A lovely day in Vancouver central

Trip Start May 31, 2009
Trip End Jul 01, 2009

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Flag of Canada  , British Columbia,
Thursday, June 18, 2009

We were up bright and early this morning to get a light brekkie of doughnuts and coffee (absolutely scrummie!) before catching the bus and ferry into Vancouver central (for a mere $3.75 each).

The day started out overcast and coolish, and we did have a couple of spots of rain before the clouds gradually cleared (around lunch time) and the afternoon was a stunner - reaching 28 degrees. Just wonderful!

We spent the morning in and around Gastown and then China town, before walking to the end of the business district and hiring a couple of bikes. We then spent the afternoon cycling in and around Stanley Park, and across the Lions Gate Bridge into North Vancouver for lunch (about 2.00 pm) before coming back over the bridge and continuing on around Stanley Park. This is a stunning park in the centre of Vancouver - a wonderful asset. It is 404 ha in all, on a peninsula. We biked around about half of it, because we were running out of time. A shame. It was a stunning day, and it was great to be down around the sea coast. People were swimming in the ocean on the various beaches around the park.

There is a cycle way around the sea wall that protects the area. It is a one way cycle way for cyclists and those on roller blades, and is kept separate from pedestrians. This too was fabulous - nice to be biking quite safely. However, when we went over the Lions Gate Bridge and got off the end of it in North Vancouver, we were more or less straight into four lane traffic - which was a little scarey! However, the coffee at the end of that was worth it.

Whilst in the park we also went to the Vancouver Aquarium, which is in the middle of it, and recently had a baby Baluga Whale born there. The aquarium was stunning, and had great displays to interest all - once again, for some reason, an unseemly display of cock-roaches - even larger than those we saw at the Dinosaur Museum! Revolting!!!

No sharks, but frogs, tropical fish, the whales, otters, dolphins (doing tricks too), seals, small aligators, butterflies, turtles, birds, small monkeys and a sloth were
all on display.

It was a great way to spend the day. Plenty of exercise, lots of fresh air (and traffic fumes biking over the bridge, etc) and sunshine. Just a matter of catching the bus back to our motel at 6 (and that was easy, as the stop was across the road from where we had hired the bikes. But we were tired bunnies by the time we got back to our motel.

A bath freshened us up, and we were ready to go again. Found another large mall down the other end of Capilano Road and thought we were in, as it was open until 9.00 pm. However, all of the little shops inside were closed, and only the Sears and Wal Mart shops were open - which of course we have done to death really.

So a slightly earlier night tonight than last night.

We are now scheduled to catch the ferry to Vancouver Island tomorrow morning - 8.30 am sailing - so we have to be checked out and on our way from here by 7.00 am. We will be going from Horseshoe Bay through to Nanaimo, then are taking a couple of hours to drive to Victoria. Just thought it would be good to see part of the island, rather than just the city - hence this option. The aim is to see Butchardt gardens, and the BC Museum. That will probably fill the day completey!

We will stay on the island for the night, and then catch the ferry direct to the USA. So at this stage we only have one more day left in Canada. Have certainly enjoyed our time here. It is a vast country, and very beautiful. I can see why Dad enjoyed it so much when he was here 12 years ago.

Will catch you all up again tomorrow (perhaps).
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