Monday, September 19, 2016


Thursday was the start of a new month and we were about to head into a new country, at least as far as this trip was concerned since Canada has been around for quite some time.

Most of us ate the boxed breakfast that was handed to us as we left the hotel while waiting at Amtrak to depart Seattle for the International ride into Vancouver.
We had our passports at the ready and figured we would not have any trouble with customs agents.   None of us cared to cause an international scandal.  (36 semi elderly travelers held at border for failure to present passports, film at eleven.)

Luckily there was nothing to worry about with regards to border crossing or for the convenience of our train ride to Vancouver as all seats faced Mecca, I mean forward.

As for the train ride the windows were clear so the scenery was easily seen and unfortunately photogenic so I took way too many shots.  Here are but a few:

I named this duo:
Little Boy and Fat Man

When the tide is out people can walk nearly a mile
to catch some fish or just to play in the mud.

The sign on the pier is advertising the White Rock BC Fall Festival of the Arts. We would not be around but nice to know they have one!

They do love
bridges here!

We arrived in Vancouver and had the pleasure of going through customs.
Sadly Susan and I, and Roger as we learned later were subjected to an agent who woke up in the wrong side of the border!
The third degree went thusly:
"Why are you coming into Canada?"
"How long are you staying?"
"Where are you staying?"
"When will you be leaving?"
"How are you leaving?"
I was dying to give this moron some of my real answers but held my tongue since he was obviously trying to get someone angry.  He must have thought one of us was related to Trump.
Luckily this five minute interlude with the Neanderthal was the only low point of our entire vacation and it was now over!

Once we left the station we loaded onto the coach bus and headed for a quick tour of the city, and I mean quick as we headed for lunch at a Canadian chain restaurant with rather good food, Milestones.

John took over as the local expert for our time in Vancouver BC and he gave us a fine overview of the city as we traveled on the coach around town.

We had time to walk around parts of Stanley Park and visit the Totem Poles on display.

Other visitors to the park enjoyed a relaxing horse pulled tour.  We were happy to walk on our own and take in the views as we saw fit.

 Next we drove past Chinatown and stopped at GasTown.

This "Flat Iron" building located on 43 Powell Street is actually Hotel Europe!
(Read more about it by clicking the link.) 

The hotel sits across from Gassy Jack's old tavern which is guarded by a statue of Jack himself.
You can tell he's a legend in these here parts by the pigeon greetings  adorning his likeness!

A little further into our walk and we came upon this wonderfully noisy grandfather's clock.

It is actually the last Gas Powered chiming clock in Canada, if not the world!

Click for video!

While we were there a
flying saucer landed on a building.


We then, finally, checked into the Blue Horizon Hotel and enjoyed a delicious dinner at Adesso Bistro, around a half mile bus ride from the hotel. (None of us noticed or remembered that we would be walking back after dinner but...)

Naturally it rained as we left the restaurant and John, impervious to the weather continued to tell us about local customs.  
We stopped by a park, one of hundreds everywhere and he explained that a certain amount of space was mandated between residential towers so that you could comfortably undress in your apartment without fear that someone across the way would spot your beautiful figure.
We appreciated the information but kind of sort of needed towels to dry our beautiful figures by the end of the walk back to the hotel.

Breakfast was on the 31st floor and offered a great view of the city.  I'll bet it would even be more beautiful if the sun was out!

Looking down on a park between two
residential towers that are at least 80' apart.

This morning's lecture was on the sustainability of Vancouver going forward and as always it was informative.

We left for Granville Island and free time on the artsy island filled with crafts and knick knacks and items found nowhere else, sort of.

Just onto the island:

On the left are cement mixing towers playfully painted to hide their inherently ugly appearance. Delightful!

On the right is an example of silk thread sewed onto canvas to form a beautiful seascape.
Closeup it's amazing! 

Lunch was at Granville's Dockside Restaurant and as usual the food was very good.  Either that or as I age my tastes become less discriminatory.  Probably a bit of both.

Yes you may go
but hurry back!
Next stop was a wonderful tour of the Museum of Anthropology hosted by a very knowledgeable young lady who appeared to be at least 15 years old.

The artifacts of the museum generally show the work of the tribes of the Salish Sea territories and date back quite a while.
Here are a few on display:

A Tiled Stove - Explanation below

Not completely to scale I trust!

Cool masks. Trick or Treat?

Salish Basket Weaving 101

A First Nation depiction
of the origin of man.

Also on display was a showing of art by Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun.  His take on the world, especially when it comes to politics is as funny as it is socially relevant.  After his people have been, uh disrespected for so many years he clearly does not trust politicians.
His bio is on the right and examples of his work appear below.

We had a few minutes left before we had to go and divided it between the gift shop (naturally) 
and the special exhibit on Papua New Guinea.

This is the only photo I will post but you may read about the exhibit and "Crocodile Man" by clicking here! 

Dinner that evening was at Earl's on Robson’s. This was a local sports bar a block from our hotel where most of us had a great meal. For some reason mine was served an hour after everyone else was fed.
I guess they read my blog!

Afterwards we took a short walk on the avenue and spotted this rather interesting sculpture just sitting all alone outside a hotel, not ours.

Saturday morning we had a fairly quick breakfast and loaded our stuff onto the bus for a short hop to the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal.  (Say that three times fast!)

The hour or so trip over to Vancouver Island aka Victoria Island, the Capitol of British Columbia was uneventful and relaxing with beautiful scenery on both sides of the boat.  Sadly we saw no whales.  In fact there were whales all over the place but our group never saw a one!  I am certain anyone else will have much more luck in that department so do not be discouraged.

Our bags were placed on the coach and we headed off for a fantastic picnic lunch and free time at the Butchart Gardens.

But you've read quite enough for today so that will have to wait for PART IV.  Rest peacefully my friends.


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