Saturday, August 2, 2014

Alaska and the Yukon - Vancouver, BC

Tuesday, July 8
Vancouver, BC

Today was a day of leisure in Vancouver so we slept in before setting out to explore the City.  Today was the first official day of the land segment of our Holland America Land/Cruise Tour, but since most people on the tour were arriving in Vancouver today we were already here and had the day to spend on our ownThe desk person told us the Holland America representative was already here so before we left the hotel we checked-in with her and got our instructions for tomorrow.  After that we got our car and were off to see the sites of Vancouver.

The first thing we wanted to see was Stanley Park so we drove across town through quite a bit of traffic, but without too much problem and got there around 10:00.  It was a beautiful, sunny day and there were many people out enjoying it.  Our first stop was a display of totem poles from different tribes of the "First Nations" people.  In Canada they call their indigenous people First Nations.  After that we explored other points of interest around the park.  

North Vancouver and the Lions Gate Bridge
Brockton Point and Lighthouse.

The Vancouver Skyline

The Lions Gate Bridge

After seeing everything we wanted to see we left the Stanley Park and took the Lions Gate Bridge to North Vancouver and the Grouse Mountain Tram which takes you to the top of Grouse Mountain.  The views of Vancouver and the Strait of Georgia were beautiful and you could see a long way as it was pretty clear although a little hazy.  We had a good lunch sitting outside with a wonderful view and then wandered around a bit before taking the tram back down.

Crossing the Lions Gate Bridge.

Our ride to the top arrives.
Great views from the tram.

Val enjoying lunch and the view
It was a beautiful clear day. That's Mount Baker in Washington way in the background.

If you were brave enough, you could paraglide down and enjoy the breathtaking views.

Our next and final stop was Granville Island and we had a terrible time getting to it.  Finding it wasn’t a problem as we drove over it several times on the Granville Bridge , but it was just difficult getting down underneath the bridge on the right street to get to it.  Finally just as we were about to give up we stumbled on the entrance and finally got on the island.  Granville Island has interesting areas with many restaurants, shops and other things to do.  We wanted to visit Granville Island Public Market which sells everything from fresh fruit and vegetables, bread, meat to jewelry and crafts.  We wandered around for quite a while and wished we hadn’t eaten such a big lunch as everything looked really good.  We bought some fruits and bread for dinner and pastries for breakfast tomorrow and then called it a day and headed back to the airport.

The Burrard Bridge from Granville Island.
The Granville Bridge from Granville Island.


The vendors take great pride in their products
and spend a lot of time perfecting their displays.

After making our usual wrong turn we got back to the airport and our hotel, and left the car in long-term parking where it will sit until we return to Vancouver on our cruise.  It felt good to get back to the hotel and relax, it had been a fun, but tiring day.  We were reminded of why we usually don’t travel in summer. There were people everywhere, it was very crowded especially with families with kids.  Everyone including us was enjoying themselves, but it got pretty wearing fighting the crowds.

Tomorrow morning we catch our flight to Whitehorse in the Yukon where our tour will really begin, we are really looking forward to it!!

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