A 2-night Vancouver getaway: Day 1

My plans for this short visit to Vancouver were very basic – well, I had no specific plans actually. I was just going to wander around the downtown area with my camera and see what happened.

The wheels of my plane touched the runway at 11:05, and 14 minutes later, I shot the next photo as I walked toward the Canada Line train that would take me downtown.

Walking to the Canada Line train at the Vancouver airport, BC
I found the train ticket machines to be very confusing, and I ended up paying far too much. Seniors’ rates don’t seem to be available from the machines, and my “DayPass with YVR” was $15.25. Oh well…

Canada Line train at the Vancouver airport, BC
I got the best seat on the train for photography, so the cost of the ticket was immediately immaterial. This rapid transit system is so amazing – taking a taxi from the airport to downtown used to be such an expensive pain. I’ve spent a lot of time going to and from the airport as a driver of both taxis and buses over the years.

Canada Line train at the Vancouver airport, BC
This is the most scenic spot on the YVR-downtown line, as it crosses the North Arm of the Fraser River.

Canada Line crosses the North Arm of the Fraser River at Vancouver, BC
Land near Canada Line stations seems to have gotten very valuable. Having a high suite in the buildings in the next photo would give people who like cities quite a life – easy access to everything and great views of both the mountains and the sea.

Canada Line at Vancouver, BC
Ten minutes from the airport, the train goes underground and stays there all the way to the waterfront.

Canada Line goes underground at Vancouver, BC
It took exactly 20 minutes to reach the station closest to the hotel I had reserved.

Canada Line tunnel at Vancouver, BC
The stations are bright and spacious. I’m curious about how far underground the line is – it’s a long walk to the surface.

Canada Line station at Vancouver, BC
It’s an easy 6-block walk from the Yaletown-Roundhouse station to the Executive Hotel Vintage Park, which I chose because of its combination of location (the primary consideration) and price. They promote themselves as an “executive hotel for the urban adventurer” – perfect 🙂

Executive Hotel Vintage Park, Vancouver, BC
At 12:10, I reached room 705. I was very pleased with it. Minor complaint – the electrical plug is way under the desk, rather than at a convenient location.

Room 705 at the Executive Hotel Vintage Park, Vancouver, BC
My view was to the east, looking down on the Granville Street bridge approach, and the Black Top Cab base.

The view from Room 705 at the Executive Hotel Vintage Park, Vancouver, BC
As soon as I got settled, I went looking for lunch. TripAdvisor pointed me to a waterfront cafe on False Creek under the Burrard Street Bridge, about 4 blocks away.

Walking to False Creek in Vancouver, BC
My destination was the TAPshack. It was a great choice. The Google review I just posted says: “This was the perfect spot to start my 2-night Vancouver Spring getaway from Whitehorse. The location, the general vibe, and the selection of craft beers all get 10/10, the food (I had the TAP Burger) and service were both very good, though if the rating had 10 stars instead of 5 I’d probably give 9 overall.”

TAPshack cafe, Vancouver, BC
The next photo looks back at the TAPshack as I headed up to the Burrad Street Bridge.

TAPshack cafe, Vancouver, BC
A rather abstract look at the stairs up the bridge deck. While there were lots of flowers, leaves on the trees were just starting.

Vancouver, BC
The Burrard Street Bridge, which opened in 1932, is one of my favourite bridges anywhere. Mostly that’s because of the pair of Art Deco galleries in the middle, but it’s also particularly people-friendly and has wonderful views of False Creek and English Bay.

Burrard Street Bridge in Vancouver, BC

Burrard Street Bridge in Vancouver, BC

Although this was a very gentle winter in Whitehorse, we don’t have cherry blossoms, and that alone could get me to Vancouver this time of year.

Cherry Blossom Festival in Vancouver, BC
Some of the views down offer good photography potential, too. Vancouver seems to be an extremely physically-active city. One of the first things I noticed as I sat having lunch was the fact that there are a whole lot of very fit people in their 70s and 80s.

Waterfont walking and biking path in Vancouver, BC
At each end of the main span of the Burrard Street Bridge are crisis-line phones. The bridge link above includes the comment: “The first suicide off the bridge was Oct. 21, 1933. There were many to follow.” I find it significant that these tragedies are acknowledged, and very visible efforts made to prevent any more.

