Friday, May 1, 2009

Vancouver -- My Favourite City Ever

Whether it’s to live in; or to work in; or to visit; when they make lists of the world’s best cities, my home town of Vancouver, B.C. is pretty much always near the top. It happened again this week.

This doesn’t really surprise me all that much. I was born in this amazing city and for most of my life lived in Richmond, less than eleven miles from Vancouver’s city center. Since retirement, we’ve moved further out in the Fraser Valley but it’s still only a 45 minute ride either by Sky Train or automobile to where the action is.

Vancouver really emerged into the vibrant city it is today after Expo ’86. That was the year we invited the world to come and discover what our city could offer and the world came. When people saw this beautifully clean metropolis nestled in its unparalleled setting of rugged mountains and sparkling blue water, Vancouver suddenly emerged into a world class cosmopolitan.

Next winter she will once again be the center of global attention when she hosts the 2010 Winter Olympics. Because of this, the area has gained a few new venues and a new transit line on the high speed rail system connecting downtown with both the airport and the City of Richmond. Of course, we’re all hoping that it doesn’t leave us with a high tax bill.

But that’s all almost a year away. Now that spring is really here, there is much to do within the city itself—as well as the outlying districts—so over the next few months, I’m going to concentrate on showing you some of these interesting spots, both in the city and in the beautiful Fraser Valley I now call home.

By the way, as of June 1st, 2009 travellers from the United States to Canada and vice versa will require either a regular passport or the new NEXUS card to cross the border. The NEXUS is a card that will allow Americans coming to Canada and Canadians travelling to the States to enter each country with a minimum of trouble. It’s fairly easy to obtain and I would suggest you look up either the Canadian Government or the U.S.A. on-line sites which tell you how to obtain the card. Here from the Nexus website are the benefits for having a card:

“If you are approved to participate in NEXUS, you will receive a membership identification card to use when entering Canada or the United States at all participating NEXUS air, land and marine ports of entry.

Membership will enable you to save time by:
· using automated self-serve kiosks in designated areas at participating international airports;
· using dedicated lanes at the land border; and
· reporting to border officers by phone in advance of your arrival in the marine mode of transportation.”

I do have a passport but I still think that this would be worth looking into for anyone who crosses the border more than once or twice a year. So warning: if you’re travelling from or to the U.S.A. after June 1st; don’t leave home without one or the other.

1 comment:

  1. hosting the Olympics will be such a thrill for you all! we lived in the UK when that announcement came London had the 2012 games, so exciting!