Going for a stroll
Stanley Park beckons and we are off for a stroll. But first we head to the waterfront to go up to the lookout atop the Harbour Centre. It’s 170 m up and was opened by astronaut Neil Armstrong in 1977. It’s getting a bit long in the tooth but the views are still great. 360 d views of the city skyline and harbour.
We have finally come to grips with the bus network, and their Compass ticket system. It’s not that it’s hard to understand, you just feel under pressure working out where you want to go and get the cash/card in the slot before you are timed out and have to start again. This is particularly the case when Homealone thinks that it should be done differently to what Allthego thinks. You also have to dodge the rogues that want to help you at the kiosks and then claim a commission for so doing. We got caught, shouldn’t have, seen this one before, by one guy saying he needed a 50 c/ $1 piece for his fare, flashing a hand full of 5,10, and 25 c as if he wanted to swap change. He disappeared quickly as Homealone proffered the said 50 c piece!
After this encounter it was off on the bus to Stanley Park. Stanley Park is a big urban park that juts out into the harbour and forms one shore line of The Narrows. This is the passageway out of Vancouver Harbour, under the Lion’s Bridge, into the open sea. It is a big park with many walking tracks through old growth forests that have never been logged. You could spend a lot of time here. We chose to focus on the tip and walked around the point, known as Brockton Point, with its lighthouse, the old gun that fires at 9 pm every night and the First Nations People Totem Poles.
Brockton Point is also the site of Vancouver’s cricket ground. Which is far more important! It has been here for a long time. More or less looks like a typical Australian suburban ground, but has a classic Pavilion which on one side overlooks the oval with a turf wicket (surrounded by a hedge of something) and on the other side the park ovals with artificial grass wickets. They also play Rugby here. Very picturesque, with the harbour in the background.
Around the corner is English Bay. This is a swimming beach, no surf. They have logs lined up in rows along the beach for sunbathers to lie up against. There were quite a few Vancouverites of all shapes and sizes lolling around on the sand enjoying the last rays of summer. Offshore there were ships awaiting passage through The Narrows. We indulged in a nice lunch at The Boatshed restaurant overlooking the action.
As we go further around English Bay we come to the Burrard Street Bridge. This is down harbour from the Granville Street Bridge, which we had crossed a couple of days back. We also had to go across the Burrard Bridge. Why? Well on the other is Vanier Park. This is the place where the annual ‘Bard on the Beach’ Shakespeare Festival is held. We had tickets to see ‘A Winters Tale’. It was an energetic performance, the chardonnay at intermission a bit expensive.
We were in a big tent and the backdrop of the stage was the inlet from English Bay that runs up to Granville Island, False Creek. It was a little odd hearing the play with Canadian accents! By the way it was a long walk across the bridge and was to be avoided on the way back. So we bused it back to our hotel. Easy! Arriving about midnight we polished off a pizza to fill the hole, having had no dinner!
If you think this was a long day it would have been, took us two actually! But we are a bit weary nonetheless.
After a ferry trip we are now in Victoria on Vancouver Island for a few nights.