Two-faced city Vancouver: Drug swamp and leisure paradise

Vancouver regularly gets voted as one oft he best cities to live in – and I almost feel ready to leave after two days!

In front of my hostel and everywhere around the city homeless people are flanking the streets, it smells awful, looks dirty, gets cold and rainy. I wonder what the hell I am doing here. Is this still Canada – the country that amazes me for more than one month already? This city must have much more to offer.

Divers Vancouver
Photo session atmosphere in Vancouver

I am irritated and confused but there is actually no time to wonder. Due to the numerous bookings for the weekend I have to change hostels. Lucky me as this makes me discover the other face of the city.

During a free walking tour the next day I am grilling my tour guide about what is going on in the city. Obviously, by having really loose regulations regarding drugs and a pretty mild climate the capital of the British Columbia attracts numerous homeless people – especially during autumn and winter season. My tour guide continuous: “In winter Vancouver is the only place in Canada where you can die from starving before freezing to dead. Unlike the rest of the country which gets -30°C there are hardly days with -0° over here.”

Photo session in black and white
Photo session in black and white

Having been here for one week meanwhile I get why the numerous people from all over the world are coming here. Going out of downtown numerous beaches, beautiful mountains for hiking or skiing and the great Stanley park (3times bigger than Hyde Park in London) awaiting them.

Beach or nature - leisure paradise Vancouver
Beach or nature – leisure paradise Vancouver

Vancouver seems to be a pure leisure paradise. Besides all that kayaking, hiking and beach volleyball numerous breweries are offering local bears, restaurants are competing for guest with fresh salmon from the Pacific Ocean, regional farmers beef or regional wines. Who likes can even get wheat on prescription from one of the numerous dispensaries.

Besides all that fun living in Vancouver costs a fortune. I already met people having four different jobs to be able to afford an apartment. For this reason I was also looking for some work. After approx. 250 days I will now have my first paid job at a hostel in downtown and stay curious to experience more of this two-faced city rated one of the best places to live.

For Labour Day weekend I am heading to Seattle for a few days. Let’s see what keeps me sleepless over there 🙂