This is our second trip to Vancouver. In September 2014 we visited here for four days, staying at a VRBO (Vacation Rental By Owner) in Yaletown. This year, we found one in the West End, an older part of downtown Vancouver that is two blocks from the English Bay and walking distance to Stanley Park. (We try to stay in private residences whenever possible, as that enhances our “traveller” experience.)
We arrived via Amtrak from Bellingham, WA where we had visited with some of Bob’s family. The train is a very comfortable way to travel—unlike air travel, there’s no having to get there two hours early, no security lines, comfortable seating, the ability to walk about leisurely, and a cafe car from which to get food and drinks. I believe the train we took originated in Seattle, though it might have come from Portland (Oregon). We boarded it at 9:10pm train from Bellingham, arrived in Vancouver shortly after 11:00 pm. We took a cab to our rental, checked in, opened a nice bottle of wine (Pedroncelli Sangiovese) we had brought from home for the occasion, admired our new surroundings, then promptly crashed after a long day.
Day One, 12 August 2015
After settling into our “home away from home,” an apartment on the tenth floor of a 12-story building with a rooftop pool, we walked two blocks down to the Bay and took the False Creek Ferry (really a glorified water taxi) to Granville Island, about a five minute ride away. Our primary goal was do some provisioning at the Granville Public Market.
The market is a huge 7-day/week open market, similar to but smaller than the Queen Victoria Market in Melbourne, Australia that we visited earlier this year. Along with organic produce of every variety, there are meat, seafood, and deli counters; also kiosks selling flowers, crafts and clothing.
We seek out open markets wherever we stay, and love to walk through these to pick up foodstuffs for our stay: snacks, deli items, meat, seafood, whatever. This day we bought salmon spread, lamb skewers (meatballs and marinated cubes), citrus marinated olives, pasta and tomato salads, and crackers—with the plan of having a gourmet supper at “our place” later. Before heading back, we had cold drinks and an appetizer at Bridges, a waterside grill and bar.
Later, we sat out on our balcony to enjoy our casual meal while watching the comings and goings of local traffic and neighbors. No day ends more perfectly for Bob than photographing a beautiful sunset—the view from our rooftop met his criteria beautifully.
Coming up on Day Two in Vancouver: Discovering Grouse Mountain
[NOTE: It is now 21 August and we are in Seward at the end of our Alaskan cruise. The motel at which we will be staying for two night has a strong internet connection, so I should be able to catch up on my blog a bit…stay tuned!