the wandering chick
...Vancouver, B.C.

A lot can be said for Vancouver, B.C. , a metropolis coastal town located in the southwest corner of the province, yet sheltered from the open sea by the larger Vancouver Island.

Surprisingly, logging, from which the city got its start, is still the major industry in this City of Glass. Tourism and movie production rank second and third.

More than once Vancouver has been named a 'most liveable ' city, and some two-and-a-half million people, more than 50% of which do not speak English as their first language, must think so.

Many times over it has been host to a major worldwide event, most recently the 2010 Winter Olypmics and Winter Paralympics.

north vancouver skyline
a most liveable city
vancouver skyline
Vancouver is a town of may skylines. Above is North Vancouver and Below and Below, Right areVancouver proper. The two town sections are easily reached, one from the other, by a fleet of seabuses that crosses the Burrard Inlet.

Left: And it all started here. The section called Gastown is the oldest part of Vancouver, named after "Gassy" Jack Deighton, a saloon keeper.

Right: The Gastown Steam Clock is still (but barely, it seems) working today. The steam blows constantly, and creates whistles and chimes on the hour and quarter hour.

in False Creek harbor
the Gastown steam clock
condos of glass
The Burrard Street Bridge is a major artery in Vancouver.
glass condos
glass condos
Not sure of the statistics, but it's pretty obvious that the huge majority of Vancouver's residents live in condos rather than single-family homes.
West End
English Bay at low tide
One of the nice things about Vancouver is one doesn't have to go far from the glass of the city to get in a nice stroll along the beach. This person is walking along English Bay at low tide, where the next few pictures were taken.
English Bay beach
English Bay beach
laughing men sculpture
English Bay Inukshuk
This sculpture by Chinese artist Yue Minjun is called "A-mazeing-laughter." Its setting on Beach Avenue in Vancouver's West End and along the English Bay draws much attention and lots of... well, laughter.
Vancouver's Inukshuk
A cairn, or inukshuk, always puts a smile on my face. This one, on Vancouver's English Bay shore, became the symbol for the city's 2010 Winter Olympics.
blossoming cherry tree

Blossoming cherry trees added to the beauty along the English Bay stroll in Vancouver's West End.

Below: A beach sculpture nicely frames the English Bay.

Granville St. Bridge and False Creek
English Bay sculpture

The Granville Street Bridge 'separates' False Creek (in the foreground) to the English Bay.

Below and Below, Right: Yaletown, a community of glass condos, overlooks False Creek.

False Creek
Olympic Village
Olympic Village
Tiny sea taxis such as this one transport passengers across False Creek.
aquabus sea taxi
I had many questions once I laid eyes on the Olympic Village, built for the 2010 Winter Olympics. And the first one was, "Was that built crooked on purpose?" If so, why did they built just one or two that way, and not all of them? There was constant banter between my travel friends over this question, and we never agreed on any conclusion. We did agree, however, that the addition of the birds (below) made the former industrial block even more confusing. And amongst it all, a red barn. I mean, really?
Olympic Village
Olympic Village
Vancouver Public Library
Siwash Rock
Back in the 'real' world is Vancouver's cool (and solidly built) public library, appropriately modeled in the shape of a Roman scroll.
One of Vancouver's most popular walking and biking areas is Stanley Park. Your choice is a stroll around the outside (coastal) parameter where you'll see the likes of Siwash Rock (above) and the churning waters of Burrard Inlet under the Lions Gate Bridge at Prospect Point, or a more forested path among giant cedar trees, ferns and an unsuspected swan's nest. The remaining pictures were taken in Stanley Park.
Stanley Park
Stanley Park
Stanley Park lighthouse
Stanley Park
Upon approaching the lighthouse at Prospect Point, one might be unaware of the turmoil that exists under the churning waters of the Burrard Inlet. As one of the largest and deepest natural harbors in the world, the extreme low and high tide differences create tidal currents through the narrow passageway that may be a detrement to incoming and outgoing ships, but a feast of nutrients for marine life that exists just under the water.
Brurrard Inlet
The Tea House, Stanley Park
The Lions Gate Bridge passes over the Burrard Inlet at Prospect Point, the northern tip of Stanley Park. It's the Highway 99 and a major artery from Vancouver's downtown to North Vancouver.
Stanley Park's Tea House on the west coast of the park offers spectacular views, warm and cozy ambiance and exceptionally savory meals.
Lees Trail, Stanley Park
Lees Trail, Stanley Park
Lees Trail in Stanley Park is in direct contrast to the coastal walking/biking path. A quiet stroll through giant cedars kept us entertained as we stopped often to discuss the formations in the tree trunks, such as ...
Lees Trail, Stanley Park
Lees Trail, Stanley Park
a swan's nest
... alligator and elephant heads

Above: The swan's nest was NOT our imagination. Built on a huge pile of pond reeds, we couldn't tell whether Mum was sitting on unhatched eggs or a brood of cygnets.

Right: Not too far away was the male swan.

closeup of swan
Vancouver downtown
One last trip through the glassy streets of downtown had us reflecting on our two glorious days seeing the sights of Vancouver.
Vancouver downtown

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