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Bathed by the Pacific Ocean and surrounded by mountains, Vancouver is the main metropolis in British Columbia in western Canada. Besides the British colonization and the influence of its first nations, the city has received immigrants from Japan, China, India and Italy over the last two centuries, bringing the city a multicultural atmosphere. Such cosmopolitan vibe seems to be renewed at every moment, thanks to the huge number of young people – especially Asian, Mexican and Brazilian -, who come to learn English.
In 2010 I was one of these exchange students and lived there for over two months, between May and August.
Considered one of the cities with the best quality of life in the world, Vancouver offers several options of leisure and entertainment, supported by an efficient system of public transportation. Even the typical humid and rainy weather, which gave the city the friendly nickname of “raincouver”, does not seem to keep its local residents from enjoying the city.
Within the history
In order to know Vancouver and its origins, go for a walk in GASTOWN, especially on WATER STREET, where you can see the oldest buildings and the iconic steam clock, which tells the time playing music. Here are the main souvenir stores in town, and it is also possible to buy food made of maple, the famous Canadian symbol. Try the cookies, ice cream and pancakes with maple syrup. Yummy! Near there, only four blocks up, visit VANCOUVER ART GALLERY, – the main museum with contemporary works of art and a precious record of one of Canada’s greatest artists, Emily Carr (1871-1945). This painter and writer born in Victoria, capital of British Columbia, was the first one to portrait the culture of the first inhabitants of the country.
Like in other places in Canada, it is not allowed to drink alcoholic beverages in public places. There is strict police surveillance for that.
You can walk quietly and safely in the streets of Vancouver. However, it is recommended that you avoid Hastings Street, near Chinatown. Unfortunately, Vancouver also suffers to treat its drug addicts, who gather on this street and may be rude with tourists.
Translated by Lúcia Maciel
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