Here are two views of Vancouver's outskirts, the first photo taken last weekend, the second in November 2013, a year and a half ago, when we were stopping there on our way to Australia. The city's face is changing and its population becoming more and more east-Asian. The passengers who got onto the Skytrain at Marine Drive station at the end of this bridge were mostly speaking Mandarin, reminding us of the passers-by in Sydney, NSW. I'd have no trouble learning to understand and speak this language if we moved to Vancouver! Considering the stimulus and the environment of this city, that's an appealing thought. After our soothing week in Victoria, BC's capital, it's worth recording that both Chris and I felt more alert after reaching the mainland city on Saturday afternoon. I suspect that settling on genteel, unprovocative Vancouver Island could quickly become too soothing. Retirement there would be retirement in more than one sense of the word.
Still, it doesn't take long to travel between the two modes of existence and the ferry ride is a delight in both directions.
At Tsawwassen we caught the 260 bus again to Bridgeport Station, a slow ride due to roadwork and rush hour traffic, but we weren't in any hurry. This time we checked into the Holiday Inn Express round the corner from the station at the other side of a Costco store, a short walk with our luggage and therefore a very convenient lodging from the location point of view, with comfortable amenities and shuttle service to the airport, but we shan't stay there again because of the noise from the air-conditioning (?) machinery on the roof at Costco's, that penetrated our bedroom window that night, even though we kept it closed.
Canada Line train to the city centre on Friday afternoon––it goes underground beyond Marine Drive––we surfaced on Georgia Street with the Victoria Art Gallery only a block away and decided to visit this the following morning. There's an exhibition featuring paintings by Cézanne and his contemporaries as well as other showings which I'll describe in my next blogpost. For the rest of the time we simply wandered and observed, stopping for food and drink here and there, with a particularly good meal at Salam Bombay on the corner of Burrard and Alberni Streets, next door to the Fairmont Hotel. We sat at a window table, looking down at the people going by with their umbrellas at the ready. As they say, it usually rains in Vancouver.
It was still warm enough for lunch on an outdoor patio by the harbour's edge near Canada Place, the next day, where we watched the sea craft going by, rowing boats, ferries, ships, and sea planes taking off and landing on imaginary runways in the water. Westcoast Air craft have a seagull painted on their tails.