We woke up pretty early and went for breakfast at this cool place that was a bus trip away. Nate knows that the express bus (the 99 along Broadway) doesn’t check tickets, so we got to ride that one free for most of our trip. Can’t remember the name of the breakfast place, but it was in Kitsilano near the beach there. We went to the beach, I think I had seen it before in my mom’s pictures of Vancouver. There were big logs on the beach and you could see massive ocean liners docked in the bay. On the other side you could see a hint of downtown Vancouver as well as Stanley Park and North Vancouver across the bay. Very picturesque. The weather was drizzly, and slightly cold but I wore flip-flops because I’m hanging onto summer with tooth and nail. The flops turned out to be a bad idea because that day we walked many, many, many kilometres. We hit Granville Island next, and spent some time there looking through the market. I bought a 2L glass container of cold milk and drank the whole thing. My favourite store in the entire place was this hat store which sold old fashioned hats of all sorts. It was like you had stepped back in time, they had ladders on rails to reach the higher hats, the music was from the 1930s (The Ink Spots, my favourite!), and the staff there looked straight out of old Time or Life Magazine covers. I also found those banana protectors I had seen on Dragon’s Den. I think it’s just the silliest idea I’ve ever seen and I couldn’t believe these people were making money off of these things. In the thousands of years people and apes have been eating bananas, I think it’s a strong sign of a bad idea, that no one has needed a banana protector until 2010. It’s not too far off inventing a device to twiddle your thumbs more effectively.
Next we took the Burrard Bridge into town. We walked around for a bit and found a Chapters. I wanted to buy Stephen Hawking’s new book, The Grand Design, but it was too expensive so I think I’ll give it a miss for now. Another book I really thought was interesting was the new Richard Dawkin’s book on the proof so far for evolution. I can’t remember the name, but it’s got a really beautiful cover and lots of pictures inside. We made our way towards Stanley Park and that’s when my flops started to kill me. I went into about 10 shoe stores, but eventually my cheapness got the better of me and we just kept on trucking. Every now and then it would start drizzling for a while and we’d stop under an awning for a few minutes. We took the counter-clockwise trip around Stanley Park. It was really beautiful. I can’t believe there is this massive forest in a big city. We saw the aboriginal totem poles, which I thoroughly enjoyed. They were all replicas, which was kind of sad, because the British settlers, explorers, and missionaries basically stole, or told the natives to destroy, the originals. The four main animals shown were the wolf, the orca whale, the eagle, and a frog. The kings of the land, sea, air, and the transition between land and sea. After Stanley Park we made our way back into town, passing the statue of Lord Stanley and his plaque reading, “To the use and enjoyment of people of all colours, creeds and customs for all time – I name thee Stanley Park”. However, from the statue and the fact that Vancouver is perpetually drizzling, I’m pretty sure Lord Stanley was saying, “Do you feel any drops?”. In fact, studies* have shown that this is the number one saying for Vancouverites.
We then made a long walk to grab some sushi that Nate said was amazing. The place was called Koyoba (sp?) and it was really fantastic sushi. I highly recommend it to anyone in Vancouver. Apparently their Davie Street location is far better, so check that one out. We also passed these hilarious statues on the way there. I also found it cool that a lot of buildings had grass on the roofs. In fact one building (see below), had a massive tree on the roof! Cool, I love that concept of making these huge high-rise condos, but not actually decreasing the amount of greenspace in a city (at least from Google Satellite view).
After that it rained pretty heavily for the rest of the night which made our trip back pretty difficult. We stopped at one of the 17 million Starbucks locations and I finished a Sudoku before we realized that the rain wouldn’t let up. Running below overhangs we made our way to the Sky Train which they built for the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. Slightly disappointing in the respect that it was quite far removed from the sky (essentially a subway), but thrilling in the respect that the train was completely automated. You could stand up at the front and just watch the train go by itself. Cool! We also didn’t have to pay because the ticket machines were broken. So after a completely free ride back to UBC campus, we got home and hit the hay after a long days trip.
*Sample size: Nathan Belliveau