Saturday, July 12, 2008

Some Pics from Vancouver

Vancouver is a really beautiful city, and I wish we had been there before the rain came. We found out that the two days in June that we were there were the two coldest on record, and one day the cold was hampered by rain. But we did get a wonderful tour around the city, including some time at Stanley Park and Granville Island. We were fascinated by the amount of glass used in building the many skyscrapers in the city. The architecture was a mix of old and new, but for the most part, Vancouver is very modern. It will be a partner site for the 2010 Winter Olympics and there is evidence of planning and expectation everywhere. So here are some of my favorite shots that Bill, Graham and I took.
This steam clock is in an area called Gastown, known for its history, cobbled streets and heritage buildings.

There is a very large and bustling area called Chinatown that we walked through on our way to the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden. There are lots and lots of shops that spill out onto the sidewalk. We had fun trying to identify some of the food items for sale! Very interesting and colorful too.

This stone sculpture is called an "inukshuk" and it is the official emblem of the 2010 Olympic Games. The sculpture is a part of the Inuit culture, but has been adopted as a symbol of hope, friendship and hospitality.

Bill took this picture from Granville Island. We had an hour or so for lunch and shopping and I believe we had just gotten some ice cream at a little shop. He took several wonderful pictures of all the boats in the bay amassed against the modern skyline of the city.

In fact, here are some of those boats. I love the little water taxi cruising by! There is a lot of water activity, from these little taxis to aircraft landing in the bay to giant cruise ships and tankers. You could sit and watch the water all afternoon and not get bored.
Another beautiful shot of sailboats in the bay.

On Thursday, which as you recall was the coldest day on record for June 5th, plus a hard rain to boot, we went out on a "Sea Safari" into Howe Sound. We were all decked out in "waterproof" gear (ha!) and packed into a boat like this one, then wisked off at speeds I don't want to think about. The rain was blistering our faces, so we really couldn't look up to see anything. There were a couple of nice stops where we pulled our cameras out of plastic bags to take some fabulous pictures, then back up to speed and freezing rain again. About ten minutes before the end of the ride we all began to feel moisture creeping into our protective suits so that, when we finally landed and stripped them off, we were all soaking wet.

Here is Bill trying to separate his cash and cards from his waterlogged wallet. Fortunately, our T.D. recognized our misery and had our lunch of hot soup, coffee and sandwiches quickly served and scooted us up to the ferry landing an hour early. He even boxed up the desserts and brought them on board the ferry for us. Hooray for Russell!

Getting back early gave us an extra hour for a hot shower and change into warm, dry clothes before going out again (in the rain) for a walk through Chinatown, the Chinese Gardens, and then dinner at a Chinese Restaurant.
All that rain and cold could not dampen our memories of a very beautiful city, deeming it worthwhile to come for another visit on a warmer, drier tour.

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