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6

There she goes...

It is Friday evening and the Fairmont is clearly the meeting

place for the beau monde of Vancouver, with an emphasis

on beau. Shapely females in flirty evening gowns teeter

into the hotel on towering stilettos. The heads of the male

audience spin in all directions. A young hotel employee

attracts our attention: blonde locks, large blue eyes, full

lips and grace in abundance. Forge the iron while it is hot,

we think, and we ask her point blank if she would like to

act as 'The face of Canada' in Porschist? "Sure," she says,

without the slightest hesitation. The naturalness with which

she accepts our request makes us suspect that she has

already heard the question before and that posing is not

a novelty to her. And sure enough, the next day she tells

us - with her baseball cap still nonchalantly on her head and

a Starbucks cup in her hand - that she has been regularly

working as a model since she was eight years old. Well, of

course, what we see, others also see. The photos are in

the can in no time. On the spot, we decide that one of the

photos will be on the cover of the Canada edition. (No doubt

you will already have noticed that this did in fact happen).

The Porsche in Vancouver

Our first day in Canada also happens to be D-day. For

us that means: the meeting with the local Porschist. At

nine o'clock on the dot, David Nickel parks his beautiful,

cream-coloured Porsche 356 in front of the Fairmont. He

gets out, relaxed in checked Bermuda shorts and slippers.

When he greets us with a broad smile, we instinctively

know: this will be a top interview. The results of this can be

found on page 10.

One of the most attractive cities in the world

Vancouver is a young, vibrant city with a relaxed and interna-

tional atmosphere. A city which we instantly fall in love with.

The ideal location along the water of the Fraser River and

against the imposing backdrop of the green coastal moun-

tains makes the city irresistible. Vancouver is one of the few

cities in the world where you can ski, play golf and sail, all in

one day. Such a city must attract a lot of people, we think.

Indeed, with a population of 630,000 in an area of 115 km2,

Vancouver is not exactly sparsely populated. Nevertheless,

the dynamic metropolis manages to maintain a friendly

atmosphere thanks to a well-considered infrastructure.

Gastown

The roots of Vancouver lie in Gastown. This part of the

city owes its name to Jack Deighton, an English sailor who

opened an improvised saloon here in 1867 for the thirsty

workers in the timber industry. 'Gassy' Jack or 'talkative'

Jack had a big mouth and was known for the wild tales he

constantly came up with. Jack had the right idea because

soon a small village started to rise up around the bar. A

few decades later, the centre of Vancouver moved further

south, but Gastown remained. Today, food and drink still

feature heavily here. We let ourselves be seduced by the

many pubs and restaurants and immerse ourselves in the

very cosy atmosphere.

The pleasures of a primeval forest in a city

The best remedy to counteract all that dining is movement,

and for that

Stanley Park

is the perfect place. The resi-

dents of Vancouver regard this park as the crown jewel of

their city and they are right. This green lung in the north of

the city consists of one entire piece of untouched nature

and covers 400 hectares. To give you an idea: that's 10%

bigger again than Central Park in New York. Between the

ancient cedar trees, there are numerous paths, meadows,

picnic areas and sports fields. The Vancouverites come here

in large numbers to walk, play sports, laze or sunbathe on

one of the many beaches, which is also possible since the

park is on a peninsula and is almost completely surrounded

by the water of the

English Bay

and the

Coal Harbour.

We get on a bike and pedal along the ten-kilometre-long sea

promenade that runs all the way around the park. The view

of the harbour, the snowy peaks and the Vancouver skyline

is fantastic. Of course, we stop to admire the nine colourful

Indian totems at

Brockton Point

that remind us that once

the Musqueam and Squamish ruled this area.

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