportunity to see some gorgeous Grizzly Bears as well! Loved them so much! If you're keen for an awesome hike with amazing views, you should totally do it! BUT wear appropriate clothing! Tights and a singlet is all you need!
We reached the Beaver around 8pm, incredibly sore, tired and hungry! This is where we met up with a group of awesome people, played trivia (coming in second!), ate burgers and had loads of drinks!! It was definitely an awesome night to end a pretty amazing day! In bed at 1:30am, we needed to get up early to pack, check out, sort out phones, do some shopping and then catch a bus.
All of this went very well to plan! UNTIL the bus!!
We purchased bus tickets at greyhound.com, confirmation and e-tickets both received and printed, ready to go. We headed to the terminal nice and early!
WORD TO THE WISE:
Don't take heaps of bags! We alone had 4 suitcases over 30kg, then 2 carry on bags. The carry on bags weren't allowed as carry on, and had to be added as luggage. Over all we shuffled heaps of things and ended up having to pay $180 for the bags - so make sure you have what you need and also look at the luggage limits on the buses.
We then had the service woman tell us that we are not on the bus! Just to make our night a little more hectic! We had purchased our tickets through greyhound.com, we had them there with us but they did not register to the manifest on the Canada system. We were then told we should have purchased the tickets from greyhound.ca not .com. This just didn't make any sense to me! Why would anyone sell tickets on a website if the tickets weren't going to work?! I mean, what the hell (excuse my French)!! Shouldn't of it redirected us to the correct page or not allowed us to make the purchase if it wasn't going to work?! GAH!!
We had to wait for the midnight bus which would take 16 hours instead of 14! SO HORRIBLE! We ended up going back to the bar for dinner and drinks until 10:30. The nice part was that Greyhound did mind our luggage and we did spend some more time with our mates. It was bloody frustrating though to be told that THEIR system had f**ked up and we were being punished for it. We later found out that another girl had the same issue.
So to all people going anywhere via Greyhound, call up to make sure your tickets are on the manifest a few days before!
That's why we called it "disaster", it just made our lives a lot harder - but I guess it could have been worse!
PS: If you're looking for an awesome desert while in Vancouver, the Tree Cafe lives up to their reputation to having the best cheesecake! Go and indulge!