Tag Archives: Stanley Park

Day 37 – Vancouver

Last night, we travelled to Richmond Market, which is meant to be quite a famous night market. It wasn’t too bad actually – it was full of Asian food and fake Chinese stuff. I probably spent 20 bucks on food, including a weird bun with Chinese BBQ pork, and some waffle on a stick which had a phallic appearance.

Today, being my last full day in Vancouver, I felt I should a decent look around Stanley Park. It takes around half hour to walk there, and by then I’m usually tired to go on exploring! This time I took the bus down.

The weather was beautiful, warmer than it had been yesterday. So it was a little gruelling sometimes. Stanley Park is bigger than Central Park, and nearly half the size of Richmond Park in London. I decided to walk the perimeter so it was quite a distance.

I always manage to start anti-clockwise, so I’ll pass the navy base, the cricket pavilion, and the totem poles. I approached the big suspension bridge, Lions Gate Bridge, which takes you to North Vancouver (a separate city). I crossed that to Prospect Point lookout, which lets you look over the bridge, Burrard Inlet, North Van and the Georgia Straight. Apparently there’s a lighthouse but I couldn’t bloody find it…

I wanted to get on to the sea wall on the left side of the island, which I always managed to miss. So I walked for ten minutes and realised I was heading back to where I started!

Anyway, I figured it out in the end, and walked this gorgeous trail, which follows where the Squamish First Nations were. It’s forest that meets the sea. I eventually spotted a rock stack sticking out of the sea. This is called Swash Rock, and there was an info board telling of a legend. I thought it was really nice so I’m writing the legend below:

“Long, long ago Skalsh went for a swim of purification in the waters of modern day English Bay in hopes of meeting Q’uas the Transformer. Q’uas was visiting every tribe in the world to hear, and perhaps, grant wishes to these with favours to ask. While purifying himself, Skalsh noticed a canoe approaching and swam towards it to greet the travellers.

“Those in the canoe asked Skalsh three times if he had a personal wish to be granted by Q’was. Each time, Skalsh said he only wished aid for his village. Impressed by this unselfish wish, Q’was revealed himself and transformed Skalsh into a pinnacle of rock to stand forever as an example of how all people should be.”

I completed the walk, passing the beautiful Third Beach as the sun was hanging low in the sky.

That night, I saw something amazing. Some dude, in hot pants, boots and a plume, with a real macaw on his shoulder. Randomly walking around. Only in Vancouver.

Day 35 – Vancouver

I thoroughly enjoyed today. It was raining in the morning but I was determined to do the Downtown tour. It was just me, the previous guide, a German bloke and an elderly lady from Ottawa.

Today’s tour was downtown architecture, old and new. Unbelievably, the first building was some shitty ‘modern’ 70s building that had replaced a neo-classical courts building. That kind of behaviour should be illegal! Fancy Vancouver doing something like that when their oldest buildings are no older than 150 years!

There are plenty of lovely, overwhelming neo-classical and neo-roman buildings with huge columns that I’ve walked past before and not realised were there.

The church down the road from me is a gothic revival, built late 19th Century. Apparently it was very close to being knocked down some time ago… seriously?!

It was more chilled this time around as we were talking amongst ourselves. The German chap was suddenly wearing these small, thick round frame glasses that cover just the eyeball. Very typical of a European. He mentioned the war as well, to which I said “don’t mention the war” as Basil Fawlty said, but no one seemed to get it. I then mentioned how I used to live in Plymouth and how the Germans flattened what was a beautiful city…

Anyway, after the tour, I headed out at dusk to Stanley Park to take some pics of the skyline. Something I’d been putting off out of laziness but I’m really glad I did it. I took loads of photos as the lights came on and the sun set. It’s a long walk so it quickly became night time.

What a great atmosphere there at night. At 9pm, there’s a cannon which fires a gun salute (I think it was donated by George III could be wrong though). Loud as hell – echoed through the blocks of downtown Vancouver. As it fired, a load of people cheered, proud of their city.

As I walked down the sea wall snapping away, the hairs on my neck raised reminding me how beautiful this city is. Two locals then pulled up on their mopeds, watched the city for a short while, and proclaimed it “the best place on Earth”.

As I walked back along the sea wall, I thought how lucky Vancouverites are. I walked past a couple, dangling their legs over the wall, having a bit of a cuddle. Which made me think how I’d love Chloe to be sharing this view of this incredible city with me…

Loved tonight. One of my best nights of the trip. Sometimes the simplest of moments are the most beautiful.

Day 21 – Vancouver

I decided today was one of those days to reflect on things. I set off to Stanley Park, which is about half an hour’s walk from where I was renting. On the way I spotted a bloke downtown with a Royal Mail bag, 5,000 miles away from where it should be. No wonder our post gets lost!

With the intentions of discovering most of the island, I hadn’t been sleeping too well, so I was mega tired. In the end I found a little beach overlooking the Burrard Inlet, and sat next to some big old log. To the left in the distance was the Lions Gate Bridge to North Vancouver, and over the water, some of West Canada’s natural resources all lined up for export – bright yellow Albertan sulphur, potash, a mountain of logs.

I tried writing about myself, which I hate but it’s a good outlet to try and understand yourself sometimes. It didn’t really solve anything as such; didn’t provide answers but it let me think straight which rarely happens in this busy life of mine!

Stanley Park always managed to keep me on the east side of it – every path I walked always led me back to where I started.