After a peaceful night in the airport terminal, my visit to Vancouver really began with a magnificent sunrise seen from the Canada Line SkyTrain into town. The whole of the eastern sky lit up in every shade from pink to purple. After leaving my bag at the YWCA and looking around Granville Island I ate a cheese and mushroom crepe in the Public Market and then checked into my hotel for a couple of hours sleep.
I spent an educational couple of hours at the University’s Museum of Anthropology, but really needed longer. I hadn’t realized what a trek it was to get there from town. The multiverse galleries have so many exhibits that they could easily occupy a full day.
I got off the bus back to town in Kitsilano and ate a huge serving of spanakopita and tasty lamb at Simpatico. The Safeway across the street provided juice and yoghurt for breakfast. (My room had a fridge.) Although the Y had a coffee shop I went out for morning coffee and free wifi.
The next day I started out at the T.I. collecting maps and transport passes before checking out the water front and the rather sad-looking Olympic torch (I’m sure it looks better at night). The western convention center also seemed forlorn and deserted, although I later found two immense cruise ships parked at the eastern center (the one with the “sails”).
I spent much of the rest of the day at Stanley Park, which I loved. The aquarium seemed a but overpriced, and, like the “sails”, not up to Sydney’s standard, but the park itself was beautiful, with good views and good formal gardens. I paid my respects to the Japanese Canadian War Memorial (WWI) and the Air Force Memorial Garden.
The Sun Yat Sen Garden in Chinatown made a fitting finish to a good day. The guide gave an excellent explanation of Chinese gardens in general and this one, the first built outside China, in particular. Between the garden itself, and the very evocative smells coming from the food shops nearby, I started to regret omitting China from this trip.