Sunday, October 3, 2010

Day 4 - City Tour and Downtown with Dinner at Gastown

Day 4 – Downtown city tour and Walk around the city

This morning was a quick tour of the city – however we had to change rooms this morning which threw a spanner in the works so I had to repack move unpack and shower.  Not sure how I made it but I think I was right on the dot of 9am… and last one on the bus we got taken to Granville Markets for a 45 mins stop… 

Granville..  I just had a quick stop for breakfast with one of their enormous scones which in my world are big huge rolls then just wandered around for more photos with blue sky in the back ground...  You tell me the difference J
a little bit of sunflare
Iron workers bridge

A Scone!!!!!
my very yummy hot chocolate 

Chinatown – we next drove through Chinatown which is one of the 2nd oldest in North America..  Do you know where the oldest is?  It was built during the gold rush years of British Columbia’s history and it has 2 loins guarding its gate… according to the legend it will apparently breathe fire when a honest politician passes through their gates.  Needless to say their state has remained cast in stone so to speak.  Also they lay fame to the worlds skinniest building …  just wasn’t fast enough to get a photo of it

Gastown – just a quick drive through not before pointing out to us the area we should not go between Gastown and Chinatown…  Vancouver has a real crime and drug problem in this east end district.  The Gastown area was pretty and we decided to go there for dinner that night.  We also went along the waterfront so we saw Canada place where all the cruise ships dock and the financial end of town.  It was such a contrast to go from the Chinatown to Gastown then the financial district such contrasts in all of 2 mins. 

Stanley Park – we had a 20 minute stop at Stanley park at the Totem poles..  I got a quick shot of those but I was more interested in going along the seawall and getting some amazing shots of the city from the park. With blue skies – are rarity in Vancouver... it was so pretty and in that 20mins I covered a fair bit of ground right around to hallelujah point and 9 o’clock gun. Got some great shots. Why is it called Hallelujah you may ask?  It because the local Salvation Army choir used to practice there. I was almost last back onto the bus as one needed a toilet break and a quick shot from the other side of the totem park across to North Vancouver.  We also made a stop at Prospect park which gave us a view to the Lions gate bridge..  Very pretty then I walked around to prospect point and the best view of the north shore..  it was so pretty with the actual blue sky and the bay.. I loved it and could have been there for hours and hours…  but feet soooo sore by then…  that is the only thing let me down so far.  My new walking shoes have been great and barely taken them off except maybe in the bus. 

the Totems at Stanley park 
looking back to the city from the stanley park seawall... so pretty with the RARE blue sky
the Autumn leaves
Stanley Park Seawall looking towards North Shore Vancouver
The ports with a flash of sun flare
Vancouver North Shore with the Lions Gate Bridge
Totems from the northern side of the seawall
The Autumn colours starting to come through
Lions hate Bridge from Prospect point
Closer View
The Bay from Prospect Point
Prospect Point looking across the bay 

Robson Street:  Frank our tour director took us back along Robson Street to show us the West end area or Gay neighbourhoods as he put it.  It was a fun eclectic area and something caught my interest..  a luggage store and also the fact that there is 2 starbucks on opposite corners … as frank our tour director put it..  they have the market cornered !!! 

He also pulled the 5 single girls aside …  myself, my roomie Tania, a girl from Melbourne, Sydney and Perth and told us he has never had so many in a guaranteed share so he had contacted the Cosmos head office and suggested that we switch rooms so that we all get 2 nights by ourselves… then the girl who got the single room announces to us all that she is a bad snorer.. puts us in a impossible position… I would have preferred not to know and just be oblivious … because she now gets all the advantages of a single room supplement without having to pay it. 

Headed back to the hotel and had a few minutes to organise things and pull things out of my back pack that I didn’t want to lug around the city.  Tania and I took off for the city we caught the train in and got lost as we do but once I realised where we came out we were all good.  Wandered around the city for a bit then decided to have some lunch at a place called Red Robins which is a burger place.  So I had a yummy burger … then I got introduced to the bottomless pit that is soft drink…  as Tania said the look on my face was priceless as the guy tried to take away my half-finished soft drink…  I was horrified because in Australia you would have to pay for that … Usually I prefer water anyway but I will order just one with a meal so this bottomless pit of soft drink is very new to me ….  Mind you he did take it away at one point and never saw the glass again.  Although the fries with everything is not a good mix either…  I want veggies people!!!!

