Friday, August 23, 2013

Vancouver: Anchors Aweigh!

Friday, 9th August, 2013.


On our way back from breakfast, we came across this Dog Taxi, with three guests already on board, while a fourth was being collected, all on their way to Doggy Day Care.  People in America (and Canada) are prepared to spend a fortune on their pets. 

We had some free time before our shuttle to the ship, and it was yet another beautiful day, so we had a walk around the garden-edged waterfront:




















IMG_0318A special moment - here we are boarding the Radiance of the Seas!


Here is a part of our “state room” which features a “window”.  Having a window is up from having an inside state room or a porthole, but down from having a balcony.

I had a great dream of watching icebergs floating past from our “state room” but the only way you could see the sea from this window was to kneel up on the pillows (which we did a great deal – the sea was amazing!)  Lying in bed, you could only see the door, and sitting in a chair, you could only see the sky.

I estimated that our two-person state room was about six times the size of the four-berth cabin Carol and I shared on the Fairstar sailing from Australia to the UK in 1970.

Our “state room attendant” Iwan from the Philippines (on the Fairstar we had a cabin boy) came in about eight times a day to cater for our every need, even dreaming up needs we hadn’t thought of.  For example, at first, we left our bathmat on the tiled floor, which was rather chilly on bare feet, not twigging that this meant “please bring me another”.  After Iwan brought us four or five new bathmats every day, neatly folded on the shelf, we finally worked it out.  Then he only brought us one or two. 



View of the dock from our window (with a bit of pillow at the bottom).



Looking down from the eighth floor to the lobby.



Mobiles above the lobby.



One of the multiple dining rooms.



Pat on the top deck.



Me on another bit of the ship.



Anchors aweigh!



Goodbye Vancouver.



Some pedestrians waved from the Lions Gate Bridge.



It seemed as though we just made it under the bridge.



But the bridge survived intact.



Bits of Vancouver lined our passage out to sea …..



….. and up into the hills.



A couple of jet ski riders entertained themselves and us by darting about in the ship’s wake.


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They reminded me of dolphins, swimming along beside the ship for fun.



We could see snow-capped mountains in the distance.



“Would you like this in small, medium or large, Madam?”



Is this a foretaste of the week to come?

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Vancouver: Hop on, hop off bus.

Thursday, 8th August, 2013.

We took a hop-on, hop-off bus tour of Vancouver to check out the sights.



Will the real people please stand up?

Vancouver featured a lot of whimsical public art.



Stanley Park is on a chunky peninsula which projects into the harbour.  Early city planners wisely reserved it as a public park, and I congratulate later ones for resisting the temptation to sell it off, as the real estate, with its sweeping views, would now be worth squillions.

The park can now be enjoyed by everyone, and includes such features as wilderness areas, lakes, Indian totem poles. flowers and energetic people.  Made me feel a bit guilty sitting on a bus.



The Lions Gate Bridge (looking remarkably like San Francisco’s Golden Gate, only green) opened in 1938, and in 2005 was designated a National Historic Site of Canada. The term "Lions Gate" refers to The Lions, a pair of mountain peaks north of Vancouver.

The bridge connects the City of Vancouver with its northern and western districts.

The next day, our ship sailed under this bridge, on our way to Alaska.  Pedestrians on the bridge waved to us, and the whole ship waved back.  


Girl in a Wet Suit.

Elek Imredy's 1973 statue on the shores of Stanley Park was inspired by the famous Copenhagen Little Mermaid Statue.


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When efforts to obtain licensing to replicate The Little Mermaid (the original plan) failed, the artist created this more modern version  with a mask, wet suit and fins.



Stanley Park included some centuries-old redwoods.



 Prospect Point , in Stanley Park, was a floralised viewing area.



View from Prospect Point.



You could also see part of the Lions Gate Bridge from Prospect Point. 



If you look beyond the large multicoloured object in the foreground, you can still see a bit of the Lions Gate Bridge.



Yet another redwood.



Some of the neat inner-city houses and gardens.



We hopped off the bus in Chinatown to have lunch.



This building in Chinatown, Jack Chow Insurance, is in the Guinness Book of Records for being the world’s narrowest commercial property.



It’s the flat-roofed extension on the right hand side of this blue building.



Here it is from the other end.  Although narrow, the property extends for the whole block, and as you can see, is a little wider on the second floor.



Jack Chow gave his famous narrow building a facelift for Vancouver’s Centennial celebrations in 1986.



Chinatown streetscape.



Chinatown lunch.



Pat at the wharf, where our cruise ship docked the next day.



Cruise terminal without Pat.



North Vancouver with me.



Olympic Torch stand from when Vancouver held the Winter Olympics.



Here are some ships waiting to come into port.

They pay $10,000 per day for this privilege.