Now for something different. Emboldened by yesterday’s excursion on bus and train we decided to leave Linda and Doug at home while we went exploring by bus. We hopped off the bus at Kitsilano Beach or as it is more affectionately known, Kits Beach.
We saw it at 1pm and thought it was crowded but 4 hours later it was more crowded. The amount of white skins leads me to be concerned how many redskins there will be tonight.
The number of logs does not really give any idea of the number of people who will sit on or beside those logs.
The sand is the colour of cement powder and there is no surf. Not even a ripple. As the tide goes out the sand is replaced by weed covered rocks, logs, pipelines, oysters and other shellfish.
Venturing further than ankle deep is putting your foot health at risk. The beach is for playing not swimming. Playing? There are about 20 beach volley ball courts all in use while people are practising between courts and on nearby grass. The basketball courts also get a workout .
We followed the coastal pathway past Vancouver Maritime Museum and Vancouver Science Museum. We had considered going to one or two of Vancouvers several museums. They all have an entry fee of around $26 on average. We compared that to all the FREE museums and Art Galleries in Brisbane and decided to pass on the museums.
We passed under the Burrard Street Bridge. The bridge has some interesting decorative sculptural work on the bridge superstructure above the roadway. One is a bust of Captain George Vancouver while the other is Sir Harry Burrard-Neale.
We continued walking past what I thought were a wonderful set of units built around a man- made lagoon and overlooking False Creek and the vast expanse of marina. Later Doug and Linda explained the units have a great outlook but are very expensive, in the CAN$2,000,000 range, are small inside and are a leasehold with a 99 year lease.
So? What’s the problem? (Apart from the price tag) There are only two of us and we do not need a vast unit and at age 70 is a 99 year lease going to bother us? No we are not thinking of buying. Just saying.
This tiny hole in the wall café has limited seating of about 12 tables, does not have a view and the only way to get a table is to put your name on a list outside, detailing how many in your party and then, wait. An earlier Fish and Chip place with a view over the marina had a 90 minute wait. Soon 4 people left the café but there was no party of 4 waiting. The waitress called us and another couple , pushed the tables apart and we had only waited 5 minutes. Not so the Chinese family of 6 who waited with patience until shortly before we finished and until the waitress was able to cobble a table for 6 together. One waitress, 4 kitchen staff and they were all busy, great food and great service. Well worth the effort of finding the café.
We walked to the food hall, bought yoghurt ice cream and began the walk back to Kits Beach to catch a bus back to the house.
In all we walked around 6 Klms today.
We arrived just on 6pm in time for dinner.
So ends our seventh week away from home.
Only another week before we fly home to the GC in OZ.
Tomorrow we drive to Seattle, USA via a scenic route and after that will be a mystery. Linda has some plans.
Lots of photos. lots of information covering Monday to Saturday.
Monday 11th June 2018
While Linda and Doug had dental appointments, Donnis and I took Poppy the French Bulldog for a walk along the seafront at Jericho Beach. The beach has the snow capped mountains as a backdrop in one direction and downtown Vancouver in another. Across Burrard Inlet, which is littered with container and cargo ships waiting on being loaded, is Point Atkinson Lighthouse in north Vancouver.
The beach area here is also littered with logs which are continually being found floating in the bay. Those logs are dragged ashore onto the beaches and used as convenient backrests, seats and tables by locals having a day at the beach on the gray sands. All along the coastline are piles of logs which have been washed ashore over the years.
An interesting fact about what is known as Vancouver Harbour and the shipping lanes leading into it. From Burrard Inlet to the USA Border roughly 25 Klms by road is over 365 Klms of coastline. Like most coastlines it weaves in and out, twists and turns and creates little bays, headlands and inlets.
Dental appointments completed, Doug and Linda joined us for fish and chips at Spanish Banks East Concession.
It is described by Google Maps as a snack bar. This is a little shop which sells fish and chips and hamburgers, ice creams, sandwiches and amazingly, real espresso coffee. The young lady who served us took the orders, made the coffee, fish and chips and burgers, serving other customers and single handed running the impressive little shop.
Tuesday 12th June
Today we dropped Linda at a doctors appointment in downtown Vancouver while we walked to the waterfront. The day was overcast, threatening rain and rather chilly. After Linda joined us we walked to Granville Island Markets.
