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Our Favourite Après Ski Spots in Whistler

With the holidays over and the snow covering the local mountains, everyone is heading up to the ski slopes to take in the winter wonderland that is Whistler. As BC’s largest ski resort, Whistler is also home to a vibrant après ski culture, which has become as popular as the sport itself. Offering a blend of bars, clubs, pubs, and grills, there is an option for everyone to enjoy after a day of hitting the slopes. Here are some of our favourite places to enjoy the après ski culture in Whistler.

 

 

El Furniture Warehouse

A local favourite, El Furniture Warehouse can’t be beaten on price when everything on their menu is only $5.95! A popular choice no matter why you are visiting Whistler, this restaurant chain has made a name for itself by creating a social atmosphere filled with energy but doesn’t require you to break the bank. You’ll find your classic pub food here, with a few twists.

Garibaldi Lift Company

Garibaldi Lift Company is a well known and a popular place for enjoying the après ski culture. In fact, it’s been named as one of the top 10 après establishments in the world by SKI Magazine. Offering guests an elegant lounge, cozy restaurant, and even a club in the evening, Garibaldi lets its guests sit back and relax as they watch people descend the mountain. Did we mention they have an all season patio?

Dubh Linn Gate Pub

Traditional Irish flair meets the west coast lifestyle at Dubh Linn Gate Pub. Offering authentic Irish cuisine with their diverse selection of beers on tap (with Guinness being the star of their lineup), Dubh Linn Gate is always filled with laughter and a good time. Enjoy a casual afternoon relaxing in this pub with your friends and family.

Dusty’s Bar & BBQ

Dusty’s is the place to sit back and relax, or if you stick around later in the evening, they are famous for their live music parties. Their menu features a delicious variety of BBQ dishes, prepared by their professional staff. With their friendly and efficient service, visiting Dusty’s is a must on any trip. They are also home to some of the best Caesars in the village.

Longhorn Saloon

Located at the bottom of the mountain you can almost ski right onto the Longhorn Saloon patio. Catering to the relaxed culture of après ski, enjoy their menu featuring beer and spirits with chicken wings, burgers, and all your favourite comfort foods. The party lives at Longhorn Saloon with live music and a DJ during the evenings.

Mallard Lounge

The Fairmont Hotels are known for their elegant experiences and an afternoon in the Mallard Lounge is no exception. Sample their famous martinis or have them recommend a spirit from their collection as you lounge by the fireplace and enjoy the live music. They serve the finest of west coast cuisine and feature their own chocolate bar – a collection of chocolates mixed with savoury and sweet dried fruits and nuts.

Pure Bread

The smell of warm, freshly baked desserts from Pure Bread will entice you from down the street. Their ever-changing selection of treats are baked fresh daily. This makes them a perfect spot for breakfast, lunch and an afternoon snack. Pure Bread is a great place if you’re a family looking for an après ski experience that the kids will enjoy as well.

Where do you like to visit after a day of skiing? Merlins, The Crystal Lounge, the places are endless. Let us know in the comments or on social media.

 

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A Brief History of the Double-Decker Bus

The double-decker bus is an icon to the sightseeing industry. While they are used all over the world, the most famous is the bright red buses in London. But how exactly did this bus become the tourist bucket list item it is today?

Well, let’s start our journey in 1828, in the streets of Paris…

The first double-decker was actually a two-level horse-drawn carriage pioneered by a man named Stanislas Baudry. Later, inspired by Baudry’s idea (and his success), an English gentleman known as George Shillibeer brought the ‘omnibus’ to London. Costing originally 1 shilling to ride, Shillibeer’s bus could hold up to 22 people.

In the 1920s, the first engine-powered version of the double-decker bus made its debut in London society. With a growing population, there was a desperate need for more buses, sparking competition amongst the many companies in the city. By the mid-1920s there were about 20 different companies with buses driving all over the city. The largest of these businesses, The London General Omnibus Company (LGOC), sought to differentiate from their competition and painted their buses bright red. At the time, I doubt anyone could have predicted the historical significance of choosing that one colour. In the 1930s the LGOC, like many other companies, merged together to became part of the collective London Passenger Transport Board. In the photo below you can see some of the different bus designs used over the years.

Demand kept up until the 1950s when the most familiar model of the double deckers emerged. The ‘Routemaster,’ was first constructed in 1956. This version had an open rear door entrance, which was quickly removed since people thought they could jump on and off while the bus was moving.

The main reason for their continued popularity was because the single-level buses simply couldn’t hold enough people, and the longer accordion version couldn’t handle London’s narrow streets. People also liked the viewing capacity and having open tops.

Even though the underground Tube has become many locals’ preferred method of transport, you’ll still see plenty of double deckers around London. Other cities also heavily feature them, such as Hong-Kong, Rome, Paris etc.

