Vancouver – What a beautiful city!
We had always heard that Vancouver, BC was a lovely city, but never really gave it any further thought, until we visited. Absolutely beautiful! Having great weather, I am sure, only enhanced the experience, but wow . . .
We are in an RV Park just 15 miles from the Canadian border so we decided to visit Vancouver for the day. Setting off from Bellingham, WA, we headed north on I-5. We had done some research and had a selected a few locations that we wanted to visit: Granville Island, Canada Place and the Science World dome. We had fully expected to be roaming the city looking for more than that, but, as it turned out, we only managed to see the first two of those three.
First up was Granville Island, well known by visitors and locals alike as a popular place to visit.
After crossing the border into Canada, we arrived on the island around 9:30 am and easily found a parking spot, but don’t think that is typical. The place soon fills up and by eleven o’clock AM, it was clear to us that finding a parking place would have been a real challenge had we arrived later.
After parking, we set off to explore and we quickly understood why this island is so popular! The place is ALIVE! The island is full of cafes, markets, novelty stores and has this magnificent waterfront with views of Vancouver’s central business district, which is located directly across the water. The harbor is full of activity with boats, ferries, kayakers, paddle boarders and water taxies going back and forth. Add to that the bustling activity on shore with musicians, children playing, people having a drink or something to eat and you cannot help but feel alive, happy and energized. A real sense of delight overcomes you as you slip into this feeling of contentness that seems to be quite common there. It’s a GOOD feeling!
So here we are, taking photos and generally feeling blessed that we are here, seeing this beautiful city and decided to enjoy some local food. So we headed into the Public Market located on the Island, walked inside . . . and were blown away! The food! The colors! Just an overload on our already stimulated senses. The produce was amazing, the baked goods on display were mouthwateringly interesting, the arts on display were gorgeous and full of color and the aromatic scent of delicious coffee was everywhere.
We were somewhat overwhelmed and our initial instinct was to buy something delicious from every stall.
Thankfully, we constrained ourselves and, drawing upon some unknown and usually uncooperative internal willpower, limited our desire for food to two scones and two pork and beef sausage rolls.
I should point out, the scones in Canada are like the scones you have in the UK or Australia and not at all like the scones here in the US. I had introduced Linda to sausage rolls and the British tradition of “Devonshire Tea” a few years ago when in London and she has never been the same since. I am sure Linda was English in a past life. Personally, I am rather partial to sausage rolls and scones too, so that was the main reason we picked those two items.
I realize we should have taken a photo of these delicious goodies to show you, but alas, we ate them before we remembered to do so.
When in Granville Island, I could not help but be reminded of Darling Harbour in Sydney. That feeling continued when we went to Canada Place, a structure butting out into the water that has a roof that looks like “sails”. Just like the Sydney Opera house, Canada Place has become an “icon” for Vancouver and is recognized world-round.
It is a beautiful building and serves as a terminal for cruise ships. There were two such ships anchored when we were there, one from the Netherlands (the ship’s name was “Volendam”, named after an enormously picturesque town in the province of North Holland), the other from Bermuda. Both these cruise ships were enormous. So large in fact, they obscured the Canada Place building, so we had little choice but to walk up and around the building to get any photos as a shot from a distance was not possible.
It DID give us an opportunity to see up close how beautiful the building is, a further evidence of how beautiful Vancouver is as a city. Just like Granville Island, this place is hopping. People from from every walk of life we out, walking, laughing, sitting and generally just enjoying the sights and views of the harbor.