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Some photos from Vancouver

March 2nd, 2016 (01:04 am)

I've been in Vancouver for just over a week, taking lots of photos, and struggling to get some of them posted. I don't know why holidays are supposed to be relaxing -- I've been really busy, visiting some of my favourite places: the Art Gallery, which has a massive, ambitious exhibition about the role of 'mashup strategies' in the birth of modern culture, Granville Island, the Aquarium, the Capilano Suspension bridge, the Chinese garden... I've been to two concerts in the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra's New Music Festival -- this was one of the highlights (scroll down to in gloriam and click on the 'listen' icon), a workshop on self-publishing, including a very useful talk on marketing ebooks, three hockey games ("Go, Canucks, Go!" -- we WON two!) and an open practice.

And it's been surprisingly warm and dry most of the time (but today I had to buy an umbrella; it's that bad)!


The hotel I stay in is cheap and cheerful but, roomwise, I had a bit of trouble to start with:

Taken with my iPad, so a bit grainy.

I had to -- ahem -- sit diagonally! So I complained a bit and they moved me to a room with about six inches more, but nowhere to put my clothes:


Yes, that is the clothes rail on top of the fridge! So, another complaint later, they moved me to a much bigger room, with about three feet between the loo and the wall, and the first thing I did was slip getting out of the shower:

Taken with my iPad and a lot of contortion.

I can't decide whether I'd have been safer in the tiny room (because, as my brother pointed out, there would have been nowhere to fall), or whether they would have had to remove the toilet to get me out, but I'm being very careful now!

Quite a few things have changed in Vancouver since last year. The big bookshop, Chapters, which has always been my safe haven, has closed, and the shop will soon be reopening as a sporting goods superstore -- a sign of the sad times. But the worst loss so far has been the lush little garden centre on the way down to the Granville Island ferry. Last year, it looked like this:

garden centre

and now it looks like this:

garden centre

garden centre

I've posted pictures of Granville Island before. Last year, the weather was like this (I didn't post last year's pictures because I broke the weather broke my brother's camera, and felt guilty, but he's ok with it, so I'll post some of them this year):

granville island

which didn't deter an intrepid traveller:

granville island

but this year it was so sunny, everyone had sneaked off from work to spend the afternoon inching their way onto the island and finding a parking space:

granville island

I much prefer it when it's wet!

Here's a pretty picture of the artists' supplies shop:

granville island

And here are some pictures of the public market (taken last year), which sells the most amazingly large and exotic foodstuffs:

granville island

granville island

granville island

I've also posted pictures of the Aquarium before, but this time twelve years of persistence finally paid off:

beluga whale

There are two Beluga whales -- the mother, Aurora, and the daughter (I was going to say baby, but she's 20 years old), called Qila. I'm not sure which one I managed to snap, but I suspect it's the younger one because she likes to tease, gliding past you with a grin on her face then getting well out of shot whilst your camera's still whirring.

Here are some pictures from last year, which came out better than this year's (I think I need a faster memory card) -- the big tank:

big tank

some silver fishes:


clown fishes:

clown fishes

a scary anenome:

clown fishes



and dolphins:


In the gift shop, I couldn't resist taking a picture of these:


Yes, they look exactly like the meal worms I feed my hamster, but they are intended for human consumption -- I asked! The packet on the left is cheddar cheese flavour. I couldn't bring myself to examine the one on the right. My brother's asked me to get him a packet if I go back.

On the way to the Aquarium, I took some arty shots of the nearby sea wall:

sea wall

sea wall

and then I went looking for the remains of the Stanley Park Zoo, which closed in 1996. Some bits have been repurposed as a salmon hatchery, but the polar bear pit is still there:

polar bear pit

The round bit was a pool -- really more of a tank:

polar bear pit

You can see a polar bear diving into it in one of the archive pictures here. It's a great bit of modernist architecture, though far too small for bears. It would look fantasitc restored, with a few bronze polar bear sculptures dotted about.

polar bear pit

After the Aquarium, I went for a walk in the park. I'd just stopped to wrestle with my camera when I heard a tap-tap-tapping, turned, and spotted this little fellow, pecking away at a tree, just a couple of yards away:


That's the best picture I managed to take of him, and he's still a bit blurry! I think he must be a Red-headed Woodpecker, though he doesn't seem to have a white tummy.

