Flying out of YVR

I am writing this at Vancouver International Airport (YVR), sitting in the beautiful landscaped area the other side of the security checks. Not something you expect to say about an airport – landscaped interiors! But there is a stream, a huge fish tank, bridges and comfortable seats. Lots of them, most of which are empty.

Above me the walkway has a stream of people walking. They have arrived off some international flight (your intrepid reporter is not going to find out which one). If anyone has flown into YVR they will have walked along this way too, looking down on the stream and wondering what the line-ups are going to be like at immigration.

Of course there are the usual duty free shops to entertain me. And I have had my double espresso from, unfortunately, Starbucks. My daughter, Alice, would be horrified. She, like me, favours the boutique coffee bars – caffe artigiano, 49th parallel or the like. (Ask Alice for her favourite ones in Victoria if you’re planning to visit there).

The standard of service has been good so far. The security staff were friendly. No bleeping sounds when I went through so no need to frisk me. The barista at Starbucks was super friendly too. Perhaps he wanted me to leave him all my Canadian money as a huge tip.

One thing worth noting is that I am using the airport’s free wireless internet connection. Something which I find very useful. It is too crowded at Heathrow for me to have even tried looking for a hot spot so I don’t know if it is available there for free. I do know that Vancouver is very well served by free WiFi connections. Some are deliberately so, and others simply not secured. I doubt that you would need an internet connection of your own in many downtown apartments… just borrow one of your neighbours!

In London, on my last visit, I struggled to find an internet service that did not charge and at a huge cost. Hotels have certainly woken up the fact that they can charge for this service and make a bit of extra money on the room bill. Grrrr.

I cannot say that I am looking forward to the flight. This, as you may know, is going to be a very short visit to the UK. Arriving tomorrow (Thursday) and returning on Monday. In the meantime, two days at the Opportunities Canada Expo at Olympia. Anyone who sees me dozing off there will know why. I am hoping there will be somewhere I can get regular supplies of double espressos. Or doppio ones from Starbucks as I will need them.

See you in London.

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