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.
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
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
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
that remind us that once
the Musqueam and Squamish ruled this area.
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