Monday 31st July 2000

Tom and I left Cara at 7:20am. We picked Rachel up at South Mundham and he drove us to Gatwick, a pleasant journey. We had light traffic until we entered Gatwick. It was so busy that we had to unload our cases in the road, get a trolley and then entered the concourse.

We waited at check in and booked in our luggage, our hand luggage was x-rayed and we were asked if we had been asked to take anything through!! We went through to the shopping area, only bought a pocket thesaurus, a magazine and a tube of Ibuleve as I still want to rub my back and knees. We then had a cup of coffee and went into the departure lounge. It was absolutely crowded. We had a long wait for our aircraft.

It was a Canada 2000 Airbus a 330-200 seating 340 persons. The furthest Northern Airport is Anchorage, Alaska. The flight took us over Greenland’s icy mountains, flying further North, blankets of snow – the contours of snow like tidal waters. We landed at Edmonton and approx half of the passengers left, those going to Vancouver could not leave the aircraft. It was another hour before we reached Vancouver at 3.30pm Canadian time and 11.36 BST 23 degrees. A really lovely flight. We were seated by window and wing which couldn’t have been better. We were well served with lunch and wine, plenty of orange juice and offers of soft drinks -all complimentary. A contrast to Gatwick was the reception lounge – a wonderful 20 foot waterfall then two gorgeous Indian totem poles , all reminiscent of the Wild West. A lovely welcome to Canada.

We then collected our car, Rachel did all the business. The car was lovely – a deep red with very complicated facia. Rachel was wonderful driving on the right, but the only problem was finding the hotel which we eventually found after finding ourselves in Stanley Park, a most beautiful place by the water, again totem poles, vantage points with mountains across the water- horse drawn carriages for transport. It must have covered hundreds of acres and of course beautiful sunshine enhancing everything. We are going there tomorrow.

Rachel very tired so we decided not to go out tonight. I feel pleased to be here once more- I only hope Rachel loves it as well.