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A Walk on the Wildside

While I'm still writing about last week's trip, Bruce is waiting for his flight to Tysons Corner. He claims that the travel is the easiest part of his job. Seriously? Yes, seriously.

The area of Vancouver we stayed in is called Gastown, the original part of Vancouver. Once thriving, it fell into squalor for some years, however, now it is where all the hip kids hang out. I mentioned the condo building is in the former location of the Woodward's Department Store which had a remarkable 100 year run. To commemorate that, the giant W that once sat on top of the building was recreated for the new one. Now you get why I've included it in this dawn scene from Wednesday morning.
Here is a view from the ground that shows off what they left of the original building including all the goods to be found inside.
You pretty much can see the balcony from this shot about seven floors down from the top.

There were three wonderful views from the wrap around balcony that I took full advantage of, watching the city come to life.
I never did find out what the building in the foreground is however, the stadium can be seen in the midst of the two high rises. The fascinating port below.
At first I was just a wee bit uneasy about standing against the balcony rail, however, once daylight arrived I was okay with it. Generally I'm not afraid of heights, however, the unfolding events of the day tested that theory!

Quentin, in his unbridled enthusiasm for the city, and all it has to offer, insisted I should go to the Capilano Suspension Bridge, showing me exactly where the shuttle picked people up for the twenty five minute ride to the attraction.
The Canadian flag building is where you go. Except, I was beginning to question going there, wondering how I would do. Because the shuttle comes every thirty minutes, I decided to do some exploring in Gastown first, giving myself time to decide. You can tell you are in Gastown by the street lamps, obviously once gas lights.
There are quite a number of interesting shops and restaurants, none of which were open during my early morning excursion. I, did, however, peek in the windows.
Apparently, at one time it was quite the touristy area, with a few tacky gift shops still remaining from that time. That said, they share the street with some pretty high end places.
In a very odd coincidence, I took this shot...
thinking that it was a reminder of the past. Well, on our flight home, I read through a little local paper and learned the owner drowned  in the last week, trying to save his wife who fell off their houseboat into the river. How awful!

The restaurants are trendy...a burger bar here:
and more where that came from.
I bemoaned our lack of dining options in downtown Orlando, that's for sure. Because I was still undecided about the bridge I kept walking along Water Street until I came to CRAB Park at Portside.
Wonderful views of the city and the port life.
What looks like large white sails in the distance is where the cruise ships come in on their way to Alaska. The whole building is basically in the shape of a cruise ship.
An off leash dog park, there were a few folks playing with their dogs. As well, I saw some young men practicing with drones! I asked one of the dog owners how to get back to the Convention Center area, and although he gave me good directions, I somehow missed a turn, ending up beneath the center. One thing I love about being in a city is seeing all the layers come together to make a whole.
No doubt that walkway comes in handy in the cold, although Vancouver's climate is nothing like the rest of Canada. As such, there is quite a homeless population.
Later in the day I began walking towards the office, only to turn around when I was confronted with a big crowd of men waiting, in front of, what I later learned is a soup kitchen.

Once I got out from my underground travels, I still couldn't decide; instead I did a little more exploring.
What I wouldn't give to have a MINI like this one!
Perhaps I could do without the swirls....

The streets are wide, as are the sidewalks..
That would be the Marine Building from yesterday which is now dwarfed by the other buildings. I thought this was really cool..
The saying began on the other side of the building.

Finally I got up my nerve, bought my ticket, and boarded the bus. The driver was entertaining, and as we approached Lions Gate Bridge, inviting any who wanted to come to the front to take photographs to do so. Well, duh...
That cloud makes it look like a volcano...crazy stuff! For some odd reason I, for once, was not afraid going over a bridge.

Dropping us off at the parking lot, I joined the other tourists in front of the fantastic totem poles. These folks wanted to make sure the whole gang was in the picture.
It has been a long time since last I visited what might be called a tourist attraction, and I'd totally forgotten how at every turn people are stopping to take their picture.
So, here goes nothing...
You learned from the link above that the bridge is 450 feet long, and 230 feet above the Capilano River below. I don't know if it is better with loads of people on there, making it sway like mad, or if you were to go with only a few in numbers? I was not nervy enough to stop and take photos, however, loads of people were. On the other side it is magnificent! You are transported to a rainforest with gigantic, and I mean gigantic trees everywhere.
Some small waterfalls,
and, do you see what I see in the photo below?
I don't know how long the walk is on the beautifully maintained walkways through the forest, but by day's end, I knew I'd been a tourist!
I did not, and now wish I had, taken advantage of the treetop walkway.
There is a plaque explaining how one of those massive trees fell onto the bridge but did not snap it. They cut away the tree in sections, leaving half of it where it fell.
I could go on and on about the beauty of the place-- pictures do not do it justice. That said, I won't because there was more action to come. I had a little lunch, all the while thinking if I could get my nerve up to do the cliff walk, pictured better than I took, here. I started down the stairs,
onto the walkway which is suspended from the cliffside. As you can see it is narrow. Just as I was to make that small turn I thought to myself, I can't really do this. If only Bruce were with me! Except, turning around is not an option as there are folks right behind you, one of which was a woman who said she thought she might throw up. With her husband encouraging her, and me commiserating, together, the two of us somehow made it. I managed only one shot,
before I thought I've got bigger things to think about! Needless to say I was ever so glad to get off that walk! What I was thinking, I cannot explain. The bus came promptly and back I went to Vancouver. Along the way I was treated to sights I would have been hard pressed to reach on foot. By now the shoes I wore had rubbed a little blister, so I went back to the condo for a shoe change. Along the way I saw one of many street performers, most of whom do not look like this.
After changing my shoes, I explored a little more in Gastown.
A big crowd on the patio under the red umbrellas enjoying the fine weather. Don't know if this sign was attached to the building in irony or what.
A famous landmark of the area is a steam powered clock which I saw in action.
Guess what? Bruce finally called and was ready for dinner which we had at Joey, another small chain owned by the Earls folks. In the ground floor of a nearby high rise, it was wonderful.
During our meal I was captivated by the changing colors of this fountain outside the window.
Walking back to the condo, via the train station on Water Street, I was thrilled to see the Earth in the Convention Center lit up.
Oh my! Our cab ride from the airport was $35, the train tickets back, $5.50 for two. The train ride was smooth, the airport nice, and we were off.
I was dying while looking out the plane window while we flew over the Canadian Rockies!
Nary a cloud to separate the view. The first leg of the journey took us to Salt Lake City airport which was also quite nice with lovely scenery.
Hard to distinguish between the mountains and the clouds. After a nearly four hour layover, spent mostly in the Skyclub watching the Masters, we headed for home and bed. Midnight by the time we pulled into the driveway. Whew, our whirlwind trip was over!

People often assume that a trip means great images for me to sell, however, that is not generally the case. Every now and again, but, I count myself lucky if I find one good one. That said, what a trip means to me is exploration, and as you can tell from this narrative, I did my best to fulfill that during my short, and sweet trip, to Vancouver.

Where can I go next??

I swear, this will be the last time I post so many photos!!


p.s. If you missed the other Vancouver blog posts, click here for the first one,  and here for the second.
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