After a long journey I arrived in British Columbia!
The cheapest flight I found was Westjet Glasgow-Halifax, Halifax-Toronto, Toronto-Vancouver.
If you are only looking for a cheap flight then they are the company to go with, although I wasn’t too impressed with them.
Firstly the flight was advertised Glasgow-Toronto, Halifax was just a stop over but was never mentioned. Previous stop overs that I have experienced have just involved some people getting off the aircraft then other getting on. In this case though I had to also exit and take my checked baggage off, then get back onto the same plane. A bit of a hassle but this normally wouldn’t be a problem. I however, had to get get my Study Permit at this point as it was my first point of entry into Canada. This can take hours in same cases which would have meant myself missing my flight and my bags being flown off without me. Thankfully this did not happen but did put me under a bit of unneeded stress.
Westjet, if you are reading this… Inform the passengers of this stopover so we can plan for it!!!
Secondly they didn’t provide any complimentary food (a service I thought was standard on trans-Atlantic flights). I only had a glass of orange juice and a biscuit provided…
And lastly the legroom was tiny, I would describe it as a long haul Ryanair…
But! If all you want is cheap then Westjet will get you to your destination but don’t expect much else.
Anyway… I flew in over the UBC campus. I knew it was a big campus but it was only at this perspective that I understood why people were calling it a town. It’s huge. In fact it’s too big, getting around the place is slightly annoying because of the big distances. But my classes are luckily all contained together and a 10 min walk from my residence (Walter Gage).
So I thought I would be a clever cookie and use that LastMinute.com site to get reduced priced hotel room. Don’t do this. Pretty much all hotels and hostels were booked out. So I was standing on Vancouver airport with all my belongings for a year and nowhere to go. Hotels in Vancouver are generally expensive and hostels a bit more pricey than the UK in case you are thinking of heading over early before Uni starts.
I eventually found what I can only describe as the strangest hotel ever for $70. I couldn’t wait to get to sleep after travelling for so long so I got a cab from the airport to the hotel. The driver found it really difficult to find the hotel as it was not signed and in a suburban housing estate. The hotel was pretty much just a Japanese man’s house who could not speak English. I still have a hunch that I never found the hotel and this man took me in thinking I was in need of shelter. When I walked into my room one sheet of wallpaper had peeled completely off and the man then removed it from the floor then walked out without mentioning it. The bed was also rock solid, the ‘complimentary breakfast’ was toast it yourself bread with butter and jam, the toilet/shower room was shared and didn’t have a lock on it… Not a great first night in Vancouver.
After what was a huge and uncomfortable journey I was longing to get into my residence and unload all my baggage. This would need to wait until I could be allowed into residence 3 days before the start of my course… I know what you are thinking, no freshers week!
A little holiday was first! The next day I journeyed to Victoria on Vancouver Island. I was heading to stay with a friend I met last year who was on exchange in Glasgow. All will be revealed in my next blog.