For my last week of travel I stayed in the lower mainland visiting Vancouver and Abbotsford. I started the week by staying overnight in Vancouver for 2 nights at the Hostelling International Hostel on Davie Street. There are 3 HI hostels in Vancouver and I think I chose the best one. Jericho Beach is too far away from downtown and Granville street is too close to the late night business of Granville and Robson.
In Vancouver I had an opportunity to visit many of the places I am fond of as well as some new places that have sprung up since I was last there. I have memories of Granville street; especially the comic book store, and venues such as the Commodore Ballroom and Granville Theatre. Also walking down Robson Street among the bustle of people and taking the Skytrain all over the place. It was great to go to all of these places while there was such great fall foliage about.
One of my favourite places to go to in Vancouver is of course Granville Island. It was a nice day and I took the water taxi from Downtown to Granville Island in the morning to see the market and all the shops. I enjoy viewing all the art studios that can be found there; especially all the pottery, sculptures and wood working. The market provides a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, seafood, baked goods, and souvenirs.
While in Vancouver I visited some of the Olympic sites such as the Athletes Village, the Inuksuk on English Bay, and the Olympic Caldron. The Athletes Village was very quite and seemed very empty; like a ghost town. It did not look like many people were living there despite the plan to offer affordable housing at the Athletes Village. Apparently the False Creek area is still too expensive for many people. I can imagine that this place must have been packed during the Olympics.
Next I visited the Olympic Caldron near the new Vancouver Convention Center. I found it to be an impressive Caldron and must be a sight to see lit up (when it is working of course). Near the Caldron there is a pixelized Orca statue that is reminiscent of the various Orca statues that used to be found in and around the Vancouver area.
After my brief stay in Vancouver I travelled down the valley to my hometown of Abbotsford. It was great to relax for a week with my family and friends. Some things at home have changed but Abbotsford is mostly the same small city. I used to boast about how big Abbotsford is in terms of size and population about how it is always growing. But it is a small, rural, place in comparison to many of the other places I have seen. Even a city like Edmonton is small in comparison to Toronto, which is in turn small when compared to a place like New York or Chicago. My favourite cities on this trip were Winnipeg, New Orleans, San Francisco, and Portland.
Now I am returning to Edmonton. Back to work, back to church, back to my friends and a new place to live… I have something special planned for the month of November, but I will save that for the next post!