The locals call it "liquid sunshine"...

Trip Start Apr 18, 2007
Trip End Jun 29, 2007

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Flag of Canada  , British Columbia,
Tuesday, April 24, 2007

A wintery looking day with light drizzle, after a night of racous celebrations in the street outside my hotel to honour the win of the Vancouver Canucks against Dallas in an major ice hockey elimination match. It seems bigger than any Melbourne AFL team beating an interstate club! Cars this morning are decked with flags and the buses have "GO CANUCKS GO!" on their LED destination displays.

I decide to be the true tourist, equipped with japara, backpack and drink bottle, spending two hours on the hop-on/hop-off bus doing a full circuit of the city. The driver was chirpy with informative commentaries and alerted me to a number of possibilities for later on.

Stanley Park on the edge of town is one acre larger than Central Park and has 300-600 year old fir trees (including the largest red cedar in the world,) totem poles, a rose garden and many walks  Unfortunately a Category 3 cyclone has demolished a third of the trees this past winter. We spot an eagle rebuilding a nest high up on a stripped tree trunk.

Chinatown is the third largest in America and the downtown area is a mix of smart boutiques and swanky converted warehouses. The business district even has a good feel about it - undoubtedly due to the planning rules that required skyscrapers to be set back and then ground level landscaped to include sculptures or a water feature. Every corner seems to be a tulip field!

All the Vancouverites I have spoken to are extremely approachable and friendly. Heck, even a man asking hopefully for money wishes me a nice day despite receiving nothing.

Yet, some things are the same the world over (so far...) Female office workers still wear their runners home. Condominiums are taking over the inner city. Chicken sharwamas are still a good takeaway meal and just as hard to extract from Canadian foil and napkins.

And Starbucks coffee is still crap.
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