02.08.2012 - 04.08.2012 30 °C
G'Day everyone from Vancouver Canada
It is Saturday arvo here - Sunday morning your time and we have just returned to our digs after another full day exploring this most wonderful city. To continue our travels we go back to Thursday in Washington.
Thursday 2nd August 2012 Day 20
Marisa leaves us today to return to New York for another week of site seeing and shopping, and we fly to Vancouver via Chicago.
We started the day by saying goodbye just over a week after meeting her in Boston after her Library conference, and we caught the local bus service to Union Station where the Poatal Museum is located. This Smithosian Museum gives a history of the US postal service from days of the Pony Express and Stagecoach era to the present day. Was thinking of you Mick Jenkins while wandering around - a very interesting time indeed.
After this we walked across to The US Capitol Building and booked into a guided tour of the main public areas. We were guided through rooms displaying statues of past Presidents and founders of the various states etc. and then into the "Rotunda" the huge round dome that we are all familiar with. This was definetely the "Wow" factor here - it is enourmous with marble floor and fresco around the walls and dome ceiling - thought we were back in Rome. Also huge paintings of significant events throughout US history. A well worth visit indeed.
By this it was approaching time to head to to the airport for our flight back to the west and into Canada.
Got chatting to our cab driver and I mentioned that we could not fly direct to Vancouver from Ronald Reagan Airport in Washington, and he replied that there are no International flights to or from this airport as it is too close to the Pentagon and White House - and when we took off we did a sharp left turn so as not to fly over the main city/White House, very interesting!!.
After about 1-5 hour stopover in Chicago, (just a comfortable time to grab something to eat and have a beer) we left US soil for the last time.
We thorougly enjoyed the nearly 3 weeks here - the people were very friendly and the Customer Service far exceeded our expectations.......
Another 4 hours flight time and we landed in Vancouver about 11-15pm (local time), and after going through passport control/customs etc we arrived at our digs and finally into bed at 12-45am.
Friday 3rd August 2012 Day 21
Woke reasonably fresh after a big day and met Trevor and Anne who had also flown in the previous evening, and after not drawing breath over brekky we set out to explore Vancouver. We did not know much about the 3rd largest city in Canada, had really not much idea what to see or what to do, so it was "suck it and see" - what a surprise was install for us.
We set out for the 10 min walk to downtown to find the tempature a pleasant 21 deg or so and after high humidity and 35 plus in Washington this was a pleasant change. First up was "Canada Place" on the waterfront and similiar to our Darling Harbour, after looking about we noticed a sea plane joy flight company, and after making a few enquiries we were taxing down Vancouver Harbour for a 30 min flight over the city and out over islands, mountains, and Stanley Park.etc.....WOW WOW what a way to start.......................
Next we ventured into a display featuring a brief outine of the history of Canada, the 1812 war between USA and Britian, after leaving this we were approached by a girl selling tickets on the hop on/off bus - the best aussie accent here as she was from Wollongong - she has been here for a year or so and had also been to Whistler. After chatting with Janelle, we decided to catch a bus upto the Capilano Suspension bridge, a wooden bridge held up with rope over a gorge some 150m in the air - this also included a tree top walk and cliff walk, not for anyone scared of heights!!!
After this we headed to "Gastown" the old part of the city - "The Rocks" of Vancouver -t he highlight was a steamdriven clock that lets steam and smoke out the top when striking the hour - which just happened to be 4pm - refreshment time so we headed to the Gastown brewery for well earned beers. I might mention here that the beers throughout the USA and now Canada have been woeful, except for a bar in NYC, we have not really found anything that we have really enjoyed, so we just have to keep trying!!!!!!!!!!!!! -
Back to our digs before out again to a seafood dinner - a really memorable day.
Saturday 4th August 2012 Day 22.
Another beautiful day, a bit warmer but stll not a cloud in the sky. Today we headed towards False Creek and jumped on the most cute little ferry to Granville Island, this was an industrial area until the '70's, now a trendy food market, galleries, and shops etc. The girls and Trevor enjoyed it.............Next another ferry to Yaletown, and yes we finally did it - found the Yaletown Brewery and enjoyed a couple of their local brews......very nice. Walked to Chinatown and the Dr Sun Yet -Sen Classical Chinese Garden, then home via Stephos, a Greek Tavern recommended to us by our host to book in for dinner tonight.
I mention that it is a public holiday here on Monday (BC Day) big fireworks display tonight and their gay and lesbian mardi gras tomorrow night - so there are some very interesting sights while walking about!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Tomorrow we head to Jasper on the overnight train, then pick up a rental car and start motoring through the Rocky Mountains.......more wow factor to look forward to.
We are all still in the best of health and really enjoying ourselves and the warm weather......
Love and Best Wishes to everyone
Pierre (Just about every sign is in French as well) and Leonie