North Shore Mountains from Georgia Street

yes there is a store called Roots -- giggle
Yummy cupcakes...  Highly recommend and it where the starbucks have the corner covered on Robson  

Tania and I headed back into the shopping core and took off for Winners which is like the designer cast off or last season’s clothing store plus shoes handbags lingerie.. You get the picture…I think I did enough damage to my credit card on the Saturday and Sunday ….  I went back to roots returned a top …  bit overpriced for what they are but I still maintain that she returned the cheaper of the 2 tops I got when it was the most expensive one of the 2.  She was treating me like an idiot which I didn’t appreciate it.  I kept on trying to tell her no it was the wrong top but she kept on talking over me..  I hate that really hate it….  The whole HST tax thing is stupid here because it gets added in after the purchase. HST was brought in by British Columbia after their recent election even though the election promises had been no additional taxes however the federal government of Canada waved additional money of $1.6 billion to get them to introduce it but the retailer can’t display it in the price of goods. That is just dumb… so annoying when you have the right money and then realise you have to find an additional 12.5% more.  They are already paying GST and now HST along with this things that previously hadn’t been included into GST list are now on the HST list….  It will be interesting to see how this one plays out. 
Vancouver Art Gallery
Fountain at the Vancouver Art Gallery
The Fairmont Hotel

View from the Art Gallery ...  so regal 
The Fairmont

Fairmont mirrored into the buildings

Their coins are really confusing too… they have dimes and quarters and then their 5c pce is bigger than the 10c so you have to make sure you don’t give the wrong one away.  They also do everything in cents..  so instead of .75c here it will be .74c so they are still using the 1c and 2c coins…  their dollar coins are call loonies and $2 are toonies …  they are nuts !!!!!  but I love them EH!  Especially loved the accents!!! Big sigh big big sigh and the cute Canadian men oh la la

 Tania and I decided to split up after this and I went to Hudson bay to see if I could find my makeup sure enough.. lucky last bottle who knew that so many vancouverians were as pale as me…  that is probably why I had no luck trying to find it.  Checked out the luggage dept. and way too expensive for what I needed … even though they did have some nice bags I just needed cheap and nasty so I can lug it around and across to the states.  I ended up walking back down Robson… my poor tired feet were about to give out but made my way to that luggage shop I saw on the bus tour sure enough found the perfect bag for $40 + HST  so made my way back to the hotel and took some photos along the way. Got back to the hotel and repacked the 2 bags so it would be easier to manage.  I got out everything I needed for the next day as the bags had to be out the door by 7.30am. 
the new very bright luggage...  Salena never had any problem remembering not to bring it off the bus 

Tania and I headed to gastown for dinner with Marilyn from England and she was another single traveller in the group.  We had a nice dinner together and enjoyed the Old Spagetti factory again.  I went off to take photos of Gastown during the night.  The girls went souvenir shopping while I had fun with the camera….  Got some great photos of the cobblestone streets with the lights looking so pretty…  back to the hotel for my tired feet and headed to bed early and did the postcards to the family…  now on to day 5 of the trip and day 3 of the tour 
Walking down towards gastown from Cambie Street 

Gastown Clock by Night 
People walking thru my shot almost ghost like... soooo cool 
the colours on the building near the Water Street Cafe were so cool 
This reminded me of my niece Britt... it reminded me of something she would say 


  1. Awesome update keep them coming!! Great photos too!! Day 4?? how many days have you been away? Are you keeping a journal as you go too?

  2. Overall I have been away for 3 weeks so 21 days... but yes i am keeping track via the photos as well as a journal. I have been typing on the bus but it is the photos that are taking forever.. really slow to upload and of course sort... It will be interesting when i do the Icefields Parkway because that was my favourite day.. I am glad you are enjoying it :)