Sisters in the City: Vancouver, B.C. (Photo Essay)

Filed in Gather Family Essential by on May 24, 2009 0 Comments

Sister time! Recently my sister and I spent a week in Vancouver. She lives in Michigan and I live in Washington State. We decided to meet in Vancouver rather than try to figure out how to drive up there together from where I live on the Olympic Peninsula. A crucial bridge is shut down and being repaired that would complicate that immensely. I drove and took a ferry to Vancouver instead, and picked her up at the airport.

We start out on two days of Trolley tours of Vancouver. Our weather was cool, cloudy and rainy while in the city, but the air was clean. You can take two different city tours as many times as you like, and get on and off the trolleys as you wish, with your two-day pass costing around $37 Canadian (a bit cheaper if you buy tickets at the tourist office). One of the ferry officials took this picture. She was delighted to meet a pair of sisters. These photos are mixed up from two days and three tours that we took, in different chunks.


Our trolley arrives…first of the day. This is my sis…..


The Vancouver Art Gallery. Here we were thrilled to view many paintings of B.C. painter and writer, Emily Carr. Every night we went back to our hotel and read our Emily Carr books. We also got to see a special show of Vermeer, Rembrandt and other Dutch painters of the 1600’s.If you look closer, in the middle of the photo you’ll see a vehicle powered by multiple bicycles. I was trying to capture this, and it’s only incidental that the Gallery showed up well here!


We pass the Vancouver Museum. The roof is shaped like a Northwest First Nations conical hat. The Space Museum and Planetarium are nearby. We didn’t visit the museum this trip. It would be interesting, though, as it tells a lot about Vancouver history.


We got off at Granville Island and visited the huge Public Market there, as well as a lot of smaller art galleries and gift shops. There are many small food stalls within the public market as well as restaurants on the island, which is actually a peninsula.


Back on the trolley heading north again…crossing the Burrard Street Bridge


Looking across a marina on False Creek to the Ironworker’s Memorial Bridge and the new buildings that will house the 2010 Olympians, in the distance.


The Vancouver Public Library. What a beautiful building. Here it is from the trolley. We had to go back to check it out…


Street shot of the library


A bull and a Blenz coffee shop across from the library. Not sure why the bull was hanging out there. We found his female partner when we drove up to Whistler (photo essay to come).


Closing in on the library…..


Looking up at the building. Between the two parts of the building are small shops, a cafe, and access to the library.


The gates to Chinatown…We didn’t stop here, this trip.


On to Gastown, the old part of Vancouver.


A friend of mine had told me about Urbanity, a shop that sells Norwegian designer Oleana’s exquisite sweaters, Nygardsanna Swedish dresses, and other Scandinavian clothing from small factories and studios. We stopped in. It was a treat to see and feel these beautiful garments and talk to the delightful owner, Julia Manitius, who lived in Denmark for 28 years. Unfortunately, we didn’t have $1200 on us to buy a fabulous Oleana outfit of a sweater, vest and skirt. And foolishly, I neglected to get a picture of the shop. It is at 207 Abbott Street. You can look online here:

This is an intriguing alley nearby. I loved the wrought iron gate.


The famous steam clock in Gastown


Le Magasin, Gastown. A collection of shops and restaurants, housed in the style of the building’s arcade origins.


Entrance to Stanley Park, with totems. I’d like to go back and explore all the sights of Stanley Park. This area used to be the home of First Nations peoples before being appropriated by white people. Now it is a huge park with many sights to see; totem poles, beaches, trees, an aquarium, restaurants, hiking paths, and more. I bet it was more interesting in the old days.


Looking at Vancouver as we drive around Stanley Park. Stanley Park and most of Vancouver is surrounded by a seawall and walkway and here, by a road.


Lion’s Gate Bridge, from Stanley Park


A close-up of Lion’s Gate Bridge bridge, which crosses to North Vancouver


Many old trees were decimated by the 2006 typhoon that roared through the park.


A hollowed-out stump of an old cedar tree. This may be the famous old hollow cedar of the park, restored at a cost of $250,000, but I couldn’t say for sure.


Here we were trying to capture a street sign for a friend with the same name. But Starbucks dominates here and elsewhere in Vancouver. Along with Blenz coffee shops.


Street sculpture with a First Nations theme, on Robson Street, where we walked one morning. These sculptures were all over the city. Robson Street is the main shopping street in downtown Vancouver. Ritzy designer shops abound. We found the best prices at the big department stores, Sears and The Hudson Bay Company, for those who are interested, but we were mostly window-shopping.


Most residents of downtown Vancouver live in high-rises like these…


Another street scene…later afternoon traffic, with electric bus lines overhead.

Back to Canada Place……Overlooking Burrard Inlet, North Vancouver, and the Vancouver Convention Centre. The recent addition to the Convention Centre features a living roof. On it, 400,000 plants of indigenous varieties were planted on six acres of dirt. Beehives were established to help with the declining population of bees in the city.

I hope you enjoyed your tour of Vancouver with my sis and I.

Next photo essay: The Sea to Sky Highway and Whistler, B.C. It may be a few days before it’s posted, though. This one took forever to put together and that one will, too!


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Sister From Another Planet

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