Pam and I have been to Canada and back! We returned home to Vancouver for a visit in early October. We rented a car and drove through the mountains to Calgary to visit family as well. We had a couple days in Calgary but a snow storm threatened to strand us in Calgary past our return flight out of Vancouver so we left Calgary a little earlier than we wanted.
The rental car was just amazing. A Ford Taurus if you can believe that. We got a free upgrade from the car we rented, and wow, what a beast that car is. It’s roomy and luxurious with every conceivable upgrade you can imagine. The stereo was one of the best I’ve ever heard, never mind best car stereo! The navigation package was stellar with a really cool feature that told you what the speed limit is… very cool for when you are in the middle of the mountains and it’s been miles since you’ve seen a sign.
We stopped off in 100 Mile House to visit with a couple of our oldest friends, Maggie and Tim. They’ve retired to a lovely home on the banks of Horse Lake, which was the scene of terrible wild fires this summer. Their home was spared, but they had to evacuate a couple of times. The devastation was quite shocking. Miles and miles of burned forest, and lost homes. Quite a sobering experience.
Back in Vancouver, on our last day there, we went for a stroll through John Hendry Park, more commonly referred to as Trout Lake. Buck and I used to run around the outer track 4 or 5 times a week. It’s a beautiful little park. Sure brought back a lot of memories of our first dog.
It’s nice to be back in Curacao. After the long flight, we were delighted to come home to a completely pristine apartment, freshly painted and all new tile work. We’re going to be able to relax a little easier here now, with all the stress of renovations complete. We’re interested to see how they handle Halloween here, as well. Should be fun.
Vancouver is a beautiful city, surrounded by the Pacific Ocean. It has a large protected harbor, with the Rocky Mountains rising dramatically over the skyline.
The shot to the right is taken from the mountains, looking west out over the Pacific. You can see the inner harbor, and Vancouver’s West End to the mid right side of the picture.
But I saw something that is quickly making the rounds, on Youtube, and I just had to share it with you. It has been described as a high tech postcard. What it is, is a High Definition, time lapse look at Vancouver, from various locations, mostly at night. It is incredibly dramatic, and wonderfully photographed.
I hope you enjoy it – and if you have a hi-def monitor, do change the movie over to hi def mode and make it full screen. So many vignettes just blow me away, but the tanker swinging around in the inner harbor really gets me…
Vancouver is a relatively young city, but it has a wide range of beautiful and odd architectural points of interest. Here are some that are interesting and fun.
This triangular shaped building seems more like something you would see in Europe, rather than North America, but there it is right in downtown Vancouver!
One of the earliest parts of Vancouver is Gastown. Cobblestoned streets, funky shops, antique stores, sidewalk cafés and a friendly bustling atmosphere welcome the Vancouver tourist. It is within walking distance of the Cruise Ship Terminal; the Seabus and SkyTrain Terminals are even closer.
Gastown probably got its name from an early settler named Gassy Jack, but one doesn’t want to delve too deeply into why he was named gassy, I wouldn’t think!
This structure is the new main branch of the Public Library System. The Classically inspired design is softened somewhat by the rectangular placement of an office tower. Some people were uncomfortable with the design being inspired by the Coliseum in Rome.
This picture is of Constantine’s Arch near the Coliseum in Rome, a picture taken during our tour of Greece and Italy with Karen. It does look similar to the new library, don’t you think?
Greater Vancouver has about 1.6 million people. But “Greater Vancouver” includes a number of smaller municipalities including Burnaby (home of Metrotown the ultimate shopping center) Richmond (near the airport) and New Westminster and Surrey (on the river to the south of downtown Vancouver).
This picture was taken during our first trip to Vancouver, in early 1985. This harbor is now dominated by the Sails of the Convention Centre, but I put this older picture up to remind us of what we may have lost.
While we are blessed with great natural beauty all around us, our presence serves only to drive it further away. Stanley Park is visible in the picture quite clearly on the mid-left of the picture. It is a large inner city park within the boundaries of the city. It welcomes the sea traveler to the city, forming the southern tip of the harbor entrance.
The North Shore Mountains are covered by clouds in the picture’s background, which is not an infrequent occurrence in the winter. They get lots of rain over there!
And right in Stanley Park, the Vancouver Aquarium is home to many forms of marine life. Although the whale shows have been curtailed because the politically correct have convinced everyone that they are cruel, we’ve included a picture of them anyway! I think we’ve only been back to the aquarium once since they’ve stopped the shows. I think we could have made a marvelous enclosure for them, but instead we sent them away to die.
(This post was actually from an older HTML based website I created back in the early days. Pam and I have had an on-line presence since 1985. We ran a multi-line bbs for years, and have had over fifty different websites!)