Then I walked back to the hotel, past the wholefood supermarket:


and the Robson Public Market:

public market


Posted by: Maz (thismaz)
Posted at: March 2nd, 2016 06:07 am (UTC)

Oh, your poor arm. That looks nasty.
They say eating insects is the way of the future. I prefer the look of that fruit and all those cakes, though *g*
The polar bear enclosure does have a sort of decaying grandeur, but I agree, it was far too small for real bears.

Posted by: ningloreth (ningloreth)
Posted at: March 2nd, 2016 03:34 pm (UTC)

I was really lucky, because I fell with my leg bent under me and my first thought was "Is it broken?" But I got away with the bruise!

They say eating insects is the way of the future. I prefer the look of that fruit and all those cakes, though *g*

I'm with you there! I suppose, if they processed the insects into burgers or something... I'm vegetarian, but I think insects are a bit of a grey area -- I don't hesitate to whack flies!

Posted by: Karen (kazzy_cee)
Posted at: March 2nd, 2016 03:19 pm (UTC)
Spring tulips

It's not really odd to eat worms really is it - loads of cultures do as it's such a great source of protein, and yet we find it repulsive (not sure I could bring myself to try those snacks!!).

What a shame about the zoo - I wonder if they could have adapted it to smaller animals if the enclosures didn't suit the large ones?


Ouch - your bruise is spectacular! I hope it's not too painful.

Posted by: ningloreth (ningloreth)
Posted at: March 2nd, 2016 11:58 pm (UTC)

No, I don't think I could eat one of those snacks, either--I feed mealworms to my hammy, and they smell horrible! If they processed them in some way, I'd have a dilemma, because I'm a vegetarian, but I don't really count insects as sentient creatures...

I think the smaller animals were moved to a petting area, elsewhere in the park.

The cakes are amazing, though I have to say that the tiramisu wasn't quite as good as mine! There's also a food court, but the stalls are all run by small businesses and the food is hand made.

The bruise is still lurid-looking, but at least it's stopped hurting!

Posted by: Nebride - Bishie Hunter (nebride)
Posted at: March 4th, 2016 07:30 pm (UTC)

Your photos are absolutely awesome! It does sound like and incredibly busy holiday. I imagine you're going to need a vacation to recover from your vacation - lol.

I'm so sorry about the fall - ouch! The bruise looks really painful. Good for you for complaining about the rooms - yeesh! Those looked ridiculously small.

I'm sorry too about the garden place that closed. We've had the same thing around here. The economists keep telling us that the economy is recovering, but what I see is my favorite shops and restaurants going out of business and nothing replacing them. I hear the same thing from a couple of friends who live in Vancouver.

Cheese flavored meal worms? No. Just no. *shudders*

Posted by: sparrow2000 (sparrow2000)
Posted at: March 20th, 2016 11:22 pm (UTC)

I'm just catching up way to late with my flist and saw your post. Ouch re your arm! But I love Granville Island market. We haven't been on the mainland in ages, but it's one of the places we always head for when we do.

Sounds like you packed a bunch of stuff in to a relatively short period of time.

Posted by: ningloreth (ningloreth)
Posted at: March 21st, 2016 11:37 am (UTC)

Hello! I really envy you, living over there. It's a shame you don't get to visit the mainland more often. This year, I bought a Compass card and ventured out as far as Metrotown!

I took loads of photos, so I'm hoping to post a few more... maybe I'll get time at Easter :-)

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