Subject: Re:!
Hi JoAnne,

Note up front - this info is from 1998!

I took the Quick Shuttle from Vancouver to Seattle in 1998 as I was then taking a flight to NYC. It was relatively painless - I met at a particular hotel in Vancouver which was the pickup point and away we went. My only hassle was at the border because I had been told by a travel agent in Aus that I didn't need any paperwork except for my passport to go into the USA but the border didn't agree! Joined a new queue, got the paperwork, paid the money, the bus waited, and away we went. They stop at both Seattle Airport as well as downtown. Their schedules are online and you can purchase tickets online too.

After returning to Seattle from NYC, I took the Victoria Clipper from Seattle to Victoria. They too have schedules online.

I had a friend who I then travelled with from Victoria to Nanaimo, then caught the ferry from Nanaimo to Vancouver (Tsawwassen). You can however get a ferry from Victoria (Swartz Bay) to Vancouver (Tsawwassen). They have schedules online.

You can then take a bus from the ferry station into downtown Vancouver. On this page they have a Q&A about Bus Services: " Q: Are there any coach lines, bus or shuttle services available? A: The following coach/bus/shuttle companies can help you complete your trip with BC Ferries:

Vancouver-Victoria with Pacific Coach Lines Downtown Vancouver to downtown Victoria, and Vancouver Airport to downtown Victoria by way of BC Ferries' Tsawwassen-Swartz Bay service. Information & reservations: Vancouver: (604) 662-8074, Victoria (250) 385-4411. From elsewhere in Canada, or from the United States, call toll-free: 1-800-661-1725. "

I don't remember having a problem getting the bus or even making advance plans so must have hopped off the ferry and onto the bus...

This was the first overseas trip I had planned almost entirely by myself on the internet and I travelled solo, and I found it easy so you'll have no hassles.

As far as things to do: In Seattle I really enjoyed the Seattle Aquarium - those sea otters are SO cute! And the Pike Place Market was great - little shops, watching them throw those big fish around! SeeSeattle has some sample itineraries.

And in Vancouver - wow - so much to do, so little time. I loved the IMAX - I saw a couple of the movies. (Same in Victoria actually, at their museum - the whale one was just awesome on the big screen.) I hired a bike and did a ride around Stanley Park and out to Kitsilano Beach. Stanley Park has its own aquarium too. And Kitsilano Beach was so different to the beaches I am used to, but lovely. Granville Market is just a tram ride from downtown Vancouver and has the big market. There is also a Science Museum which I didn't go to but was supposed to be fun for kids. You can easily use public transport to go out to the Capilano Suspension bridge if you like. And I also really enjoyed going to Grouse Mountain. I took public transport including the sea-bus and then the cable car up and then did the chair lift once up there. GasTown is a nice area in Vancouver to walk around. I had dinner a couple of times in a place called the Old Spaghetti Factory. Great prices, good food, lovely staff - extra helpful and accommodating for a solo female diner.

Even in my diary notes I've noticed that I've written how helpful and friendly everyone was when I needed help with getting on and off at the right stops and buying tickets and passes.

You'll have a ball - I *loved* Canada! :) Megan Brisbane, Australia