Crisis line phone on the Burrard Street Bridge in Vancouver, BC
The view across English Bay. The weather was superb (the temperature was about 16°C / 61°F), and I spent a long time on the bridge.

The view across English Bay from the Burrard Street Bridge in Vancouver, BC
The numbers of boats out was testament to the glorious conditions – the sheltered waters of False Creek were busy with smaller craft as well, including kayaks, inflatables, and even a racing canoe sort of vessel.

Boats in English Bay at Vancouver, BC
The combination of an old building and a “bicycle ambulance” caught my attention. Break your bike chain ot get a flat tire? Call the bike ambulance to get the first aid your ride needs 🙂

Bicycle ambulance in Vancouver, BC
Public art is everywhere in Vancouver – look down while you’re walking on the north approach of the Burrard Street Bridge to see this small mosaic (about 2 feet square).

Mosaic on the Burrard Street Bridge in Vancouver, BC
Next, I headed towards the next bridge to the east, the Granville Street Bridge. That took me by the historic Black Top & Checker Cabs building. I actually worked out of the building for a short time in the mid-1970s. I left after a few weeks because I couldn’t make any money.

The historic Black Top & Checker Cabs building in Vancouver, BC
Just a block from my hotel, the Vancouver House retail/residential complex is the star of Vancouver architecture at the moment. I haven’t seen a completion date but I expect it’s a year or so away yet. The photo of the 59-story structure is a panorama created by shooting 2 vertical images.

The Vancouver House retail/residential complex in Vancouver, BC
The Vancouver House complex is using some land that’s typically nearly impossible to make use of. The Executive Hotel Vintage Park is at the left in the next photo.

The Vancouver House retail/residential complex in Vancouver, BC
Once on the Graville Street Bridge, there were some excellent photo ops looking down on people and and bikes and cherry trees.

Waterfront walking and biking path in Vancouver, BC

Waterfront walking and biking path in Vancouver, BC

At the south end of the bridge I hear a pan flute over the traffic noise. Below in the Granville Island Market, a performer had attracted a pretty good crowd.

Granville Island Market in Vancouver, BC
The Granville Island Market is a very popular spot for both locals and visitors, but I didn’t go there this time.

Granville Island Market in Vancouver, BC
Just before 4:00, I went back to my hotel room to have an hour-long nap and then get a jacket so I could keep wandering once it cooled off. The next photo shows the view from my room of the Granville Street Bridge approach, and part of the Vancouver House complex.

The view from Room 705 at the Executive Hotel Vintage Park in Vancouver, BC
The hotel’s fitness room and hot tub room are both small spaces but very nice.

Vancouver, BC
I walked back to the Yaletown/Roundhouse station of the Canada Line and rode the train to the waterfront.

Yaletown/Roundhouse station of the Canada Line in Vancouver, BC
The SeaBus is a wonderful way to travel across Vancouver Harbour – it’s included in the day pass I had bought. The docking stations are very photo-unfriendly, but there’s a photo of the SeaBus from a block away after I got off in North Vancouver.

SeaBus in North Vancouver, BC
There’s a walking/biking path along the waterfront in North Vancouver, too. I walked quite a while but wasn’t feeling very inspired photographically. At 7:30 I shot this photo of the Happy Buccaneer, a heavy-lift cargo ship from Amsterdam, then started walking back to the SeaBus terminal.

Vancouver, BC
I took a photo of my pedometer app when I got back to the hotel just after 9:00 pm. Not bad – 14 km. I actually walked past the hotel, met a skunk coming out of the hotel garden (!), then returned to get the extra 0.2 km needed to reach that 14 km 🙂

Vancouver, BC

The forecast for the next day (Monday) was for more sunshine, then rain was to start Tuesday night as I left.




Comments

A 2-night Vancouver getaway: Day 1 — 2 Comments

  1. ……….As a former Whitehorse resident I thoroughly enjoyed your two days. I did it when the Canucks were born; we stayed in a hotel now gone. Our game was remembered as the smell of the ice! I do not remember the score. I now live alone in the West End of this beautiful city.

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