A Travellerspoint blog

Vancouver - False Creek

And Jazz

sunny 22 °C

We took to the Seawall Walk again, this time the east section along the north side of False Creek. The whole area is a redevelopment and resembles a mini-Hong Kong - totally over-the-top, like most of the redevelopment in Vancouver

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At the end of the 5-km walk, we took a small ferry back to Granville Island where was a Vancouver Jazz Festival outdoor session near the market. We spent 2 hours in glorious sunshine listening to "Blue Moon Marquee", playing a mixture of blues and bluegrass with a lead singer/guitarist sounding like Tom Waits, Dan Hicks and JJ Cale all rolled into one

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And later that day, we listened to the wonderful "Rumba Calzada" band at downtown Robson Square where there are free sessions for a couple of weeks. The beer of choice was Mill St Organic Lager

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On the walk back to the apartment along the funky Granville Street (which probably gets a little too funky late at night), we came across a couple of interesting items. We haven't tried Poutine but it sounds lovely - fries smothered in gravy, topped with cheese curd and sometimes the gourmet addition of creamed corn

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Posted by kforge 09:17 Archived in Canada Comments (1)

Vancouver - Downtown

Jazz and Gastown

overcast 17 °C

Jeni went walkabout and ended up at the Chopra Yoga Center. I met up with her downtown at Robson Square where the Vancouver Jazz Festival was kicking off with some free outdoor sessions

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After listening to the Jared Burrow Sextext, we continued downtown and into the Gastown district. Vancouver's history as a city has its roots in what was a tiny settlement nicknamed Gastown. The name Gastown came into use because a Fraser River pilot turned saloonkeeper with the name Capt. John 'Gassy Jack' Deighton was in 1867 the first settler on the site from which Vancouver was to evolve. (the term 'to gas' refers to talking a lot). Gastown like most of the built-up areas of Vancouver was disappointing - the "natural" side of the city is tremendous

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We trudged back to the apartment, and for the first time in about 2 weeks we were walking in the rain

Posted by kforge 08:48 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

Vancouver - Granville Island

Coffee with Becky Wicks

sunny

Once again we were off on the walkway towards Stanley Park. This time only as far as the start of English Bay to meet Jeni's friend, the writer Becky Wicks at the Cactus Club cafe. Nearby was an interesting sign about coyotes - if you don't speak English, you're in trouble

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All around the city are outdoor sculptures which are part of the 2014-2016 Vancouver Biennale - we passed one at Sunset Beach

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The are 2 ferry companies that ply the waters of False Creek. We walked back towards our place and took the ferry from the Aquatic Centre to Granville Island - it's not an island, just a small parcel of land that juts into the creek with water on 3 sides. The island still has plenty of industry plus many art studios and "famous" market hall. It was far too busy and expensive for our liking, and actually not that interesting except for another Biennale artwork (the fabulously painted silos of the Ocean Construction company) and a Canada Post box

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Early evening we walked a few minutes to the Burrard Bridge Marine Bar & Grill, set, not surprisingly, pretty much below the Burrard Bridge. The Whistler Brewing Company's Powder Mountain Lager was very agreeable on a warm summer's night. The bar is at the bottom of the apartment block next to the bridge and the picture was taken from the helicopter I hired for the shot

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Posted by kforge 10:17 Archived in Canada Comments (1)

Vancouver - Stanley Park

A lovely 15km seawall walk

sunny 23 °C

Yes, 15km - the Stanley Park walk is only 8.8km but we hadn't realised how far it was from our place to the start of the walk; 3km, each way. We were puzzled for a while as large groups of Americans went speeding past us on their bicycles, but then we realised that the USA were playing Nigeria later that day in the Womens Football World Cup and there were thousands of them in town. There a couple of outdoor pools on the Seawall Walk, as well as a few small kiosks for snacks but generally it is just the sea, the beach and the forest - a really great park

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In the evening we headed downtown to the Vancouver Art Gallery; what a mistake that was. We both agreed it had the worst modern art we had ever seen. We had gone there to see their North West collection but were told there was no room for it but it did have the biggest collection of ArtWank we had come across. Here's a picture of the gallery so you don't make the mistake of visiting it

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Posted by kforge 15:13 Archived in Canada Comments (2)

Victoria to Vancouver

Swartz Bay to Tsawwassen

sunny 23 °C

The ferry leaves Vancouver Island for Vancouver from Swartz Bay, about a 45-minute dry from Victoria. We were booked on the 12pm ferry but arrived early and were told we could go into the standby lane for the 11am ferry. What we weren't told was that once you go into standby, your original booking is cancelled! There were a huge number of cars on the 11am and we missed out, and it was then, as another huge number of cars drove in, that we discovered the "cancellation" issue. As it happens, we did get on the 12pm ferry but on a busy weekend, we might have waited quite a while

The first hour of the trip was spectacular as we passed several of the Gulf Islands and then had a tricky manoeuvre for a large ferry, through a narrow passage between Galiano and Mayne Islands

As the ferry comes in towards Tsawwassen, it traverses USA waters for a few minutes

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Tsawwassen to Vancouver is about 40 minutes, mainly of Hwy 99 which comes straight over the Granville Bridge, below which we were about to move in to our next houseswap (actually the same people as in Victoria). The small apartment is on the 5th floor of a new building with nice views of False Creek and Granville Island from the large balcony/deck. Famous Stanley Park appears to be only a few minutes walk way

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Posted by kforge 07:00 Archived in Canada Comments (1)

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