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.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

19th December, Vancouver

I'm writing this at the "holding area" (Gate D52) for Flight AC33 to Australia. It will be a very long flight, 15 or so hours long, and we are already extremely tired! Woke up at 5:20am Vancouver time this morning (because of the different time zone), and did sleep again a little, but not deeply. We had a substantial and well cooked breakfast at the iHop next to the hotel, then rode in the shuttle bus back to the airport, where Chris had the bright idea of looking for a left-luggage place. That's not the right word in Canadian English, where I think they call it baggage consignment, and a luggage label isn't a familiar concept to Canadians either. They call them luggage tags.

I enjoyed the Canada Line to the city, sitting in the front seats with a view forward. These are driverless trains. To our delight, it wasn't raining as we'd expected from the forecast, and we could even see snowy mountains to the south, in the distance. Vancouver's own mountains were covered in low clouds.

The floating world in the doorway of Vancouver's
Convention Centre
All day, we walked and stopped, walked and stopped, on benches, in cafés, shops, restaurants, including a pleasantly quiet Thai restaurant on Denman Street for a hot and sour soup. We remembered where the second hand bookshop was, approximately, and found it. We saw ducks, geese, swans, and birds that I think were rufous sided Towhees (yes, I am right), round the edge of the Lost Lagoon, and gazed for a while at the tankers moored in English Bay, waiting for high tide. It felt cold at first in the wind, and it was good that Chris had bought a new woolly pullover to wear under his summer jacket; when the wind dropped we felt less chilly, but it began to rain. At the end of the day we rested at the old station known as Waterfront and when we re-emerged outside it was dark. Round the edge of Canada Place a Christmas display had been set up, aimed at entrancing the children with tableaux of wintry scenes and toy animals that move their heads. Some children were playing with artificial snow, inside a plastic bubble. The coloured lights in the Christmas trees and around the buildings and the harbour created magical effects.

Back to the airport much too early, for a 5 hour wait for departure. If we don't manage to sleep on this flight in this state of exhaustion, I'll be disappointed.

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