Posted by: RasmaSandra | December 13, 2022

Vancouver British Columbia

Our armchair travels have taken us all over the US, with posts of the 50th state Hawaii still being posted. From the US we go over the border into Canada, beginning with the westernmost province, British Columbia, which is situated between the Pacific Ocean and the Rocky Mountains. We begin with the city of Vancouver.

Stanley Park is adjacent to Downtown Vancouver and is a peninsula with huge trees. The green space is encircled by a paved seawall path which is a great place for strolling or biking. There are lovely blooming cherry trees in the spring and rhododendrons. In the summer people enjoy the heated outdoor pool right by the edge of the ocean.

The Brockton Point Totem Poles are a major attraction in Stanley Park. These are intricately carved poles and were first placed in the park in the 1920s. Today there are nine totem poles carved from red cedar they line a wide walkway with a backdrop of tall evergreen trees. The Visitor Center give an insight into the First Nations history and about the totem poles.

Also in the park is the Vancouver Aquarium. This is a facility that teaches about the wonders of the ocean. There is a cold-water touch tank and a wildlife rescue area with a Burmese tortoise, Penguin Cove and sea otters. Among the highlights are unique habitats of the Amazon, the Tropics, and BC’s Wild Coast. Visitors particularly enjoy the 4D Theater Experience.

Close to Stanley Park is the Oceanfront English Bay one of the city’s loveliest beaches. It is part of the West End neighborhood and English Bay offers great shopping and high-end restaurants. People enjoy the outdoor area which is great for walking, biking, rollerblading, or enjoying the public art installation. A waterfront trail joins English Bay with Stanley Park.

The Museum of Anthropology is part of the University of British Columbia. It emphasis on all cultures around the world. Special emphasis is placed on British Columbia First Nations Exhibits that display native art, including large totem poles in the Great Hall. Other exhibits include ethnographic and archaeological objects which represent Asia, the South Pacific, the Americas, Africa, and Europe.

Grouse Mountain is a great place to be in both winter and summer. A gondola can get you from street level to the summit where there are outdoor activities, wildlife, and even dining opportunities. In the wintertime people enjoy skating, snowshoeing, skiing, and snowboarding. In the summer there are many hiking trails.

You can enjoy the sandy shoreline of Kitsilano Beach where there is an outdoor heated seawater swimming pool. The wide beach is great for sunbathing. Not only is there the beach and the oceanfront but the area also has cafes, walking trails, and a shopping strip.

Gastown is the oldest part of Vancouver. Here you’ll find many shops, galleries, and restaurants in restored Victorian buildings. There are quaint cobblestone streets and iron lampposts. In 1867 a man called John Deighton arrived with all kinds of stories that he was nicknamed “Gassy Jack” and later the area became known as “Gastown.”

In Maple Tree Square you can see a statue of Deighton. Another highlight is the Steam Clock, that puffs steam-powered chimes every fifteen minutes.

Canada Place is where you would be if you arrived in Vancouver on a cruise ship. The unusual roof design give the impression of a huge sailing vessel. The structure is part cruise ship terminal, part convention center, and hotel, and part hub for sightseeing bus tours.

Leaving the building, a scenic waterfront walk toward Stanley Park begins.

Vancouver’s Chinatown begins with the ornate Millenium Gate. There are signs everywhere with Chinese characters. Among the local attractions is the lovely walled Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden which was modeled after a traditional garden from the Ming Dynasty.

Richmond is the second Chinatown in Vancouver. There are many sightseeing attractions like a Buddhist Temple, and Steveston a former fishing village.

Capilano Suspension Bridge opened in 1889 and was the first tourist attraction in Vancouver. It thrills visitors with its swaying bridge over a canyon. The footbridge spans a 70-meter-deep river canyon which leads to an activity park that is filled with forest trails and a treetop walk.

Little Mountain is located in the center of Queen Elizabeth Park. It marks the highest point in Vancouver and offer fantastic views of the city. Recreation includes pitch-and-putt golf, tennis, disc golf, and an outdoor arboretum.

VanDusen Botanical Garden is a wonderful place to see displays of flowers. You can see blooming cherry trees in the spring. There are rhododendrons and roses. In the autumn the Japanese maples, ginko trees, and rucbeckia are beautiful.

The Vancouver Art Gallery is the premier art institution in Downtown Vancouver. The gallery offers world-class exhibitions with artwork from local and international artists on a rotating basis. The gallery’s collection also include painting by renowned BC artist Emily Carr and contemporary artwork by Asia-Pacific and First Nation artists.

The Salish Sea are the waters off the coastline of Vancouver. It is a great place to see humpback and gray whales as well as minke and orca whales.

The main whale watching season runs from March through October. You can take tour boats to see the whales.

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