Wednesday, May 28, 2014
I had wanted to and talked about doing this trip for a long time. When Lynne invited me to join her for the adventure, I said yes!
She would get the train in Seattle, her new residence, and would save a seat for me for when I picked it up in Everett.
YEE HAAAA, an adventure.
The three plus hour trip seemed to fly by as we chatted, looked at Lynne's maps and guide book, and made plans for our first moves once we hit the city.
|Perhaps the recent holiday weekend made for fewer travelers this day|
|Lynne does her magic plotting for sights not to miss|
We disembarked the train with our completed declaration form and passport in hand to be quickly checked through the line. We were stopping only briefly at the nearby table (seemed like a likely spot to us) to put away our passport and change our pull along suitcase from one hand to the other. Before we could complete our maneuvers, the securtiy guard was at our side telling us we could not stand there. Ok then, we will move over here by the benches and rearrange ourselves. No sooner had we closed our purses and headed toward the exit when there was another security guard standing in our view waiting for us to depart. I guess he figured we were not a threat as he moved out of the way for us to get to the exit door.
Safely on the street (!) we found the skytrain that would take us within a few blocks of our hotel. The challenge was to buy the tickets for the sky trian. Lynne conscientiously had the exact change, in Canadian coin to plunk into the machine, but I would have to use my credit card for a mere $1.75 fee. At the first machine we saw a family move away to a different one across the hall. Thinking they were surely local people and knew much more than we did, I asked what the difference was between the two machines. "This one works" was the answer.
|But.... I have exact, Canadian, change for the ticket|
Well it worked, but not for coins or money of any kind. Everyone all around would not easily accept the reality, but after several -- many -- tries, it was deemed true. Credit card only. (Finally) ticket in hand, we could not find a place to use it. The stile had no slot or reader and we were not too comfortable simply walking through the open gate -- after all, we had just been scrutinized by security guards. Soon someone told us that the stiles were not yet working, so just carry your ticket for if you are asked to show it.
Eventually we got to our hotel. It was too early to get into our room, but we dropped off our luggage and began our tour of the city. We had bought a "Hop on Hop off" Big Bus ticket that would take us around the loops of town where we could get off anywhere we wanted to visit and get on the next one when we were ready.
|One of the first things that struck me was the bicycle on just about every street sign|
|Were we in Canada or in Rome?|
The Library reminds one of the Roman Coliseum, and appears to be an interesting place to explore. We will return there tomorrow to get a closer look.
|Are we in Canada or Mississippi?|
Old Gastown holds a lot of character and interesting buildings and places to see.
|Whiskey Jack at Gastown|
|Where Whiskey Jack stands, Vancouver was named|
|Water Street Cafe was a perfect lunch spot|
The quaint and cozy tearoom tucked away down a hidden, winding mews that we had found in the guide book, wasn't. Disappointed but undaunted, we soldiered on to find an even better place on the corner across from the steam clock and enjoyed, not only a fine lunch, but delightful people-watching.
|Steam works the whistle on the quarter hour, but the clock runs on electricity.|
After a harrowing experience of thinking I had lost my credit card(!!!), we boarded the Big Bus for our next adventursome stop. (I am making so little of this "lost" credit card thing, but it was HUGE for about half an hour when Lynne finally, calmly, assured me it had to be on me somewhere. It was. Tucked into a place I don't ever keep it. Good thing for level heads like Lynne's.)
Our next stop was Canada Place where we spent a good time walking and galking.
|It was the second flag I was interested in Canada Place|
|Neither of us had ever been near the landmark sails and enjoyed our time walking all around the square|
|Bicycles are ALLOWED here. At the waterfront around the Convention Center. Their track is much wider than that for pedestrians.|
|The Olympic Caldron -- next to the Convention Center, near Canada Place|
|Lynne & me being the tourists we are|
Back on Big Bus toward our hotel, but first through Stanley Park. Our bus pass includes a change to different sightseeing bus that took us on an hour long tour around the entire park with narrative and brief stops at a few places.
|A different perspective of Canada Place sails from Stanley Park|
|Circle of Totem Poles in Stanley Park|
After this full day, the bus dropped us off right at our hotel. We had had fantasies of going for tea and crumpet somewhere nearby our place, but once in our rooms and seated, we each realized that we were tired. We had had a late and filling lunch, so we were not concerned about not having a dinner this evening, and all of a sudden going out of our room for anything seemed impossible. Up and out early tomorrow to pick up a few more sights before catching the train for home, so we will rest up tonight.