Vancouver, BC

Our tour of the Pacific Northwest started in Vancouver, British Columbia.  This city is perhaps best known to travelers as the port of origin for cruise ships heading to Alaska.  Maybe you are one of the cruisers who has seen the cruise terminal at Canada Place, with its iconic roof designed to look like a ship’s sails.


But Vancouver is a worthwhile travel destination in its own right.   Glass-fronted buildings fill the downtown, and are reflected in each other’s windows.  Of interest, much of the glass is green-blue, designed on purpose to reflect a pleasing color of light that has been scientifically shown to improve people’s mood.  Who knew?


The Marine Building on the right is an Art Deco gem dating from the 1920’s.  If your device has the functionality to zoom in, notice the details of marine animals and scenes.    In a harmonious balanced composition, directly next door is a modern skyscraper designed to look like a wave, echoing the marine theme.


At the historic Anglican Church downtown, there are contemporary stained glass windows by a traditional First Nations artist.  In a whimsical touch, she put in a small image of her dog’s face.  Can you find it?


After all that time in the city, we were ready to head to Stanley Park and take a bike ride along the waterfront.  This is rated one of the best city bike paths ever, and we agree.  We rented our bikes from Simon’s Bike Shop, and would recommend them for good service, good bikes, and reasonable prices.  The downtown is also very bike-friendly, with dedicated separate bike lanes on several streets.



In Stanley Park, we saw these recently made examples of indigenous art.


Then the bike ride continued on to the other side of the city and to Granville Island, still on dedicated paths.


To learn more about the indigenous peoples, which the Canadians refer to as First Nations, we visited the Museum of Anthropology.  Here we saw examples of totem poles as well as many masks and items used in ceremonies.



Much of the waterfront downtown consists of walkways and pedestrian plazas.  Here we saw the torch from the 2010 Olympics.  If you don’t remember it, it is the four-legged abstract structure in the foreground.


And  we will wrap up this post with piece of public art with a story: a raindrop which symbolizes the rainy winter climate.  The back story involves the cost – – supposedly 3 million Canadian dollars – – which prompted our tour guide to suggest that this may really be a teardrop shed by the taxpayers!


With that, will leave you and Vancouver as we head up the Sea to Sky highway for Whistler.

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