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What's new at Whistler

August 11th 2008 01:10
I have just received my Ski Max brochure, reminding me that 2008-09 ski seasons in the Northern Hemisphere will soon be underway.

Whistler, voted number one ski resort in North America, will be even better this year as preparations are well underway for the 2010 Winter Olympics.

One of the most exciting developments ready just in time for the northern winter is the Peak-to-Peak Gondola, which is due for completion in December 2008.

The Gondola that will span the peaks between Whistler and Blackcomb mountains is one of the biggest undertakings of its kind. It will spark all sorts of opportunities for growth and tourism in the area.


Once completed the Gondola will travel the 4km distance between the two peaks in just 11 minutes. The individual cars hold up to 28 people, 24 sitting and 4 standing and it will be able to transfer 2050 people in each direction per hour.

The best part is that skiers will not have to choose which mountain to spend the day at any more.

“Most of our guests choose to ski either Whistler or Blackcomb Mountain each day. The PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola will link 8,171 acres of terrain into one continuous lift system allowing skiers and riders to maximize their day by moving quickly and effortlessly across the valley to the best snow and weather in each alpine area.” Dave Brownlie Chief Operating Officer of Whistler Blackcomb.

gondola
peak to peak.com



Proposed gondola track
Gondola track



If you want to try out some of the trail before the Olympic athletes get there in 2010, the WhistlerBlackomb website has the details of event locations.


For more information on getting to Canada, visit the Skimax website for a brochure.
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Vancouver's Night Markets

August 7th 2008 06:23
"T-shirt $5," shouted the stall holder at the Night Markets in Chinatown Vancouver. I went over and had a look, it seemed like good quality I bought it, although later I was told I should have haggled.

Chinatown in Vancouver is the third largest in North America (behind San Francisco and New York). It is centred on Pender St although the main activity is around Main Pender and Keefer Streets.

Every weekend during the summer months Keefe Street and Pender Street become an open-air evening market, with stalls and tables set up and piled high with cheap trinkets.

Chintown Night Market


The market was heaving with people on the night we visited in June. We were surrounded by people who were shouting and bartering, which is the name of the game in this market. There were all sorts of items available to buy, from CDs to watches, to computer accessories and clothing, and all at bargain basement prices.

The best part though is the food stalls. There was food that I had never heard of before let alone tried, for example Bubble Tea. I have to say I was sceptical when the stallholder suggested I try some of the white mixture, but it was very tasty. A cold milky drink full of tapioca pearls, it is very sweet, and very refreshing on a hot summer evening. He also convinced me that the Enoki mushrooms were good, and he was right. Make sure you go with a good appetite.

food
Come with a good appetite


The Chinatown Night markets operate from the end of May to Mid September. They run Friday to Sunday evenings from 6.30pm – 11pm. For more information see: Really Long Link

In 2000, a much larger Asian night market opened in the Richmond area. The Markets in Richmond sell the same sorts of items as their Chinatown counterpart, but on a much larger scale.

There are around 400 stalls selling mostly Asian Cuisine, and merchandise. Again, you will find anything from clothing to household items at bargain prices. There are also games, rides and fortunetellers ensuring there is something for everyone.

Again, I have to rave about the food. There is a mixture of everything from Chinese to Japanese to Vietnamese. The food is fabulous, try a curried fish ball on a stick or gyoza.
Unfortunately, due to running costs, the Richmond Markets have been cancelled for summer 2008, but promise to be up and running again in 2009!
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Downtown Vancouver

August 4th 2008 04:52
There is something I really love about Vancouver, I am not sure I can put my finger on what it is, all I know is that every time I am there I feel great. Maybe it is the relaxed atmosphere, maybe it is the friendly local’s, or maybe it is a combination of both.

I have been to Vancouver on several occasions, once in the summer as a dedicated Vancouver tourist, and twice in the winter, on my way to and from the ski fields at Whistler.
My next few posts will be dedicated to finding out what is so great about this city. Starting with the city’s downtown shopping district.

Robson Street
Robson Street image from flickr


Downtown Vancouver centres on Robson Street. The street is full of some of the most fantastic designer stores, such as Mexx, French Connection, Gap, The Levis store and so much more. In fact, you can buy anything on Robson Street from fantastic wigs to amazing shoes. CDs are cheap in Canada so do not go past the Virgin Megastore on Robson. Oh and coffee, whenever you need a break from shopping there is bound to be a Starbucks nearby. In fact, on the intersection of Robson and Thurlow Streets there are Starbucks’ diagonally opposite each other, from there it is only another two blocks to the next one.

Starbucks
Starbucks on diagnonally opposite each other



There are a number of great places to eat as well. If you are into Asian food, head to the Western end of the street where you will find a number of great noodle shops and sushi bars.

Vancouver is often referred to as the Hollywood of the North due to the number of well-known movies and TV series shot here, because it is cheaper than shooting them in the US.

I remember on my first trip to Vancouver, staying in an apartment that overlooked the architecturally spectacular Vancouver Public Library, at the eastern end of Robson Street. Every night there was a lot of filming going on around the libarary, I could just make out people running across the rooftops under the huge floodlights. During the day, I walked past a number movie caravans /dressing rooms lined up along the street, and there were limousines pulling up curb side all the time.

Unfortunately, I could not get a look in due to the tinted windows, but there are plenty of other places around Vancouver that are great for a bit of celebrity spotting.


Some of the best places to spot a celebrity are:
• Four Seasons Hotel Really Long Link
• Metropolitan and Diva at the Met Restaurant (www.metropolitan.com/vanc):
• Opus Hotel and Opus Bar (www.opushotel.com):
• Pan Pacific Hotel Really Long Link
• Sutton Place Hotel and Gerard Lounge (www.suttonplace.com)
• Cin Cin Ristorante (www.cincin.net):
• George (www.georgelounge.com):
• Tojo's (www.tojos.com):

For those that love comedy one of the best tips I have ever received is that when Robin Williams is in town he often appears unannounced at one of the city’s comedy clubs.
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I love Whistler

May 30th 2007 23:30
The ski season in the Northern Hemisphere will soon be underway and I am hoping to be able to pay another visit to my favourite skifield, Whistler in Canada. In my opinion it’s the best ski field in the world. You don’t need to take my word for it either; TransWorld magazine readers voted it number one ski resort in North America.

Even getting to Whistler is great especially if you are coming from Vancouver as I always do. You get to Vancouver airport then get on a transfer bus to Whistler Village. It is about a two hour drive, but it is two hours of stunning scenery. On one side you have beautiful views of the sea with a number of small islands, on the other side high cliffs


[ Click here to read more ]
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