Vancouver, BC August 1, Thursday
We are spending the day in downtown Vancouver. We are walking to locations, our airbnb host Lili’s apartment is centrally located for our activities. We have been eating in for breakfast and dinner, using MarketPlace grocery here in the downtown for our meals.
We have not been everywhere and won’t be but our impressions of Vancouver are positive. It seems younger than many cities. The Asian influence is strong. The downtown is active and lively, much more so than Calgary.
Vancouver has been having beautiful weather in July although they say the first half of the year was consistently gray and/or wet. It is temperate like Victoria, snow in the town is rare although the mountains north of the city receive snow regularly in the winter.
Biking is very popular here, the temperate weather may be a factor. In the downtown area, there are frequent bike rental shops and not only do they have marked bike lanes, on some streets the bike lanes are separated from traffic by concrete curbs and/or concrete planters. Traffic is hectic. New building construction is frequent.
We spent several hours at Granville Island, south of our apartment, getting there by means of a quick “ferry” boat ride. The ferry is more like a large water taxi that goes around False Creek which separates the island from downtown. Granville Island is a redevelopment project that seems to be working. What was an old manufacturing area now combines manufacturing, artists and artisans, shops and restaurants and a small art college. The Emily Carr University of Art and Design is named for a Vancouver artist much loved in the area. The students were sponsoring a festival of their art work in a part of the island.
Given our proclivity for shopping, we did not enhance the economy much, other than lunch and a post card. I even turned down a chance to buy a chocolate mousse and bring it back to the apartment since I worried the walk might warm it up too much.
Canada Place was our next stop. This is north, on Burrard Inlet. Cruise ships dock in this area and it is not far from Stanley Park. The Olympic Cauldron from the 2010 Olympics is located here, as is the Convention Center.
We watched the float planes land and depart on the Inlet. Commuter planes fly out of here on a regular basis. We did not see a control tower but the landings and take-offs appeared to be coordinated.
We must be easily identified by type. Two young women in short skirts were approaching people and handing out free drink tickets to a new bar in town. They passed us by, not once but twice in two different locations at Canada Place. Hurts our pride but we probably would not have used them anyway.
On the way back to the apartment, we stopped at a cupcake store for dessert. Very tasty.
Tomorrow is Chinatown and Gastown. Vancouver’s Chinatown is the second largest in North America. We leave Saturday morning and will miss the Pride Parade which is being held on Sunday. It is supposed to be the fifth largest in the world. Last year they had over 600,000 spectators.
Ed and Chris August 1 9:30 pm