Destinations

Exploring & Rediscovering Vancouver

Vancouver - Canada Place at Night

Today I am leaving Seattle to head north to Vancouver. My time in Seattle staying with my friend has been a very good time. But as with most things that are good they do come to an end.

Seattle To Vancouver By Train

The proximity of Vancouver and Seattle lends itself to being impractical to fly. There are flights available, but by the time you get to the airport, wait around and fly the train is just as convenient.

The trip is on the Amtrak Cascades service and takes around four hours to cover the approximately 230km route. While the train is more comfortable, it does take longer. But the countryside you get to see and ability to have four hours solid to be able to use electronics is better than air travel.

Arriving In Vancouver

The last time I was in Vancouver I left the city via train, so I arrived in a somewhat familiar area. I had opted to stay in a different hotel this time, one that was located much closer to Canada Place. The hotel was Executive Hotel Le Soleil, which was comfortable and just two blocks from the cruise terminal.

Being that I was here to join a cruise ship to travel Transpacific back home to Sydney, I was interested in seeing the ships. Today there was two cruise ship docked at Canada Place. The first is one that I have seen before when transitting the Panama Canal, the Celebrity Century. The second is one that I was almost booked on for this cruise Holland America Line’s MS Zaandam. However, I changed the cruise to a different and better itinerary.

Vancouver - Celebrity Century

I was down at Canada Place at around 4 pm when the two ships were scheduled to depart. The Celebrity Century did leave on time. However, the MS Zaandam was still alongside the dock at 6.30 pm, and I could not wait any longer.

Vancouver - Holland America Line MS Zaandam

Photo Opportunities

While waiting for the two ships to depart, I did come across a couple of other interesting photo opportunities. The first is a piece of public art named “The Drop” which is rather difficult to photograph in a great angle, but here we go.

Vancouver - Giant Rain Drop

The second was some rather interesting clouds in the sky above buildings.Vancouver - Clouds

Without any movement from the ship, it was time to find something for dinner. While I did stay close, I could not get a good picture of the MS Zaandam leaving due to no tripod with me.

Day 2 – Monday 5 September 2011

As it turned out for my second day in Vancouver, or first full day it is a public holiday here. Instead of being a good day to explore it was a day full of lots of people enjoying the day off work. Also leaving a lot of stores either closed or on very limited hours. But of course, I did not let this stop me from seeing something.

I had a couple of ideas on where to explore today, and I figured a good way to do this would be via ferry. A walk to the False Creek end of Hornby St finds you at the dock for Aquabus. These small boats traverse the inlet known as False Creek with seven different stops.

Vancouver - Aquabus

The first stop for me today was the furthermost stop which is nearby Telus Science World. From this stop, it was a short walk to Dr Sun Yat-san Classical Chinese Garden. I had wanted to visit here on my last trip to Vancouver but just ran out of time.

Vancouver - Dr Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden

The area the garden covers is relatively small compared to other similar gardens I have visited. However, there was a tour that was about to start, so I joined this. I did not stay with the tour long though as it was a little more in depth into a lot of history. It might be interesting for the locals, but I decided just to look around and capture some photos instead.

Vancouver - Dr Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden

Public Art

Walking back towards the ferry stop I found a couple of interesting carved wooden statues. They had been carved out of old tree stumps and appeared to depict fisherman with their catch.

Vancouver - Tree Stump Carving Fisherman with Catch

Granville Island

I rode the ferry back to Granville Island to find some lunch and hopefully explore this area. However, it turned out that being a public holiday and being one of the few places that were open, it was full of people. So I grabbed something quick for lunch and headed back across to the city on the ferry.

Vancouver - City Skyline from Ferry

At least the visit to Granville Island was not a waste as the ferry ride shows some great views of the city. Once back in town I did find a store to grab a couple of supplies for the cruise which leaves on Wednesday. While also rediscovering a little bit more of Vancouver.

Night Photography

Even though I did not have a tripod with me, I still wanted to give a little night photography a try. Especially around the area of Canada Place, there are some beautiful scenes, including Canada Place itself. I combined the walk with finding something for dinner so that I would win either way. But in the end, I found something to eat and got some nice photo

Vancouver - Canada Place at Night Vancouver - Olympic Cauldron from 2010 Winter Olympics Vancouver - Convention Center Replica Globe

I have been very much enjoying the time in Vancouver, but just have one more day before my cruise departs. While the time in America and Canada has been a lot of fun, I think I am ready to board the ship now. Tomorrow though I am planning to meet with another passenger that will be on the ship, so that will be interesting.

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