Friday, July 25, 2014
Vancouver International Airport: Botanic Garden or Airport? You Decide.
The prettification of international airports over recent years has astounded me. For example, the new(ish) revamp of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (AKA SeaTac) sees vintage planes suspended from the baggage claim hall, oversized stained glass artwork, and floor to ceiling windows which let in much-needed light to the previously dark and cavernous terminal buildings.
And while it isn't the first time I've flown to Seattle via Vancouver (Air Canada flights are almost always cheaper than British Airways direct, non-stop fares, though it means a short layover and 30 minute connecting flight in Vancouver), I've never been happier to see the sight that greeted me there (above) when I stopped over in the airport last weekend.
Still tear-stained and a little sniffly from saying goodbye to my family at SeaTac security, the tranquil (and all very real! No artificial leaves used here) garden scene that greeted me after passing through security YVR cheered me up a little (that and I spied Hermes and a Longchamp concession not too far away, which helped distract me as well).
I managed to take a snap of this incredible aquarium, which I hadn't seen before:
I seriously could have spent hours gazing at the mesmerizing display of fish and sea anemone. I'm a nervous/anxious solo traveller anyway, so I deeply appreciated these extra features near the gates which helped take my mind off of things for a bit.
It's nothing compared to Koh Samui airport, however, which is akin to a luxury beach resort (minus the beach). The "gates" are housed in little huts positioned around the runway and you can literally put your feet up in a comfy straw chair whilst sipping complimentary fresh juices and helping yourself to cake, fruit, and an assortment of Thai snacks. Ding, ding, ding - winner! Hanging baskets of flowers dip from the ceilings of these huts and you're just encouraged to chill out, relax, and zone out. The nice lady at security even offered me aloe vera for my extremely burnt nose from one of the bottles a passenger had left behind. I was actually a little sad to board my plane after that magical experience!
What's your favorite airport?