Who knows, maybe Vancouver will soon have its own double-decker buses driving along the city’s streets.

A Few Fun Facts

  • For any BC readers, here’s a fun fact for you: did you know that the first North American city to integrate a double-decker bus into their public transit system was Victoria, British Columbia?
  • England’s first licensed female driver of a double-decker bus was Phyllis Thompson in 1941.
  • The buses’ external appearance was updated again in 2012. This new look pays tribute to the Routemaster design but also includes handicap accessibility and green technology.

 

Sources

Tanner, J. (2016, November 1). A Brief History of Double Decker Buses. Retrieved from http://www.londnr.com/london-lifestyle/a-brief-history-of-double-decker-buses/

Birdie’s Perch. (2018). Double-Decker Facts & History. Retrieved from http://www.birdiesperch.ca/about-us-and-our-bus/double-decker-facts-history/

Tourism Experiences to Overcome Your Fears

One of the best parts of Halloween is a good old-fashioned scare. While haunted houses, ghostly tours, and Halloween themed attractions might be seasonal, we know a few experiences that will scare you all year round.

For our Halloween themed post, we’re going to be focusing on a few of the scariest tourism experiences in the world. These aren’t necessarily haunted or Halloween themed activities, but we can understand why some of these places can definitely leave people freaked out.

Prepare to face your fears as we explore these six unique experiences.

Warning: This post contains photos of spiders, heights, dolls, and abandoned villages.

In With the Spiders: Zoological Society of London

Anyone afraid of spiders may want to move on to the next item on this list. At the London Zoo, there is an exhibit that allows people to walk through a room filled with spiders. Now that doesn’t sound too bad, right? Well, these spiders aren’t in any kind of glass exhibit; instead, they hang along the trees and walls of the building. Technically, there’s nothing stopping one from crawling over your shoulder or into your pocket if they wanted to.

The exhibit is actually a fascinating educational display that showcases many incredible species. Poisonous spiders are not out in the open, which is comforting, but you may still want to shake out your coat before you leave!

Credit: mama_aylas_adventures via Instagram

                                      

Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge: China

If you can brave this next attraction, then I’d argue that a fear of heights won’t ever bother you again. Currently, China is home to the world’s longest and highest glass bridge. Hanging over the Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon, this 430 meter (1141 foot) long bridge was built with transparent glass that sits about 300 meters (984 feet) above the canyon. And don’t worry, you can see everything below.

Online, you’ll find countless videos of people being dragged across the bridge by their friends, or visitors who clutch the handrails for dear life.

Paris Catacombs: France

The Paris Catacombs are probably the most famous attraction on this list. Featuring the skeletal remains of millions of Parisians within the walls of the cold, underground tunnels, this site continues to leave thousands of tourists unnerved.

There isn’t actually any sinister purpose behind the catacombs, which were built to reduce overcrowded graveyard populations that were causing public health concerns. Where it does get scary, however, is in the knowledge that for hundreds of miles, these tunnels snake underneath the entire city of Paris.

Nagoro ‘Scarecrow Village’: Japan

Nagoro is a small village in Japan. While very few people live there, it’s a huge tourist destination due to its other inhabitants. Should you find yourself wandering around the desolate streets, entering the local school, or venturing down to the village riverbank, you will be under the watchful eye of hundreds of life-size dolls – 350 to be exact.

The story behind this unusual location is certainly a sad one. A former resident, Tsukimi Ayano, returned to the village in the early 2000s after all but 20 residents had left searching for work elsewhere. Tsukimi created the dolls to represent each member of the village, long since departed. The eerie silence and loneliness felt while exploring the village, makes for a powerful and haunting experience.

Pripyat: Russia

Following one of the biggest nuclear disasters in history, the small town of Pripyat has been left abandoned since 1986. Tourists today embark on guided tours of this ghost town, visiting iconic locales such as the decaying ferris wheel and the Polissya Hotel.  Levels of radiation are thankfully low unless you go digging in the soil or trudging through the overgrowth. Reports of mutated creatures and ghost sightings are rife, with locals in the surrounding areas advising any curious tourists to stay away from the town after dark.

Credit: gamma_travel/claudia_neukermans via Instagram

Karni Mata Temple: India

There are rats, and then there are holy rats. That’s what you’ll find upon visiting the Karni Mata Temple in India which houses approximately 25,000 black rats. Also known as the Temple of Rats, people from all over come to pay their respects to the ‘kabbas’, another name for these holy rats.

Hidden in the small town of Deshnoke, rats live, eat and are worshipped here. While not for the faint-hearted, thousands of tourists visit this temple to witness the unique human-animal coexistence. Did we mention that visitors have to enter the temple barefoot?

 

 

Were there any places we missed? Let us know! If you’re looking for some local spooky tales, check out one of our previous blog posts featuring Vancouver’s most haunted spots. You can Read It Here.

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