View Full Version : There’s Darth Vader playing the violin – Day 1: London-Vancouver

16-10-2008, 05:40 PM

Me: David - 36
Dad: Ray - 60

To follow in the footsteps of the fabled gold prospectors of the 19th century and discover for ourselves the noble heritage of the North American Indians was the inspiration for this glorious tour of British Columbia. We begin in the vibrant ocean-front city of Vancouver and continue to Vancouver Island. From its stately capital, Victoria, we drive along the unspoiled eastern coastline of this idyllic isle to Port Hardy where we cruise the spectacular ‘Inside Passage’ route to Prince Rupert and the remote wilderness beauty of Northern British Columbia. Through Indian and gold rush territory we come to 100 Mile House, and on through unparalleled scenery to Whistler, where we conclude our tour.So said the Titan HiTours brochure and as Dad and I hadn’t done that part of Canada before we decided that this would be a great way of seeing it.

I got up at 7:00, had a shower, got dressed and finished off packing. The Titan driver was due to pick us up at 8:20 and by 8:15 the van had pulled up outside the door. We had to pick another passenger up at Walton-on-Thames so we made our way over, arriving there at around 9:30. From there we made our way over to Heathrow, arriving at Terminal 3 at 10:00 where our bags were handed over to a porter who took them into the terminal for us.

Inside the terminal we met the Titan rep who gave us our Group Travel luggage tags and confirmed that our tour manager was flying out with us but hadn’t arrived from Edinburgh yet so we should meet him in baggage claim at the other end. She said he was a “rather well fed gentleman” so we should have no problems spotting him.

We went over to the Executive First check-in desk to check our cases in and then made our way through fast-track security. After the x-ray scans there was a queue for our passports to be checked and then a second queue for our shoes to be x-rayed – why they didn’t ask us to take our shoes off at the first x-ray I don’t know. :confused:

Once we were finally through I made a quick stop at HMV for a couple of DS games and we then made our way to the Star Alliance lounge. I helped myself to some cheese and biscuits and an (unintentionally) large whisky and ginger whilst Dad had a brandy and coffee.

Around 12:15 our flight came up as departing from Gate 28 so we made our way out of the lounge and down to the gate, stopping to get a couple of bottles of water on the way. At the gate we saw our tour manager holding up a Titan sign and realised that we had actually seen him in the lounge earlier. As the rep had said he certainly couldn’t be missed!

Boarding began at 12:35 and we settled in our seats with a welcoming glass of champagne. Push back was 10 minutes early and by 1:05 we were in the air. Service began with a drinks run where Dad and I both had cokes and a dish of nuts. Menus were then brought round from which we both chose to eat slices of Gravalax followed by Pot-roasted fillet of beef.

Air Canada offer a video on demand service in Executive First and after flicking through what was on offer I decided to watch Shrek the Third, which was OK but didn’t hold my attention enough to stop me from falling asleep before the end!

While I was watching the film the meal was served, although due to some mix-up Dad and I were both given seafood tart as our main course but that was soon swapped for the beef amid profuse apologies from the cabin crew.
After eating I dropped off for a while and then watched episodes of CSI: Miami and House, two series which have passed me by but I will definitely be watching more of.

Shortly before landing we were served with finger sandwiches, a scone and coffee.

We landed at 3:05 and were one of the first off the plane. In contrast to Orlando there was absolutely nobody in Immigration and we were through in 5 minutes after a much more gentle ‘interrogation’ than you get entering the USA. Having done well up to now we had to wait around 45 minutes for our bags to come up on the carousel. :4:

Once we had our bags we met up with the tour manager and by 4:30 our group was all together and on the coach. We arrived at our hotel, The Georgian Court at 5:15.

Once our cases had been delivered to the room we went for a quick stroll and then into the bar next door to the hotel for a pint of cider each. A quick trip to the local 7-11 for nibbles followed and we went back to the room around 7:30.

Dad was in bed by 8:30 although I held out until 9:00 to watch Mythbusters but once I saw it was one I had already seen I went to bed as well.

Tomorrow: Free day in Vancouver (http://wdisneysecrets.com/forums/showthread.php?t=4408)