September 16, 2014 - Today's adventure lasted for three days, and it was out of the country in Vancouver, British Columbia. It was our first time there but, we covered a lot of ground and arrived home exhausted.
We stayed at one of the old Canadian Pacific hotels, this one being the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver. Like the Chateau Frontenac in Quebec City, it has a lot of charm and top notch service.
Of course it also has gargoyles.
We started out at the city's Stanley Park, which lies northwest of downtown.
The cruise ships and the seaplanes both use the facilities at Canada Place as a terminal for this region and all of the seaplanes fly over Stanley Park for their landings.
This statue depicts a lady looking for something in her purse and it's called "Search," by J. Seward Johnson. The object of her search is her eyeglasses. It can happen!
After Stanley Park we headed over to Granville Island, which is south of downtown. We walked over the Granville Bridge to get there and then took a short two minute ferry ride to get back to the city.
Our best meal of the trip was on the waterfront looking directly south towards Granville Island. The name of the restaurant is C Restaurant, as in sea. Judy had a butter poached half lobster with tempura asparagus and I had their mussels with a Pernod scented lobster cream sauce. The food was out of this world. This was our view from the restaurant and that's the bridge we walked over to get to Granville Island.
Our second day started with a delicious breakfast buffet at the Fairmont, at their new "Roof" restaurant. Then we took a bus about ten miles out of town to the University of British Columbia campus.
The reason for going here was to see their Museum of Anthropology. However, getting around the UBC campus can be a little daunting since it covers 993 acres. To see a map of the campus, click here. MOA is located in the upper left portion of the map. The current enrollment at UBC is 58,000 students.
MOA is renowned for its displays of world arts and cultures, in particular works by First Nations peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast First Nations. MOA houses 38,000 ethnographic objects, as well as 535,000 archaeological objects in its building alone.
After MOA we went back downtown to see the Bill Reid Gallery, located within one block of the Fairmont. This gallery is named after the acclaimed Haida artist Bill Reid (1920-1998). No photography was allowed, but the building's exterior is shown below.
After the Bill Reid Gallery, we decided to "go up" to see the city from the Vancouver Lookout. The view here shows a portion of Stanley Park in the distance (the wooded spit of land surrounded by water) and Canada Place, the building which is covered by fabric roofs resembling sails. It was modified and used during the 2010 Winter Olympics.
The 2010 Olympic Stadium is now Rogers Arena. We missed Elton John by one day!
From the Lookout we went into the Gastown neighborhood, famous for its Steam Clock. It was built in 1977 to solve an issue with Vancouver's underground steam lines that are used for heat. It operates solely on steam and whistles in a standard Westminster Chime like most grandfather clocks.
Directly across the street from the Steam Clock is the Inuit Gallery of Vancouver. The Inuit are a group of culturally similar indigenous peoples inhabiting the Arctic regions of Greenland, Canada, and the United States. We're familiar with their art from our trips to Quebec City and, of course, we bought another piece on this trip. It's the dark stone bear on top of the display case. We expect him to be delivered here in two weeks.
Since 1979, the Inuit Gallery of Vancouver has offered a museum-quality collection of masterwork Inuit and Northwest Coast art in the heart of Gastown. Their collection is extensive and the artwork is stunning.
From the Inuit Gallery we walked over to Chinatown to see the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden. Built in 1985-1986, the garden is the first Chinese or "scholars" garden built outside of China.
Like most traditional Chinese gardens, this garden has Gongshi (also known as Scholars' Rocks or Spirit Stones) to heighten the contemplative setting.
We called it a day and had dinner at Cibo Trattoria, located in the downtown entertainment district. While it was pretty good, it didn't match the overall quality that we found at the C Restaurant.
On our last day we went to the Vancouver Art Gallery, located just across the street from the Fairmont.
The second floor had about eight rooms, each with a piece of what is now called "installation art." After touring each room, Judy and I thought we had just been in the fun house, it was really strange.
It was a wonderful trip!
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