20.07.2016 - 24.07.2016
"Oot and aboot" in Vancouver, we have covered much ground and worn off shoe tread, as in walking many miles/kilometers.
We have covered almost everything except for Vancouver Island.
Look who I found whilst "Oot and aboot".......yes, my friend from our 2010/2011 travels around Australia......
........It's my Everywhere Man!!
Stanley Park, which covers 1 000 acres, is a beautiful playground for locals and tourists alike. We walked around the beautiful rose gardens, took in the famed Totem poles and went to Prospect Point and the Tea House. Our mode of transport was the green line hop on hop off bus. There is a canon in the park which is enclosed by a cage. This canon is set off at 9.00pm each night, known as the nine o'clock gun. But why is it caged in? Well a few years ago, some naughty teenagers placed a rock inside it, and the next time it fired, the rock shot across the water and took out the gas works opposite the park!
Entrance to Stanley Park. Beautiful flowers, all beautifully maintained. and Totem Poles
After a quick coffee at Canada Place, (we have yet to find a place that makes a decent coffee here), we took the red line bus to Granville Island.
Here we visited the Granville Island Market, which is a combination of indoor market, clothing, preserves, fresh fruit, and cold items and outside, farmers market. Locals come here to purchase their weekly fruit, vegetables and fish from the market. Musicians play in The Square and there is a great vibe. We had a quick peek at the Vancouver Space museum, but did not take the tour as by now we were too pooped and wanted to end sight-seeing for the day.
Wonderful choice of fruit and veggies
We visited the beautiful Christ Church Cathedral, which began back in 1889 and was saved from demolition and being high rise apartments in 1970 and is now heritage listed, so it will stay put. Designed by a ships architect, the inside roof certainly shows his leaning. Also on show were beautiful huge organ pipes and luckily we were there when the organ was being played.
The ceiling of the church is like the inside of an olden day ship
We took the shuttle up to Grouse Mountain where Capilano suspension bridge is. This is a bridge which sits on the north side, is 70 meters above the Capilano River, amidst a canopy of trees and is 140 meters long. It was an overcast day and due to this being a huge tourist attraction (buses arrive and leave every ten minutes), we decided to leave that to the masses and use the ticket price of $40 each to spend on wine and food instead! And maybe a little Retail Therapy! .....Some things are important.
We walked the famous Robson precinct and sat in Robson Square watching the world go by. In the square, are many street food vans, which are well frequented and once the food purchase is made, one sits at table and chairs laid out in the square.
Sitting in the morning sun.....
The city has a great vibe, lots of good eating spots and is an easy place to get around. The negative side are the beggars and homeless. It's not pleasant to sit in a square or be walking and be hounded by folk with their hands out. In the morning the pavements have many homeless who have slept there for the night; or are still sleeping; people just walk around them. We were told that a lot of the homeless issue is a result of the decision to close the Mental Hospital in Vancouver a few years back. So many have nowhere to stay and have turned to drugs. Added to this would be the current young drug users. Very sad.
The Have's and the Have Not's
The very touristy Gastown area proved interesting. Here we got to see all walks of life. From an Ozzie busker playing his Didgeridoo, to a steam driven clock, to local Indians doing wood carvings, to any amount of eateries.
Steam Driven Clock and Wood Carvings in progress
One of the many restaurants - this one is the Spaghetti Factory
That's brought us to the end of our time in Vancouver, until we check in again after our cruise up the Inside Passage of Alaska.
Time to move on