Saturday, July 18, 2015

Day 2 Canada, 22/06, Around Vancouver Pt 2

English and French are the two official languages in Canada. Not a lot of French was to be seen in Vancouver but the earlier mentioned area of Granville Island is on Federal land and so all signage there was in both languages. Language drove me crazy during the trip. The flights with Cathay Pacific had announcements in both English and Cantonese (I think). The aircraft live map on the back of the seats went through the English display and then the Chinese display. Our internal Canadian flights were the same, except the other language was French. Most hotels and public transport displayed signage in both French and English, adding to the time it takes to find your way. Many information boards were in both languages.

As for English English or American English spellings, there seemed to be no consistency. Centre/center, harbour/harbor etc. Possibly there was more English English used in British Columbia.

We were left to our own devices in the afternoon and of course we wanted to see the main tourist area of Vancouver. Off we wandered and the weather was pretty warm so we had slipped into our slow stroll mode.

An odd building.


Canada Place and the Convention Centre are on the harbour edge and attract many people. They are near to this area called Burrard Landing.


This stage like building seemed to always have people inside but I don't know what they we doing. Note the whale (orca?) sculpture. It is not out of focus but was made to look like it is made of Lego. The Women's soccer World Cup was being played in Canada with a couple of matches scheduled for Vancouver. One evening we came across a couple of girls in red soccer outfits having a pash in the street.  Australia's own Matildas did not fare too badly in the competition.


This was quite near our hotel. The gardens were just lovely almost everywhere we visited in Canada.


I remember finding out why Australia is dominant on this map. Ummm, maybe Canada's first timber export went by ship to Australia.


Pretty tree sculptures.


Good roof insulation.


Cruise ships come and go, don't they Victor.


Bagpipes were invented by someone who heard the noise made by an asthmatic pig being carried under a farmer's arm.


Look! A trolley bus. I have never travelled on one and still haven't.


An articulated trolley bus. My city of Melbourne and Vancouver vie against each other for the title of the world's most liveable city. Good public transport is part of being a liveable city and I believe Vancouver's public transport is very good.


I was very impressed with hanging flower baskets in Europe and England but they have nothing on the hanging flower baskets in Canada.


A steam powered clock? What an extraordinary thing. It is not old, being built in 1977 and dealt with a problem of a steam vent in the street. We were now in the historic area known as Gastown, named after 'Gassy' Jack, an early town pioneer who talked too much.



While we did not hear it, apparently  it plays music and whistles at the appropriate clock striking times.


Here be Gassy Jack.


We were now in Water Street, the prime tourist area. We found a quiet cafe for lunch in a cul de sac with a nice view of..........train yards.


It was quiet and restful off the street and in the shade. The weather was very warm and so far we had only worn short sleeved shirts, although we had packed an equal number of long sleeves expecting to need them in Canada. I kept my jacket nearby for a couple of days but then packed it in the bottom of the suitcase, never to be worn in America. We were cold only twice. Once on a glacier but we were only there for fifteen minutes and once when I turned the room air con down too low when we went to bed.


This one is just for you Fen, the John Fluevog shoe shop. Btw, my feet soon adjusted to my newish shoes and so I was able to throw away my old shoes I had brought along in case I had issues with the newish shoes.

 

This amused me in a shop, which had the same name as Sister. We strolled along the street but it had been suggested to us that the street was not so nice after a certain point. We had been along the street in the coach in the morning and certainly Japantown and Chinatown were not the most spotless of streets. I think we walked as far as Columbia Street and returned mostly along West Cordovia Street. Homeless looking rough types were pretty obvious.


Vancouver's own little Flat Iron building.


Some attractive buildings.



A mist of water emanating from and for what reason, I do not know.


A place for premium APT travellers to stay.


Sister warned me about Canadian coffee. Surely, I argued, with the French influence the coffee will be ok. It wasn't, not anywhere we came across in Canada or New York. I even tried a double shot espresso but even that was not to my taste. We did kind of get used to the coffee though.



Yes, I can well  imagine people would hang things from sprinklers.



We had pre dinner drinks at our hotel bar and the service was desultory, to say the least. We did not feel like tipping but we did. We received some helpful advice from someone. If you are unhappy with the service, don't just walk out without tipping and be thought of badly by staff, or just another bloody Australian. Leave a small tip, say 5%. That tells the staff something. But we weren't taking on the system and tipped the normal amount.

We strolled down to the waterfront and had a nice dinner at Mahoney and Sons and again R did battle with the card machine when paying. Hard life, what!


We would have liked to stay in Vancouver for another couple of days, but tomorrow it is suitcases outside the hotel room by 6.30 for collection and be ready to board the coach at 7.00 to begin our Rocky Mountaineer train trip.

34 comments:

  1. San Francisco has an impressive fleet (341 or so) trolley buses, including articulated ones. I was in charge of procurement for a short time during the replacement of the fleet (I was the executive in charge, I did no actual procurement, nor would I have known how). They were/are great vehicles, and they climb hills better than any diesel bus.

