Monday, August 26, 2013

Alaska 2013, Day 68, Vancouver BC

Thursday Aug 8, 2013

We drove into town this morning.  Drove through Chinatown and walked Gastown.  Not much to Chinatown, lots of Chinese businesses, not particularly pretty where we went. Gastown reminds me of Seattle's Pioneer Square;  art galleries, tourist shops and restaurants.

We read that Granville Island was touristy, there is a market there and some art galleries.  We couldn't find it at first, it is under the Granville Rd. bridge. Its only a couple miles across. Really congested, overflowing with
tourists.  It reminds me of the Cleveland flats in that it is a couple of blocks under the bridge in an old industrial area.  Unlike the flats this has been all renovated.  There is a large public market and all the warehouses have been converted to shops or parking.

After Granville Island we drove around Stanley Park. Stanley Park is finger on the north western end of Vancouver that sticks out into Vancouver Harbor. It is a pretty big green space and is all coastal rainforest.  It took us a couple attempts to find a way in (follow the Aquarium signs). Driving in Vancouver is a trip; really congested, lots of traffic, lots of one way streets and intersections with traffic lights only facing one of the streets.

Coming back from the park we followed Hastings all the way back to route 1.  There was a stretch of about 5 blocks between Gastown and Chinatown where Hastings was lined with bums.  I wouldn't have thought that Canada, with a more socialist government than the US would have a homeless problem.  Another thing I noticed was that downtown we saw a Ferrari Daytona and 2 Maseratis.  So there is also a lot of wealth here as well. Not as egalitarian as I thought.


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