Saturday, February 20, 2010

The O Zone

Another day spent looking for interesting Olympic things to see. Today it's the O Zone.   To get from  North Vancouver - where we live - to Richmond City - where the O Zone is - we have to travel about 50 kilometers (30 miles) through Vancouver.  We chose public transit because we've not been on the Canada Line yet and any excuse for a new adventure is good.  But first we have to take the Sea Bus - a catamaran passenger ferry - across from North Vancouver.  When we get to the dock we can see the huge Russian tall ship which is moored here for the Games.

Underground to get on the train...

This is the first thing we see when we pop back out in the sunshine about 15 minutes later.  We have crossed the whole city and this is the Fraser River at work.

We get off the train in Richmond and walk through a well-decorated mall to get to the O Zone.

Now we're joined by the grandkids - and mom, Maria.  We have our first priority: the ferris wheel.

I've promised Becky we'll have a ride.  And here we are!  She's there just peeking around my legs.  It looks close but that's the magic of the zoom lens at work.

We went for another ride since that was so much fun.  And I had the camera to get a birds-eye view of the cranberries.  The local growers' association have created the Olympic rings and a torch in a maple leaf design over a huge space using over 13 million cranberries.



I could also look back over to the mountains in the north - where we'd started this morning.

We wanted to see the Ice Gate which was created especially for this event.  You can see more - and better - photos here.  It's covered in glass to keep it safe and  frozen.   Even so, you can see it has melted and refrozen at some time.

Around a corner, we found a gorgeous display of the symbols of the Chinese zodiac.  These have been created from fabric and light up at night.   We have a large population here who have Chinese ancestry and many live in Richmond.  This is the Year of the can see the Horse, too.  They are all playing an Olympic sport - the Tiger is curling.

Since most  the events and displays don't open until 3pm, we had fun just looking around.  We found a warehouse full of bicycles.  These are available for anyone who wants to tour Richmond by bike: helmets are included.  This is a partnership with the Netherlands and these bicycles are like the ones you find there.  Richmond is very flat so this would be an ideal way of touring around.  There's lots to see.

 We managed to get on the train to go back home before the huge crowds materialized on their way to hockey games and figure skating events.  But when we got downtown to get on the Sea Bus to go home, we had to turn around and grab a bus.  This was a good decision and we were happy that we had options.  There were so many people all trying to go in so many directions at the same time.

This was our last photo for the day and is a shot out the back window of the train as we enter the long tunnel home.  We plan one more day but it will have to wait until next week.


Mimi said...

Hi Stephanie, thanks for this wonderful tour of Olympic sights.
Your transport options are so impressive- I'd love to go on a catamaran passenger ferry, that would be exciting! And the tall ship is beautiful, isn't it? We've had Tall Ships Race stop here sometimes, but I've always missed it.
I love to see rivers at work, and I'd be very tempted to grab one of those logs for my fire!

And you're brave on that ferris wheel, but all in a day's work for the grandkids! They look so adorable with the little faces reflected in the glow of the cranberries.
I've really enjoyed taking this tour with you!

Paws on the Run said...

The cranberry thing is COOL!

Ginny said...

Wonderful, wonderful pictures! I would love to ride on some of your transports! Well, everyone just must click on that Russian Tall Ship! I didn't even know Russia had tall ships! But on clicking, you can see the Russian writing on it, and the people! The cranberries are outrageous! Again, what beautiful grandchildren! My very favorite is Becky and Grandma on the ferris wheel. It's perfect, with her just peeking out behind you. We will do things for our grandkids that we would never do otherwise, wouldn't we? I can't wait for the post on your last trip!

Angie said...

WOW great trip!!! Thank you. Can you eat the cranberries?

Rudee said...

Even if you don't have event tickets, it's nice that you can get down there to enjoy all of the other things that make the olympics special.

Thanks for the tour.

Stephanie V said...

We asked the cranberry question too. That's an awful lot of food product to just waste. But, so far, we have no answer. We're hoping for juice, at least.
As to eating the display berries, probably not. Fresh cranberries are not delicious. And there was a security guy hovering to make sure that we didn't do whatever we shouldn't.

Lindy MacDuff said...

Thank you for this great tour and showing us so many interesting views! Looks like the weather was on its best behavior for the day and everyone had a fun time.

I see all those cranberries and wish I could have some here, stockpiled in my freezer! Sure hope they don't go to waste. Very cute picture of your grandchildren checking out the cranberries. =D

Anonymous said...

Looks like a perfect day.

Anonymous said...

Looks like a perfect day.

Anonymous said...

Interesting day.


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