Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Really did the tourist thing today, starting off by driving down to Granville Island Market. This is in downtown Vancouver and is situated under a bridge. It’s a foodie’s paradise, with inside stalls selling everything from bagels to fish, herbs and chocolates. There are an abundance of outside cafes and you can sit and watch the small water taxis dashing across the harbour. Then with a few detours – read that as going the wrong way – we made our way over Granville Bridge (so from the underside to the topside) and into the heart of the downtown. It’s hugely busy, traffic lights just at about every block, but the road leads down to Stanley Park – a seven mile circumference park that juts out on the city headland. Right beside the park is the Lion’s Gate Bridge which spans the harbour from the park/downtown to the north shore of Vancouver. Over the bridge, a couple of wrong turns and we headed up through the northern suburbs to Grouse Mountain. This is a ski area which is often used in winter for night skiing, because of it’s close location to the city dwellers. Although it had been sunny when we left downtown, by the time we got to Grouse the clouds had lowered and it wasn’t worthwhile going up the gondola (phew – i don’t like heights), because the clouds covered the top half.
A coffee, a quick drive back over the bridge – because we now knew our way. Driving through Stanley park was lovely, but one thing we did notice was that you had to pay everywhere for public parking, even just on the waterfront round the park.
The roads in Vancouver run east /west and north /south, so if you know your cross roads it gets quite easy – eventually. We managed to find our way down town to Gas Town. This was named after a pioneer who opened a bar and was known as Gassy – because of the tall stories he told. There is now on one of the corners a steam powered clock. The area is quite touristy, but leads to what was once the heart of the city, but that has moved closer to the water now. This old area is sadly a bit rough, with seedy types and so we didn’t stay long.
But we made our way home safe and sound, hungry because we’d never managed to stop for lunch.

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