A day in Vancouver

(This is a photoblog! Click a photo to see it full-screen.)

(Check out the full-res photo album on Flickr.)

Our trip to London had a 23-hour layover in Vancouver. We arrived around 5pm, and found our hotel. Uber doesn’t operate here, so we took a taxi.

The hotel gave us a free upgrade to the top floor! Pictured: the view.

Sky House

Soon, we ventured out to explore the city.

Jason
Vertigo

Vancouver seems to have a surprising number of commercial centers — clusters of tall buildings are scattered throughout.

Precarious!

Eventually, we came to Coal Coast Harbor. There is quite a bit of public art!

Many strange contraptions dotted the harbor. I still don’t know what they are, but they make for wonderful photographs.

Alien robots?
Can I ride it?

Then, we headed for the Gastown neighborhood. A little bird told me it has the best nightlife. For a while, we wandered around.

Gastown

The city is truly splendid during the summer — 60 degrees, and lush on every corner.

(Not Big Ben)

Since this is Canada, there is no import ban on Cuban cigars.

Hot rod

A woman smoking a cigarette cruised past us in a classic car.

“The Long and Winding Road”

In many places, taxis wind their way through curvaceous streets.

Here be Hipsters

Gastown is home to several trendy shops and bars. It seems rather gentrified — I hope it’s not like San Francisco’s Mission district. I should learn the history!

Pinball
Pinball player

The trendy bar we chose had beer flights and pinball machines. We needed one- and two-dollar coins to play, which the bartender called “loonies” and “toonies.” (Apparently most Canadians do this. Seriously!)

Houseboats

We wandered around a bit more, then headed home. The next day, we headed for Stanley Park on foot. Along the way, we found a colorful pier.

A breakfast café served us splendid pastries.

Before long, we made it to the park. I made a beeline for the aquarium. First, we saw jellyfish.

Lionfish are an invasive species, escaped into the ocean from the North American pet trade.

Grumpyfish

Jason loves sea otters. This one was particularly cute. It’s basically a smelly dog with flippers.

Water dog?

These penguins were rescued from an oil spill.

In fact, the whole aquarium has a conservation emphasis. Many placards warn of impending environmental crises, or detail the conservation work the aquarium is doing.

This sign was on the wall

The rescued sea lions do tricks at feeding time! They are shockingly amphibious.

Gymnast
GIMME FISH
Ribbit!

Various frogs occupy a whole room.

(Hiding)

Soon, we exhausted the aquarium’s treasures, and made our way further into the park.

The red tree

Stanley Park has many short hiking trails, which lead to various sights.

Hiking

Some tourists ride around on a megabus. (Not us.)

Before long, we reached the harbor, this time from the other side!

Not the Golden Gate

We found a lighthouse.

To the Lighthouse
At the lighthouse
Me!

In the courtyard, Jason took my photo. Always a nice change — I’m usually behind the camera!

Our 23-hour layover was running short. We hurried back to the airport.

Coming soon: London, part one! (Edit: the next part is Málaga!)

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