Friday Sept 13, 2019

I don’t know what you did last weekend, but we Mad Midlife Kiwis spent some lovely leisurely hours in one of the world’s most beautiful cities. Vancouver is truly a scenic dream, with rain forests and mountains towering over mirror-glass skyscrapers everywhere you look.

On Day 1, we got a quick look-see at magnificent Stanley Park (1000 acres of majestic evergreens and 10 kms of scenic seawall) … the iconic Lions Gate Bridge … some genuine West Coast Native Totem Poles … colourful Chinatown (second in size only to San Francisco) … British-flavoured Gastown (with its unique steam clock) … and several other things I’ve forgotten.

Then on Day 2, we enjoyed an early-morning drive to Tsawwassen (bet you can’t pronounce it) where we caught a 90-minute ferry ride to Swartz Bay on Vancouver Island … followed by a leisurely-stroll-plus-botanical-treat in the world-famous Butchart Gardens: the fragrant Rose Garden, the relaxing Japanese Garden, the unique Sunken Garden, the accented Italian Garden, the Concert Lawn and Ross Fountain, to name just a few highlights.

Words simply cannot convey the gorgeousness and colour of this magnificent place. So, instead, grab an eyeful of some flowery photos. (Would you believe me if I told you this 50-acre botanical estate used to be an ugly quarry? Well, it’s true!)

Finally, our coach dropped us off for a drive-by-get-out-and-walk wander in Victoria – the picturesque capital of British Columbia.

Day 3 saw us fancy-free in lovely Vancouver – dabbling in a little exploring, sightseeing or shopping. While some mad Kiwis cycled in beautiful Stanley Park, others checked out an audio-visual spectacular – ‘Fly Canada’ – in downtown Canada Place.

That afternoon we transferred to the posh cruise terminal, boarded our waiting cruiseship, the ms Westerdam, and began our long-awaited Alaskan adventure … gliding away under the Lion’s Gate Bridge and entering the scenic wonders of the Inside Passage.

Yeehaa! Let the pampering begin!

COMING UP: We experience luxury shipboard-life to the full as we journey deep into one of nature’s most isolated wonders and sample the magnificence of the Ice Age. With most of Southeast Alaska accessible only by boat or plane, this route through forested islands, endless wildernesses and sky-splitting peaks is a lifeline to the outside world. Don’t change channels …

PEOPLE-NEWS: Our second little pink piggy has left home – oink, oink …

  • Warwick scored our ‘Lost & Found Award’ – for leaving his wife’s bag at the check-in counter in Vancouver’s cruise terminal. The bag, thankfully, was located, but, with the panic over, our shell-shocked Warwick mistakenly joined a queue to the wrong cruiseship, narrowly escaping a more serious ‘lost & found’ incident.

Yours bloggedly – JOHN

P.S. If you want to receive future Mad Midlife Travel Blogs in your INBOX, just sign-up (top-right) for your free Email Subscription! And if you’d like to leave a message for someone in our group, just click on the little speech bubble at the top of this entry, and add your comments! (Make sure you say who it’s for and who it’s from – and keep it brief.)

This entry was posted in 2019 Alaska by John Cooney. Bookmark the permalink.

About John Cooney

John Cooney and his wife Robyn have enjoyed more than their fair share of travel. They hesitate to call themselves ‘experts’ – but they’ve grabbed every chance that’s come their way to explore new countries, cultures and customs. They’ve had the privilege (both on their own and as the leaders of numerous successful group-tours) to sample many stunning destinations: Europe, the UK, Singapore, Vanuatu, the USA, Israel, Egypt, Africa, Dubai, China, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. And their recent (and most pleasant) memories are of the places ancient-and-modern that border the Mediterranean. John and Robyn are at-home in airports, hotels, cruise ships, and the like … and they know how to make the most of a unique travel opportunity. Travel, they reckon, is an all-five-senses experience – a chance to see, feel, smell, hear and taste the world. And they’ve done it often enough to know for sure: sightseeing with a group of laid-back Kiwis is DOUBLE the fun – lots of laughs, great company, and memories that last forever!


  1. Hi Coons … Glad to see you are keeping up tradition with the ice creams Robby – love the pic of you with 2 LOL 🙂 All good here … Boys back safe after a fantastic time away. Love n hugz Kerkys

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s