I had last visited Vancouver about 20 years ago – needless to say, I was long overdue for a visit to this cosmopolitan city. I remember all the cranes dotting the skyline last time I was here. While there are still plenty of cranes the skyline is now filled by many modern looking residential buildings.
Like other Pacific Northwest cities, Vancouver does a good job of incorporating urban and rural. It is hard not to when you are surrounded by gorgeous scenery. Float planes kept taking off and landing from one of the nearby bays – offering aerial tours of the city, mountains and glaciers.
When I told my friend I was exploring the “must visit” Stanley Park – he responded that the last time he was there he slept on one of the lawns and was awakened at midnight soaking wet by the sprinkler system. It is great to have such a large ‘wilderness’ in such a large urban area. We spent parts of two days exploring this park.
Hearing that Vancouver has the largest or among the largest populations of Chinese outside of Chinatown I was sorely disappointed by the small size of this city’s Chinatown. In addition we hardly saw any Chinese restaurants along the main street in Chinatown – and coupled by the fact that homeless people were everywhere – we didn’t spend too much time here. Apparently a significant portion of the Chinese community has moved out of the core urban area to communities closer to the airport.
Gastown still looks the same – a number of appealing restaurants, interior design shops and boutique shopping.
Our shoes were well worn after walking around for much of two days. Thank you to the Vancouver bus driver who let us board despite not having any Canadian coins!