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British Columbia: How NOT to Travel from Vancouver to Seattle

Pacific Northwest Travelogue Part 4

Michael Taylor plans to travel from Vancouver BC to Seattle WA by train. When he gets to the station, however, a rude surprise awaits him. The ticket he booked on line is from Vancouver WA not Vancouver BC. Say what?

Vancouver 1 2008

Greyhound bus at the boarding dock in Vancouver, British Columbia. Photo Credit: Accidental Travel Writer.

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I booked my train ticket from Vancouver to Seattle on line. Little did I know that there were 2 Vancouvers – one in British Columbia and another in Washington.

So it was an unpleasant surprise when I got to the train station and was informed that the ticket I had booked was from the Vancouver in Washington rather than the Vancouver in British Columbia.

I asked when the next train would depart from Vancouver, British Columbia, for Seattle. I was told in about 6 hours, and I wouldn't arrive in Seattle until about 10.30 at night.

I asked if there was a bus plying the same route, and I was told yes. Fortunately they agreed to refund the money on my train ticket, so I booked a seat on Greyhound.

Something Worse Than Cattle Class?

 Vancouver 1 2009

Interior of a Greyhound bus. Photo Credit: Accidental Travel Writer.

And that's when I discovered that there was something even worse that Cattle Class. It's called a bus.

The seats were incredibly close together. Fully upright, the seat in front of me was touching my knees. If anyone sat down in it and pushed the seat back, I would have been in serious trouble.

Fortunately, the bus wasn't even one-third full, and nobody sat in front of or next to me. Much to my surprise it was a very pleasant journey of roughly 5 hours.

And the time passed faster than on an airplane thanks to the massive windows and the incredible scenery. One more thing: despite the relative smallness of the seats, they offered excellent back support. They weren't as uncomfortable as they looked.

Canadian - US Border

The first 20 minutes took us through a rather nondescript section of Vancouver. When we turned on to the highway, the scenery improved a bit. After 45 minutes, we reached the Canadian-US border, the world's longest undefended border.

And it all seemed rather low key. There were no barbed wire fences. No armed guards. No watch towers. It was hard to believe we were at an international border.

As we waited to get off the bus, I asked the people in front of me if we were in Canada or the United States.

“We're in the United States,” they said. We had left Canada without having to go through exit formalities.

Click here to continue reading about my Pacific Northwest Adventure

 

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