Ah one of the dreaded stop signs, not the most horrible ones that are 4 way stops but a 3 way... just as bad for a Brit in Canada or the US for that matter for no matter how separate a Canadian will tell you they are from the Americans, there are one heck of a load of similarities, even the massive mountains (not in this pic) that people were so proud of were actually 300 miles away in the US. But apparently everything -I was told- could be improved by the view. We were sat in a traffic jam and I was asked to note the fantastic view inferring the traffic jam was better because of mountains... I didn't agree, sat nose to tail in traffic is not great anywhere whether you have mountains or flying hippos to see. Of course in this instance the dreaded stop sign will definitely not be improved my nice scenery because as a non-native driver they filled me with dread and taking my eyes off the road for a second was not my plan as it's give way to the first person who got to the stop line. It's a bit like a queue... but with 4 or three different queues feeding in... where all of them are cars... and they're all trying to cross each other's path... and they might have guns. Yes exactly like a queue. Hey hold on I'm from the UK, we invented queuing, you can't fool me with this, "it's like a queue" business.
Needless to say, I applied my own rules to this predicament which was less like queuing and more like a logic puzzle:
If there is no around traffic then stop, pause as little as possible just in case traffic arrives and gun it. If there is traffic, possibly gun it or not dependant on how sprightly/large/quick/police-like the others are, of course try and observe the queue thing which might mean hesitate and wait for others to hesitate which might mean it was my turn in the first place in which case gun it. If this starts looking all too tricky, park on side of road as if this was out intended destination, announce to the passengers in a loud voice something to the effect of “Well I'm glad we finally got here”, get out and wait for no traffic, hurriedly pack bemused passengers back into the car and... gun it.
See it's simple.
On a trip out to Gibson or Gibbons if you get it all wrong -as was done on several occasions- you can take the Horseshoe Bay ferry. To be honest it was the largest boat I have ever been on. 40 minutes later you're off again and ridibg round Langdale. Weirdly enough it cuts the road journey in half which you wouldn't think would be worth it but it appears popular despite nit being cheap, mind you they charge passengers too and we had an SUV full.
Anyway this pic is of the Langdale terminal with the mountains in the background which almost look like a backdrop
Today was long and relatively hot. Since my Wife wss not up to walking too far the idea was to go to the Sun Yat Sen garden. For those who don't know it, it's a Chinese garden in the centre of Vancouver. It's a lovely place but not too huge. Apparently it was built using traditiinal methods and materials in an area that was going to be demolished for a freeway.
Anyway the picture isn't of a Chinese garden, it's of the Wall Centre the Sheraton. It was a quick visit as we needed to join the rush hour back but with any luck I have better shots on the Nikon
Here at Richmond Hospital there's no afternoon tea, there's no bar and no concierge service, I was appalled especially when merely checking in cost over 700CAD and checking out is a rather complicated procedure, a procedure that you have to go through at some unspecified time in the future that happens to involve an unspecified task. So it's a bit of a Crystal Maze with a little of Kafka's The Trial mixed in with Savoy prices (and then some). Despite all of this it was nice to see something that the Savoy doesn't have... rabbits, and a nice tame one they have here too, though I did get a little close and to my surprise it hopped sideways by one foot in the blink of an eye. Needless to say now I have exposed the winning formula, hotels all around the world will be following suit... with the rabbit thing not the Kafka (no-one knows anything of your eventual release) thing. I say Kafka but I suppose it's more if ab Arthur Koestler Darkness at Noon thing.... I'll shut up.
I was told by two different people (they were married to each other so as far as fact finding this isn't 100% conclusive as I suspect the Canadian in the relationship may have mentioned it to their non-Canadian partner who then relayed it to me) that this was the world's largest flag. Stopped at lights I could not resist so i grabbed my San Fran and snapped this one. Eager to find more details I started San Franning away on Chrome to find what it's particulars were and couldn't find it from an obvious Google search. Being a fair man I started digging deeper. So I searched for largest flag Canada... here I was getting somewhere, perhaps it was the biggest Cabadian flag in the world?... no. Looks like loads of people want that title and they don't all have to be hoisted up a flagpole, some were made out of people. So if it's not the biggest flag and not the biggest Canadian flag which I suspect rules it out as the biggest flag in Canada (my assumption is there are few people outside Canada who want to win the biggest Canadian flag prize) then what the heck is it?
Welcome to the biggest flagpole in the world in 1986. It was built for the Expo then and now sits in a car dealership in Surrey. I suspect it is no longer the biggest and that title is held by the North Koreans at 160 meters, but since I don't know how high this one is I can't go all McWherter on you and claim anything. When I get a computer at my fingertips then perhaps the matter might be settled, until then you will have to wonder.
The drive out was initially to Bridal Veil Falls and we got there fine but the small but impressive falls were ruined by the San Fran because you couldn't tell that there were falls let alone the difference between the sky and the falls so no pic of that I'm afraid, though the Nikon will have a pic.
So since we weren't completely shattered it was off to Fort Langley an 1827 trading post on the Fraser River trading furs and the like. Now if course it's a historic attraction full of people dressed in costume acting out their piece from coopers to weddings and dancing as well as a bit of gardening mixed in. All quite fun really but a little confusing when the first nation man was playing a colonial boss and the white woman was playing a first nation mother, I did finally get it though.
This pic is if the big house, the fort office and head trader's house
If you like fish and canned fish for that matter then this is for you, canned salmon is this place's business. The whole 100 year history of the cannery is detailed with a guided tour. We even had a workshop where we learnt to make leather medicine pouches as the natives would have done. Of course if you don't like fish then tough, it's all they did. I say did because it closed in the 70's and reopened later as a museum which of course it is today.
The surroundings are pretty and full of small interesting shops. On one street there was a film crew set up and ut became apparent that some of the "public" were actors for the background, obviously they weren't filming when we were passing but it was obvious there was something going on that they were a part of.
It's white and it's got rocks in it. On a rather overcast and blowy day we descended on White Rock, not sure why it's called White Rock but it does have a huge white rock near it which might explain the name. It has a pier and contaminated water so the lone surfer or body boarder I think they were might have been risking their health but hey, there were TV cameras out for him so it was probably worth it.
Apart from the huge white rock there was very little else if interest, a few shops, ice-cream and restaurants but that's it. So after a brief walk it was off to crescent beach for more overcastness and a sit whilst the kids got soaking and sandy. Still the weather perked up and was really hot just as we were about to leave a good thing too after yesterday's baking.
Anyway the pic is of the start of the pier at White Rock if you couldn't have guessed. I'm surprised it came out so well, I thought that it would have been completely underexposed owing to the bright sky (relatively) combined with the poor camera on the San Fran
...Stanley park is where I'm standing. On a no rules day I was unprepared for how unruley the day was to become. After initially heading to Vancouver to see the city, this was as far as we got to the city on foot, after that it and after a few hours in Stanley Park the only other contact with the city wasa drive through Vancouver stopping at every junction at red lights or to wait for pedestrians to cross. Canada jas the same daft idea of throwing cars on green into pedestrians crossing. Mind you daft traffic signals are not the preseve of the Canadians.
Anyway Stanley Park is quite nice you gave the bustling port full of tankers and seaplanes and liners all around as well as a flotila of other small private boats racing around. The park contains walks and rides abd a nice fat two lane road that skirts the coast so if you've eaten far too many doughnuts then ther is no need to walk anywhere.
The picture is of downtown Vancouver from the park, a huge skyrise place with as yet nothing much to be seen when you get there, however that is from the point of view of the driver and to be honest I was mainly concentrating on not hitting anything and keeping in the right lane.