Vancouver, BC

About two months ago, I moved to Vancouver, in beautiful British Columbia, Canada. Alas, I have not spent too much time here, and I’m already moving away. Over the last two months, I spoke at a conference in DC, attended another one in Vegas, and spent two weeks in Seattle. Leaving me with far too little time to actually enjoy the new town.

The view from the roof is great.

In the backdrop of the picture above, you can clearly see a white building that looks somewhat like a large ship. This is in fact the Canada Place Cruise ship terminal. Quite a few ships dock here, sailing to as nearby as Alaska, or as far away as the Caribbean.

While passing through a few days earlier, Holland-America Lines’ ms Statendam vessel was actually docked. Though very few travellers are from the Netherlands, you could sense a buzz of Dutchness in the air during those few days. Not too surprising, as the Statendam can take up to 1,200 passengers.

The somewhat strange looking piece of architecture below is the Vancouver Art Gallery. It’s one of the two musea which I really wanted to visit. The other one, the Museum of Anthropology, with a sizeable exhibition regarding First Nation people, unfortunately closed down for several months due to renovations.

As I live in crosstown, I’m only one block away from Vancouver’s Chinatown. The building to the left, owned by Jack Chow insurance, is the world’s narrowest building.

In weekends, inhabitants of Vancouver spent an indecent amount of time in their little jewel, Stanley Park. It’s one of the largest urban park areas in the world, and has plenty of attractions, including the Vancouver acquarium.

Ever since arriving, I’ve been wondering why I had such a good impression of the Vancouver Acquarium, despite never having visited it. In the meanwhile, I discovered why. As a kid, the public TV station in Belgium broadcast the Canadian television series “Danger Bay”. As a seven year old, I eagerly watched it every week. Turns out that in every single episode, the Vancouver acquarium was featured.

Float planes are incredibly popular here. This makes sense, due to the large distances in Canada, and remote populations that are just plain difficult to visit by road. Looking below, you can see the houses end up on the hillside of West Van. Well, that’s were they end. Really. The next city is hundreds of miles away and is most likely what we would dub a small village.

Finally, a picture of Vancouver’s number one tourist attraction, the Capilano Suspension Bridge.

The Capilano suspension bridge is 136 metres long, and some 70 meters high. It was built in 1888 by George Grant McKay, the then City Park Commissioner of Vancouver. He built the bridge together with two First Nations inhabitants of the area.

Interestingly, in 1999 an 18 month old child was dropped by her mother while crossing the bridge. The child survived without serious injuries. She ended up suing the company that maintains the bridge, but the case was settled out of court.

I don’t know for certain whether it has anything to do with it, but today, there’s a “watcher” sitting next to the bridge at all times to make sure this silliness doesn’t happen again. (Oh yeah- the bridge does move when you walk across)

In addition to the bridge, you can do a leisurely walk through the surrounding thriving coastal forest. There are several pools with trout, and the Capilano river itself is populated with salmon from June through September.

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