Monday, January 19, 2015

Vancouver, BC

Vancouver is a magical place. Bays, inlets and rivers create so many miles of waterfront that no one beach feels crowded; sheer mountains rise to impressive heights from the ocean's edge; a diversity of aromas floods the senses as you step out of the misting rain to sit at a communal table, huddled over a steaming bowl of ramen; world-class mountain biking lies close enough for an after work ride. Goodness gracious. We had a great time and only scraped the surface. There is so much more to see and explore.

tourists

border crossing

We kicked off our first morning with a (camera-less) run in the expansive Stanley Park. We started on the perimeter  of the park along the sea wall. This path has clearly divided lanes for pedestrians and bikes and the bike lane is unidirectional so bikers aren't risking head-on collisions around the many blind corners - way to go city planners! We finished up by running through the interior of the park along a network of dirt, gravel and paved trails, and across the path of a fearless family of raccoons.

edge of Stanley Park

We spent the rest of the morning exploring downtown on foot.

exploring some breakfast







looking out toward English Bay

ferry boat to Granville Island

giant concrete silos dressed by artists Os Gemeos

street art on a smaller scale

summiting Mt Granville...

...great heights!




We finished the day with a gorgeous sunset and some gorgeous sushi.

Sushi Mart

The next day we explored the area around our AirBnB host's apartment and then headed for VanDusen Botanical Garden.




VanDusen Botanical Garden

faceplant

Gitskan totem poles




wire sculpture Minotaur



We enjoyed more fantastic weather at Kitsilano Beach and headed for dinner at (the glorious) The Naam (24-hour vegetarian comfort food, a fantastic recommendation made by vegsters CzerCon).

enjoying the late afternoon sunshine in Kitsilano




attempting to find live jazz...

The next day was dedicated to a (camera-less) mountain biking excursion in Squamish, North of the city. There is a WILD network of trails in the hills up there and it is a major destination for MTBers. The trails were mostly hard packed single track and while I felt a little out of my element at times, the terrain was perfectly challenging and rewarding. There are tons of videos of this area if any of ya'll are interested.

driving North along an inlet


heading out

After riding we descended back into town for some dinner and relaxing. Even from the middle of town the views are truly awesome.

the ever imposing Stawamus Chief

biking + beer = eternal happiness

Before we drove back I demanded one last pit stop at this supposed eagle viewing area. While the scene was set for nature viewing of epic proportions (see below), we had to settle for the flora minus the fauna.

Squamish River flowing, sun setting, clouds billowing, fog rolling in over distant mountaintops, etc...

c'mon eagles...

dusk and the drive home

our lovely home away from home


more city exploration - Chinatown




delicious ramen dinner

one last view from "our" apartment rooftop before heading home

Non-Sign II, ghost billboard at the border

2 comments:

Oh blerg. said...

great post as always! I saw a fox today!

The Considerate Architect said...

Loved. It.