blending an assortment of thoughts and experiences for my friends, relations and kindred spirit

blending an assortment of thoughts and experiences for my friends, relations and kindred spirit
By Alison Hobbs, blending a mixture of thoughts and experiences for friends, relations and kindred spirits.

Monday, November 11, 2013

On the way, in Vancouver

We chased the sunset west from Ottawa, and a very dramatic sunset too, like a red ink blot seeping into the grey clouds on the horizon. The flight to Vancouver was less romantic, with a baby screaming at its poor mother a couple of seats in front of us all the way. Thank goodness Chris had his noise reducing headset with him. I watched the documentary Industrial Landscapes about Edward Burtynsky's photography of the modern industrial revolution in China.

From the train ride into Vancouver
In Vancouver (Richmond, really, near the airport) we stayed at an Accent Inn on the road to Seattle, with shuttle bus service to and from YVR airport, comfortable and convenient except for the lack of nearby restaurants open after 9pm, except for MacDonalds, which didn't appeal. In the morning after a hearty breakfast at the IHOP diner--now open!--we were able to leave our luggage at the hotel, take the shuttle bus to the local station and catch a train that became an underground one after the first couple of stops, to central Vancouver and the waterfront.

Our views of the coastal mountains couldn't have been better, in clear weather with clouds swirling over their ridges and a bit of snow on top. Vancouver's a beautiful city that we haven't seen since 2003. We followed the seawall paths and lingered near the sea plane base to watch the takeoffs and landings.

Houseboats in the marina, Vancouver
Once we reached Stanley Park the sun was warming us, so we sat on a bench by Lost Lagoon to watch the birds in the bushes. There were semi-tame raccoons being cute, and pestering passers by for food. We wandered on to English Bay and then back to the streets where we discovered a French restaurant serving well cooked, well presented food (fish and chips, actually).

Canada Place at dusk

Vancouver skyline seen from the sea bus from N. Vancouver

Still having hours to fill, but too tired for museums, we wandered via a second hand bookshop on the corner of Richard and Prender Street down to Gastown with its famous "steam clock" then back to the Canada Place, waterfront area where we caught a ferry (sea bus, for commuters) across Burrards Inlet to North Vancouver and back, just for the sake of the ride, and another sunset.

Eventually, unlike the clock in Gastown, we ran out of steam, so rumbled back on the self driving train to the airport, caught the shuttle to the hotel to pick up our luggage, picked it up and hopped straight back on the shuttle, back to the airport. The international departures terminal was almost deserted which made for an easy passage through security and a quiet supper at the restaurant in the departures lounge.

Then we boarded the plane for Sydney and sat on it for something like 17 hours.

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