I'm in the departure lounge at Vancouver airport, en route to Ottawa via Toronto. Our holiday's nearly over and we're returning to an early and severe winter in Ontario, with deep snow in the garden already. Here in BC it's mild, but damp and grey. There's a picture of the Sydney Opera House and harbour bridge on the TV with Australian voices on the commentary-- a golf tournament taking place there--sounds like the cricket on ABC radio. We were swimming in the breakers on a Sydney beach three days ago, which seems as incredible and as unreal now as the wall painting of tropical sands with palm trees around the hot tub at the Accent Inn airport hotel that we sat in for half an hour last night, relaxing our back muscles in the stream of bubbles.
We spent another pleasant afternoon walking around Vancouver yesterday, on a cloudy day that suited our mood, winding down after the goodbyes in Sydney and the very long trans-Pacific flight, two thirds of which was in darkness again. Our seats were over the wing, not allowing us much of a view beyond a brief glimpse of Bondi beach in the rain on takeoff, choppy waves below us, a few anvil shaped cloud tops at sunset, south of the Equator, and the dark mountain tops near Seattle at dawn before we came in to land on the Vancouver runway right beside the water again. There are so many similarities between Sydney and Vancouver that it's hard to remember which place you're in, after experiencing two November 29th dawns within 24 hours. I felt rough during the second one and hardly had the brainpower to order breakfast at the IHOP, but a couple of hours sleep and a late lunch at an Italian cafe on Prender Street helped. Chris bought his second hand book about Emperor Julian that he'd spotted on November 8th and we walked right round Canada Place and by the Lost Lagoon again to English Bay where 14 container ships lay at anchor in the gloaming, some with their lights on. It was very romantic to see them there beyond the pine trees and the beach. Might cross the Pacific by ship one day!