Weekend Trip to Vancouver  
Iwent for a weekend trip to Vancouver from July 11th till July 16th to visit my parents and my brother. This was my first visit to this part of Canada. At first glance, Vancouver looks and feels very much like Toronto but with imposing mountains in the distance. It's smaller and less busy than Toronto thus, and it's also significantly less multiethnic — while there are some important Chinese and Indian communities, the population is majoritarily Caucasian. Another thing that struck me is how few Korean cars there are on the roads: I can count on the fingers of one hand the Hyundais and Kias that I have seen throughout my 5-day stay.. I saw hundreds of Mazdas, Hondas and Toyotas thus.

This was my first trip back to Canada since I started working at PNU in 2008. After living in Korea for more than 5 years, I got used to the warm customer service that most stores, restaurants, and coffee shops provide (perhaps due to the bowing culture). I also got spoiled by the above-average street safety and the coffee shop culture we have here in Busan (on this point, Korea surpasses other countries in terms of both quantity and quality). Nonetheless, Korea lags behind Canada on some other points such as urbanism and architecture, as my pictures will show below ;)
07.17.13
vancouverfromarbutus.jpg
A large part of Vancouver is made of one or two-story houses, with the high-rise buildings being concentrated downtown. This picture was taken from Arbutus Ridge within the city of Vancouver.

aptpapamaman.jpg
My parents live in this 6-story apartment building, on the top floor. I liked the neighborhood: there are many trees, it's quiet, and it's only 4-5 kilometers from downtown, the beaches, or the UBC campus. There's also a Safeway supermarket just 100 meters away [l].

aptpapamaman-livingroom.jpg
My parents apartment: the living room. The apartment spans 100 square meters and was bought last year for 450,000\$CAD (about 5억원). The rent would be about 1950\$CAD per month (2.1 million won).

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My parents apartment: the balcony. Very relaxing view! The flowers are Garden Phloxes: they attract hummingbirds [l] who visit regularly.
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Friday night, my mom and dad prepared a chicken-cornflakes casserole (chicken breast, carrots, broccoli, colliflower, topped with some crushed corn flakes). The sauce is made by mixing the chicken broth with some mayonaise. Very healthy and delicious. I asked for the recipe :D

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The cooks.

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Myself, my parents, and my younger brother. A family dinner just like old times!
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Downtown Vancouver: the Olympic torch.

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Downtown Vancouver: a typical street, with the Olympic stadium at the end. The downtown high-rise buildings are mostly residential (condominiums), with few corporate skyscrapers.

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Downtown Vancouver: Heather Civic Marina.

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Downtown Vancouver: Granville Public Market.

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Downtown Vancouver: buying ice cream at the Granville Public Market.

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Downtown Vancouver: residences for athletes built for the 2010 Winter Olympics. This bird looks hungry ^^

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Downtown Vancouver: Telus Science World taken from the Seaside Bicycle Route [l].
arbutusridgesmallstreet.jpg
A typical residential street of Vancouver (Arbutus Ridge neighborhood). I was surprised by how tall the trees were.

arbutusridge_4milliondollarhouse.jpg
I was also surprised by how expensive the houses were. This house was for sale for 4 million dollars (44억원). The cost of real-estate in Vancouver is the highest in Canada with the average house price being 750,000\$ (8억원). In Toronto, the average house price is 450,000\$, and in Montreal 320,000\$.

arbutusridge_2milliondollarhouse.jpg
This one is for sale for 2 million dollars (22억원). That's within my price range.. A bargain! :D
ubc.jpg
UBC Campus. A pedestrian street on the campus of UBC (University of British Columbia). They made a major change to the campus a couple of years ago: they got rid of two large roads that went through the campus and transformed them into pedestrian streets. I wish we would do the same at PNU and pedestrianize more our campus.

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UBC Campus: Wreck Beach, a beach frequented by the students. Clothing is optional.

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UBC Campus: Log to Export. When there is an overflow of logs (trunks of trees cut in the nearby forests), they are stored on the sea here waiting to be exported. This is located west of Wreck Beach where the Fraser river meets the Pacific ocean.

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Spanish Banks beach park with Downtown Vancouver in the distance. Clothing is not optional here. I like the logs they put on the beaches: you can use them as benches.

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My brother's apartment in Burnaby about 15 km from downtown Vancouver. My brother is single now (separated a few months ago) and lives here by himself with his dog Sam. The size is 70 square meters and the rent is 1250\$ per month (about 1.3 million won).

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My brother and Sam the whippet [l]. She is so pretty and adorable. A fine substitute for a girlfriend!
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Sea-to-Sky highway, linking Vancouver with Whistler. Bicycles are permitted to use the highway.

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Shannon Falls, located in between Vancouver and Squawmish.

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Downstream of Shannon Falls, a happy couple!

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Alice Lake, located nearby Squawmish (near Vancouver). One major advantage of Vancouver over other Canadian cities east of the Rockies is the lack of mosquitoes — I didn't put any bug repellent lotion and I didn't get bitten once during my entire stay.

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Alice Lake. Gorgeous view of the lake, the beach, and some snow-covered peaks in the distance.

I hope you enjoyed the tour!
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