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    1. Walt, San Francisco is pretty good for public transport, from what I know. I would imagine riding in a trolley bus is much like a tram only with more bumps. 341 trolley buses is a large fleet. The capital of New Zealand, Wellington, is thinking about getting rid of trolley buses, even though its system and vehicles are quite up to date.

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  2. oohhh I wish I could buy shoes from there. I have found a beautiful pair of Fluevog boots (online) that I covet. I am going to go and lust after them right now...

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    1. Fen, what is wrong with Jimmy Choo, pray tell?

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  3. It looks a marvellous city.
    Love those tree sculptures. And the hanging plants. And the clock. Oooooh.
    And thank you.

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    1. Truly a lovely city EC, but always keep in mind throughout the holiday we were tourists in tourist areas.

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  4. Nice to see Vancouver in your eyes ! Don't complain about languages ! When I travel, airplane or Eurostar I hear the same message at least 3 times, French, English, German ! And the worst is I understand all of them that's kind of boring !

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    1. Lordy Gattina. That must be awful, and so much worse to understand each one.

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  5. I found Vancouver a little bit schizophrenic when we lived there briefly. Stunningly scenic but with a slightly dark under belly of homelessness and drug addiction (at least in the city). I suppose that all cities have this but it seemed more pronounced to me there for some reason. Liking the public garden displays and baskets. You certainly were lucky with the weather.

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    1. Craig, you are correct. We saw nothing like the number of down and outs in Toronto, or any other Canadian town. Maybe it being the warmest part of Canada has something to do with it. A little too lucky with the weather really. We were surprised it was so hot.

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  6. Some extraordinary buildings there, I would hope someone would take the first building under their wing... lovely example of a French Mansard roof, or as my Granny would have put it: "Why it looks just like a loaf a sugar, honey."

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    1. Hehe at your gran, Jac.

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  7. Funny that you and Victor have been visiting some of the same locations. Some of your photos remind me of Victor's ;-)

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    1. Indeed Ad Rad, but Marie in London published many photos the same as mine.

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  8. So it seems nice city as I have never been there so far and I think there are a lot of similiarities btw UK and Canada...I love hanging flowers baskets defiontely different from Europe. I love the unsual building

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    1. Gosia, I think Vancouver is the most English part of Canada, but the big wide roads are quite American.

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  9. Ah reminds me of our trip there. I like Vancouver, especially those lovely hanging flowers.

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    1. Diane, Canada seems happy to spend money on wages to create and maintain gardens.

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  10. I have heard wonderful things about Vancouver and would love to visit there one day. ;)

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    1. Snoskred, I really do recommend a visit. Pity it is so far.

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  11. Those hanging baskets are looking really lovely. The clock, great. Hoe about that fire thing :) with the sign underneath...

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    1. Margaret, I am always pleased to see fire sprinklers in hotels.

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  12. You found one of the best places!!! In 1867 Gassy Jack Deighton sailed his canoe to Vancouver’s tiny waterfront. He opened a shack saloon and made a fortune from the thirsty mill workers. By 1873 Gassy Jack had built a grand hotel overlooking the very fine Maple Tree Square; then many pubs and brothels appeared. They were a thirsty and randy lot, those pioneers of the west coast.

    I love the distinctive architecture, well preserved.

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    1. Hels, unlike the more puritan settlers down south.

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  13. I agree with you Andrew, I would have loved a couple more days in Vancouver.

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    1. Marie, I am sure there is plenty more around Vancouver to see than what you or we saw.

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  14. You are an excellent tour guide and make everything sound like it can't be missed and how can one not go there to see it. You should be paid. By someone.

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    1. Strayer, good idea. Someone pay me in advance for our next trip.

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  15. The funny building right at the start is like the one in the the movie that is a insurance company and sails off into the sunset.
    A steam powered clock and flower baskets well I never.
    Funny I didn't like coffee in America at all but in France it was pretty good so yes I would have imagined the coffee in Canada somewhere in between.
    Merle.......

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    1. Not seen the ad, Merle. We eventually bought a jar of instant coffee, just for a sense of reality.

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  16. I'm in love with that steam clock.

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    1. River, while it is wonderful to have a partner, at times it means you can't investigate or hang around things that really interest you and not him or her. I would have stayed longer at the clock.

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  17. I like your idea about the origin of bagpipes.

    That was funny.

    Is American coffee very weak? The same with our beer?

    On balance, we think Australia has weak milkshakes. Although really, it's just we define them differently. What we call milkshakes, Australians call...I think thick shakes? Or ice-cream shakes?

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    1. Dina, yes, weak, even when I bought two shots of coffee. While not this trip, I've had Budweiser before and I did not like that. We stuck to good old Aussie beer.............err Corona anyway. I did not get to the bottom of milk shakes etc but things were never as I expected, including iced coffee. I quite like the iced coffee though.

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