Regular readers will recall that I am not a fan of markets and that we also visited these same markets when we first arrived in Vancouver at the beginning of May. The markets are huge with the advantage of an enclosed foodie hall with lots of seating outside on the banks of False Creek which has some wonderful views of three bridges and the little water taxi’s taking passengers to various locations in the city.
Also from here we can see the dozens of float planes taking off and landing. The bridges are, Burrard St Bridge, Granville St Bridge and Cambie St Bridge. False Creek also has a large marina and the creek itself drains into Vancouver Harbour.
For me the saving grace is the food outlets which are always crowded. I just love the sights, the smells, the sounds and the crowds – even on a Tuesday.
We all wanted something different to eat so went our separate ways agreeing to meet on the dock outside. The hand -made chocolate outlets are always busy. Luckily I did not feel like chocolate today. The walk back to the car was pleasant although cool with a few drops of rain.
Wednesday 13th June
Last night as we snuggled beneath the blankets we could hear the rain beginning to drum against the roof and windows. This morning I woke to a weak daylight and heard the constant drum of the rain.
Oh well, this is, after all, Vancouver, which reportedly has the best climate in Canada but also has the most rain.
In the afternoon Donnis and I took a walk, mostly just to clear the cobwebs out of our brains and also to avoid cabin fever. The weather seems to be deteriorating.
Thursday 14th June.
Another wet day and therefore we did not do any exploring. Earlier this week we discussed flying to Mexico for a week. It seemed like a good idea except that Hurricane Bud, a category 4 system was threatening the Mexican west coast and Californian south coast. Even if the hurricane moves back to sea and does not cross the coast it will dump lots of rain and quite frankly we have had enough of the rain. No sense in flying to Mexico and possibly spending 7 days in unpleasant conditions.
Friday 15th June
For some crazy reason I was wide awake at 5.30am. Looking out the window from our room high on the westside hill I could see a cruise ship slowly moving up the Burrard Channel. It is the Royal Caribbean owned Radience of the Seas. It will pass under the Lions Gate Bridge into Vancouver Harbour and dock at Canada Place to discharge passengers. By midday it will start taking on passengers before heading off at 4pm on a 7 day cruise to Seward, (known as Port of Anchorage) Alaska in the evening.
It is overcast and quite chilly at 12°. Some rain fell overnight. The rest of the day may be another lay day waiting for better weather.
Saturday 16th June.
The good weather arrived and we are in shorts and Tshirts today
Along with Linda and Doug we caught a bus into downtown Vancouver then caught the SkyTrain to New Westminster on the right bank of the Fraser River.
New Westminster was settled in 1858 and was considered the capital of the new Province, British Columbia. The original reason for the settlement was Gold. Like gold rush locations around the world the gold finally gave out. The plan by Major-General Richard Moody was to establish “a city of beauty in the wilderness”. By 1860 the population of nearby Vancouver exceeded that of New Westminster. As well, Vancouver was a more accessible coastal port and not subject to the vagaries of a river system which had raging snowmelt in summer and barely a trickle in winter as well as legions of mudflats, sandbars and floating logs. By 1866 the mainland and nearby islands were brought together as a united Province, British Columbia with even better harbour facilities at Victoria the capital of Vancouver Island. Despite lots of arguments by both New Westminster and Vancouver residents, Victoria became the capital of British Columbia.
Today watching the swift flowing Fraser River we saw dozens of floating logs and other debris and can understand the difficulties of boating in this tidal, mudflat, sandbar and obstacle studded river.
We walked around the waterside to look at various market stalls and food out lets.
We decided to have an early dinner at The Old Spaghetti Factory http://www.oldspaghettifactory.ca/#menu one of a dozen in a chain stretching through several Provinces in Canada. Generally they advertise that all meals are complete. That is, an entrée or a soup, sourdough bread, main course, ice cream and a cup of tea is included in the price. I chose Seafood Fettucine Alfredo which included scallops and prawns. To accompany the main I had a sourdough roll, minestrone soup, Spumoni ice cream and a cup of tea. Cost? $16.95. Great meal, great service great atmosphere but gee it was noisy. We sat in what was once an old trolley car in NW.
Afterwards it was SkyTrain and bus home and very tired.