I took advantage of some spare time yesterday to catch up after a full day of travel. Also using a little time to familiarise myself with the city of Vancouver. Today I had booked a City Highlights tour and tagged on a stop at the Aquarium in the afternoon.
Vancouver City Highlights Tour
The tour started from Canada Place, where the convention centre and cruise ship terminal are. I had visited near to this area yesterday, and happy to find it was not a big part of the tour. The tour passed by some the historical and interesting buildings in Vancouver before the first stop at Stanley Park.
The first stop was a group of nine totem poles at Brockton Point in Stanley Park. Each of the nine poles has a particular purpose and meaning behind the carvings. The totem poles are the most visited tourist spot in British Columbia.
The tour continued around Stanley park to a place named Prospect Point Lookout. The lookout overlooks the Burrard Inlet, the entrance to Vancouver Harbour. The Lions Gate Bridge is also part of the view here and is a three-lane suspension bridge crossing the inlet. Additionally, on a clear day, you can also see one mountain peak located in the United States. Today though was not clear, and the best view was this ship heading out of the harbour.
Continuing through Stanley Park, I can see there are many other places it would be great to stop. However, as with any tour, they have a set schedule, and our next stop was Granville Island. Unfortunately with a very brief stop here there was not the time for any decent photos. However, I hope to return to Granville Island later in the week.
The final stop of the tour was at Vancouver Lookout, which sits atop the Harbour Center. You are rewarded with a 360-degree view of Downtown Vancouver. There are also great views across the harbour to the Northshore and other surrounding areas. You get a little taste of the view on the way up in the glass elevator on the side of the building. Below is a small part of Stanley Park from the view at Vancouver Lookout.
The tour may have ended, however, part of the tour could include a visit to the Aquarium. Although I had not planned this I thought it would be a good way to fill in some time. Some of the displays are similar to other aquariums I have visited, but there are some differences. The main one that got my attention was the Beluga Whales, which were great to see.
One fearture, at the aquarium that caught my attention, was this sculpture below. It is Bill Reid’s killer whale sculpture, “Chief of the Undersea World”. The sculpture was presented as a gift to the aquarium in 1984.
The tour was a great way to see some of the highlights of the city. I also got some ideas on places that I can visit over the next few days as well.