Sunday, 17 June 2012

Exploring Vancouver - Part 1

by Keith and Heather Nicol
      We recently had the chance to spend several days in Vancouver and Victoria, B.C. and although the weather didn’t cooperate on many days we still found many activities to enjoy.  A popular “don’t miss” destination is the Granville Island Market ( which has loads of goodies to eat and unique crafts to check out. It also has an amazing waterfront location on False Creek that provides a perfect place to “hang out” and catch the street performers or watch the steady stream of sailboats, kayaks and passenger ferries that constantly pass by. We happened to be there on a sunny Saturday and it was packed with locals and visitors alike. 
Granville Island Market is popular with locals and visitors alike
       We like to get a feel of a city when we visit and Vancouver has many hop on and hop off bus companies that offer an ideal way to explore and learn about the downtown area. We joined the Big Pink Bus Tour on a cool overcast day and hopped on at Beach Street. From there the bus makes 23 stops around to either pick people up or drop them off. It is a great way to see one part of Vancouver like Gastown and then explore Stanley Park or China Town later in the tour. The buses run every 20-25 minutes so you don’t have to wait very long at the bus stops. Our guide gave an excellent running commentary on Vancouver and its history. For more information see:
The Big Pink Bus in Gastown
       That evening we dropped into the Vancouver Art Gallery to see its Matisse exhibit which runs until the end of September, 2012. The Art Gallery has 4 floors so there is always lots to see and we even got to hear CBC’s Bob McDonald (host of the radio show -Quirks and Quarks) giving a talk on astronomy. Here is a great tip for anyone visiting-on Tuesday evenings you can see the Art Gallery for a donation which is a big savings over the regular adult price of $20.00 plus tax. The downside is that the gallery can be quite crowded on these evenings. See for an update on what is on display and what is upcoming at the Vancouver Art Gallery.
The Vancouver Art Gallery is centrally located in downtown Vancouver

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