At school in Marybank Primary we had links with schools around the world. Our pupils used to write letters, sometimes with pen and paper, but mostly using email. Even though the internet was young, and generally a nicer place, we had our own school website, which in those early days was quite unique.
One of the schools that we developed a long connection with was in Vancouver, BC, Canada. We discovered a lot about Canadian culture so I decided to go there on holiday. I remember booking my flights and hotel on teletext on tv, as companies hadn’t quite got into email yet.
In Vancouver I was based in a nice hotel and spent time exploring on long walks. After a while I was able to go further using a bicycle, and during the latter part of the holiday, I hired a car.
It was very easy going in Vancouver, with parks and open spaces. Having the car meant I was able to explore on the Rocky Mountains, which are vast. The only part I was wary about was the need to be alert for bears! I visited a Native American village which had all the tourist stuff like totem poles and teepees. I bought some local art work, which I still enjoy today.
On one day I went to the USA , Seattle, on a one day trip. Tickets were bought in advance and travel was by coach. We left around 5am and returned around midnight.
The contrast in the two cities/countries was amazing. Canada felt so safe and easy going, but I didn’t feel so safe in Seattle. There seemed to be a lot of police around and I saw a woman being arrested on the street. Probably not made any better by visiting a gun store that had every kind of gun, small and large, on sale for anyone to buy.
During the day I was able to relax at an open air music festival in a local park, which was great. On the way back that night the coach was stopped and searched by police, who arrested a young man and removed him from the coach.
Towards the end of the holiday I was able to meet up with the teacher I had been working with in our school work.
Here are a selection of photos from the visit to Vancouver and Seattle.