Monday, 23 July 2007

Tour of Vancouver

We’ve had the good fortune of having visitors from Scotland over the past couple of weeks. I went on a teacher exchange about six years ago and my family got to know a good number of different people in the village where we lived (Ardaneaskan) as well as the town that was up the road (Lochcarron). Our visitors were good friends with my whole family and it was wonderful to show them around town.

Over the past couple of weeks, we have done some touring around Vancouver. I thought I’d share some places that I have particularly enjoyed visiting lately.

First up is the Vancouver Aquarium. It is in Stanley Park, a huge park area attached to the downtown area of Vancouver. It’s a 1000 acres and is actually a bit bigger than Central Park in New York.

There was once a zoo but there was public pressure to get out of the zoo business and just concentrate on aquatic creatures. There are some seals, otters, whales, etc, but they tend to be rescue animals rather than animals captured explicitly for the aquarium. There are shows but these tend to focus on the animals’ natural abilities rather than tricks.

There are also a huge variety of different tanks, an amazon area complete with a zillion butterflies, and lots of interactive displays for the kiddies.

Next is the Vancouver Art Gallery. We saw an exhibit called Monet to Dali. This is a great cross section of artists on loan from the Cleveland Museum of Art. I never realized that Cleveland had such an awesome collection of paintings.

Outside the gallery, which is located in the old courthouse, there was a film crew filming a large group on the steps leading to the front. The gallery often is used in movies and TV shows for - you guessed it - a courthouse.

The last interesting thing was a countdown clock beside the gallery. The Winter Olympics will be held in 2010 in Vancouver. Reaction to this upcoming event ranges from ecstatic excitement about what is going to happen in three short years to upset grumblings as the costs rise and construction takes over the city.

The third place that the females in my family especially like is Robson Street. It is a shopper’s paradise - several blocks of different stores, ranging from touristy and tacky to music to high fashion to great restaurants.

Of course, I like to spend my time wandering around and people watching. I really don’t like the shopping part but I do like looking at the different kinds of people - different nationalities, rich and poor, young and old.

I also like the unusual things that happen to make their way to Robson. In one block there were two unusual cars - one advertising a restaurant and the other - well, it looked interesting!

Inside one of the stores, there was this old Harley - looks like a heavy duty bicycle with a motor - obviously a precursor to the modern motorcycle.

The final stop for this tour of Vancouver is Little Italy on Commercial Drive. This is the kind of place where you’ll find scooterists getting together before a ride. I also like the sense of humour for some of the signs in the area.

We had a great lunch at an Italian restaurant. I was particularly struck by the pizza oven - not only how it looked, but also how well it worked. I love true italian style pizza.

After a great meal, we headed back home - well, actually, it took a couple of days to see these attractions but what the heck. I guess there are a lot of things to see in Vancouver....


Vancouver Real Estate said...

I love that restaurant!

Steve Williams said...

Vancouver looks like a great place. Why did they have to put it so far away???

Steve Williams
Scooter in the Sticks

Dave Dixon said...

vancouver real estate

The restaurant is a great discovery - I am looking forward to more as I explore Little Italy.


Vancouver is a pretty fine place - I've travelled a lot but find that I am always drawn to the mixture of beautiful scenery and world class city that Vancouver has to offer.

Mark said...

I've been to Vancouver once too, strolling around with my scooter. Good thing it has excellent scooter gas mileage. It's such a very cheap way to travel.

Dave Dixon said...

I love riding into Vancouver - way cheaper than by car or public transit and a heckuva lot faster than walking!