Vancouver, BC 24-Nov-2012

We both got a good night's sleep, and after grabbing breakfast, we were ready to start our day. The only thing we had planned for was doing a walking tour of Gastown and Chinatown, but we ended up also going to the Vancouver Art Gallery and the Vancouver Christmas Market. We knew that there would be a lot of food available in the kitchen, but we did supplement with some yogurt. Unfortunately, while the kitchen was fine, the dining room was closed because of a burst pipe above it. Tables had been set up int he lobby for people to use, but there weren't a lot of spots. Fortunately, people were in and out quickly enough for it to not be a problem.

We ended up walking from the Hostel (on the west end of downtown, just south of Davie) to the start of our walking tour, Canada Place. On the way, however, we stopped by the Visitor Information center where there was a half-price ticket booth to see if there were tickets to a play that Melody had found. Unfortunately, we were a bit early and they hadn't opened yet, so we decied to proceed with the walking tour.

While nothing in it was open yet, we walked around the promenade of Canada Place, getting great views of Stanley Park as we got to the tip. There were several people who use it for their morning walks.

 Canada Place

Canada Place

After making a quick detour through the Waterfront SkyTrain station, we entered into Gastown, where one of our first stops was the Steam Clock. We were there right at 10am so we could hear the steam whistles play the Westminster Chime and ten hour markers. We also saw one of the balls be transported up to the top.

 Steam Clock striking 10am

Steam Clock striking 10am

Another stop on our tour was the T&T Supermarket, which is a Chinese version of Uwajimaya. There was a huge seafood counter, and interestingly enough you could pack your own shellfish and have them wrap and weigh it for you.

 T&T Supermarket

T&T Supermarket

One interesting building was the Sam Kee Building, which has a footprint of less than five feet wide. It does extend underneath the sidewalk, however, but the stores at street level were very narrow.

We had been to the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Park and Chinese Classical Garden the last time we were in Vancouver, but we did make a quick spin through the public park side. There were very few people there, and it was very peaceful.

We walked around a bit more, and even though it was only a little after 11am, we stopped by Floata Seafood Restaurant to have dim sum. We didn't get very many plates, but had more than enough to eat. When we first arrive, it seemed that Melody was the only caucasian in the whole restaurant. More showed up as time went on, however.

Finishing up our Gastown/Chinatown walk was looking at the Crab Park Overpass, where we admired the lions guarding the overpass. We decided to not go all the way out to the park, however, and went back across Water Street where we stopped into Rogers Chocolates to grab a snack.

 Crab Park overpass

Crab Park overpass

We figured we had enough energy and time to tackle the Vancover Art Gallery. The building used to be a courthouse, and while you can't enter the building through the main courthouse steps, they're still there and people gather there when the weather is warmer. We went inside and wandered through all the floors. The main exhibit fettered Ian Wallace, who works combines painting and photography. There were also watercolors by Emily Carr, a small collection of conceptual art, and a couple people working on carving a First Nation screen for later installation.

After relaxing at the hostel for a bit, we wandered over to the Queen Elizabeth Theatre Plaza for the annual Vancouver Christmas Market. While the main theme is German, there are many things to see, eat, and buy. We got into the long entrance line, paid our admission, then did a full circuit to see what was around. For dinner we settled on sausage, spƤtzle, and a waffle for dessert. For the first two items, those lines were among the longest (the longest was for the mulled wine).

 Spiral potatoes at the Vancouver Christmas Market

Spiral potatoes at the Vancouver Christmas Market

Once we were done with the Market, we were done for the night. Having walked over to the Plaza, we decided to bus back and settle into the hostel for the evening.