My Travel Diary, Canada 1994

My late husband Branko Vulinović, choosing flowers at Granville Island Markets in Vancouver, and scenes from Whistler Ski Resort, including myself at the ski lift keeping warm with a ‘toddy’ in hand !

Monday, May 9th, 1994. Today was the start of a long-awaited and well-deserved holiday. Our world trip started in Brisbane. Branko and I flew Qantas to Sydney, connecting with an Air Canada Flight to Vancouver via a stop-over in Honolulu. Sydney – Honolulu 8 hours 20mins. Honolulu to Vancouver -5 hours. We arrived to find warm sunny weather. We had thought it would be much cooler. My friend Gillian Francis met us and took us for a long walk around the harbour before bed. Sunset was at 8.30 pm, we stayed at Gillian’s apartment, Landis Apartments on Hornby Street, Vancouver, BC.

Tuesday 10th May. Our son Adrian’s 19th Birthday is today, and we have been thinking about him. This morning we walked down Hornby St. And took a little ferry across the harbour to Granville Island Market Place. The wide selection of food is amazing, fish, fruit and veg, fresh pasta and sauces, fresh stock of all kinds, homemade cakes, pastries, and bread-like we have never seen before! The meat is beautiful, but twice the price than in Australia! In the afternoon we walked down to Stanley Park. Plenty of squirrels and towering cypress and Douglas fir trees, flowers, and Maple trees. A horse-drawn carriage took us on a leisurely trip right around the park. The coffee in Vancouver is excellent!

Wednesday 11th May  At 7.30 am we were picked up and taken to Vancouver Island aboard the ‘Spirit of Vancouver Island’ car and bus ferry. The weather was perfect, the scenery stunning with the snow-capped mountains towering in the distance behind  Vancouver. We visited the world-famous Butchart Gardens at Victoria Island. It is hard to describe the absolute beauty of the gardens, with every colour and hue provided by nature. We will never forget this day. We had a beautiful lunch, smoked Salmon and Ceasar Salad, the best I’ve EVER tasted, with Focaccia Bread accompanied by a side plate of olive oil, parmesan, cracked pepper, and parsley. Delicious!

The world-famous 118-year-old Butchart Gardens, created by Jennie Butchart and still privately owned and operated by the family. There are 55 acres of exquisite gardens, and greenhouses, all created with a desolate stone quarry as a canvas, transformed into a beautiful garden haven overflowing with lush greens and colourful blooms. High Tea at the Empress Hotel in Victoria, on Vancouver Island, is always so elegant and superb!                                                                                                                                        

Thursday 12th May After shopping downtown Vancouver, we were picked up by the cute little Tour Bus – the driver’s name was Derek. We visited the British Homes Area of Vancouver. The land was originally owned by the Guinness Family. The Landscaping and quality of the homes are spectacular. The British Homes Area of Vancouver, originally known as the Capilano Estates is a 4000-acre luxury residential area in West Vancouver owned and developed by the British Pacific Properties Real estate Company since 1931. We also visited the Trout farm and the Capilano Suspension Bridge and finally, we went up to Grouse Mountain on The Skyway Highway. The view was magnificent, our first touch of snow. It was a beautiful sunny day. Had dinner with Donna and Gillian at ‘Kettle of Fish’. BC salmon is a specialty..was delicious!

A typical luxury home in the British Homes area of West Vancouver; my dear friend and gracious host, Gillian, and the magnificent Capilano Suspension bridge

Friday 13th May Today I had some TLC, a facial, and a manicure by Eva at the Beauty Salon. At 2.00 pm Branko and I met Gillian, at Holt and Renfrew, then we went to the Louis Feraud Spring Showing. Champagne, gourmet sandwiches, tiny cakes, and biscuits. Bought my first piece of Louis Feraud, a beautiful linen shirt in a pale banana cream colour. Had coffee in Robson Street, Starbucks has a monopoly on the coffee business in Vancouver! Tonight we visited the Croatian Cultural Club of Vancouver.

Saturday 14th May We woke early this morning, it was a glorious day. Gillian took us up the Sea to Sky Highway to Whistler Ski Resort. The drive is northwards along the coast and inlets.. We stopped at Shannon Falls, then on to Whistler. After coffee in the village, we went up Black Comb Mountain in The Ski Lift. The temperature in the village was about 15-16 degrees but as we travelled up the mountain it fell to below zero. We had lunch at the restaurant and marvelled at the glorious snow-capped mountain views. What a sight!!!

Sunday 15th May This morning looked dismal and wet. At about 9.00 am we left and drove with Gillian and Sheila (English/Irish Tour Guide) to the USA- Chuckanut Drive Outlet Centre. Couldn’t believe the price of the Shoes! $19.99 USD for beautiful Italian Shoes, needless to say, we bought 4 pairs. Eat your heart out Jeanette! Lots of pine and fir trees, very pretty drive through the mountains. We ordered dinner ‘in’ tonight and had a lovely conversation with Sheila. She is taking a group around the Rockies, a group of Canadian/British War Veterans to the Normandy D-Day Reunion.                                                                                                         

Emily Carr 1871 -1945, was a Canadian Artist and Writer who was inspired by the indigenous peoples of the Pacific North West Coast of Canada. Her painting ‘Cordova Drift’ sold for $3,361,260 in 2021.

Monday 16th May Packed this morning then we visited the Vancouver Art Gallery. Emily Carr’s paintings were very interesting. We saw her original home in Victoria on Vancouver Island. We had a lovely lunch in Robson Street; BC salmon(again) mussels, roasted eggplant, ricotta cheese, baked capsicums, mushrooms, and strips of sweet potato. Limo Air picked us up at our hotel at 5.00 pm and we flew to London – 9 hours 15 minutes. A big heartfelt Thank You to Gillian, for her warm hospitality and generosity. WE LOVE CANADA!