Wednesday, February 17, 2010

One day

We don't have tickets to any of the events but we have planned at least three days touring the various Olympic sites.  There's lots of stuff to see and most of it is free.  Since it's spread out around Metro Vancouver, we decided to take transit and focus on one area each trip.  Today was downtown.

The Dutch are here in force to support their national sport, speedskating.  If you thought they took those costumes off when they left the rink, think again.  Here we are all riding the bus together.Once again, shoes are the subject of my stealth photo but these yellow plush 'clogs' were a hoot.  As were the windmill print pyjama pants.  I was quite taken with the orange lace on his cap, too.

My Big Plan when we got downtown was to head for the zipline since I knew there'd be a lineup.  Ever since I've heard of the free zip over Robson Square, I couldn't wait to try it.  But, not gonna happen this day.  The wait in line - at 10.30 in the morning - was over seven hours.  I could reduce it to two hours if I had arrived around 7.30 am.  So, now I think I'll save my pennies and ride the Grouse Mountain zip this summer.

Disappointed, we just started walking around the downtown core, seeking out the places we'd been interested in seeing.  I thought about trying a ride in the bobsled but worried I might not get out!

We found a lot of art installations.  I have no idea what this is supposed to be...

Along part of Granville St.,  there was a forest of  2,010 paper lanterns made by Taiwanese and Canadian schoolkids.  The bamboo 'trees' were fixed to wooden platforms that made a wonderful noise when you ran through the forest: a favorite with the little ones who sounded like elephants.  Lanterns?  What lanterns?

I think these were in the 7-11.  There's a lot of faux Canadiana around.

And there's some real stuff, too.  Well, sort of.  This Red River cart is not an original used by settlers but it's real.

I liked this vertical garden hanging on a wall. 

If you're wondering where the crowds are,  the lineups will tell you.  Anyone who wasn't at an event was lined up to get into the various cultural display venues.  Long, long lines for some things.  Security seems to be a necessary evil but it sure slows things down. 

The sun was shining and we took a long walk through parks and along the waterfront to get to Russky Dom (Russia House).  The lineup was shorter - less than an hour - so we stood.  Then along came a soft-spoken Russian boy who offered us the Seniors' line: no waiting; no security check.  Good deal.

Here we discovered that Sochi, the site of the Winter Games in 2014, is even warmer than Vancouver.  It looks like Florida - lots of palm trees - with huge mountains behind it.  Not sure why we didn't take any photos here.

Then it was time to come home.  We hopped on a very  crowded Sky Train where a young man  jumped up and offered me a seat.  I must have been looking very elderly yesterday. 

A good day and well worth the trip.  Even if we didn't sacrifice hours to the lineups,  we saw lots of interesting stuff.  We rediscovered places and things that we've not seen in a while and we  bookmarked other sights for further exploration in the future.


Anonymous said...

Loved those paper lanterns - my daughter teaches English in Taiwan! I also like that garden hanging on a wall, how do they do that?

Sounds like a fun day!

Rose said...

Very cool; I'll have to remember some of those places when we make it out there for our visit, even though the Olympic stuff will be gone. Can't wait to see what else you do!

Ginny said...

I love, love, love this! This is kind of like behind the scenes Olympic stuff you never see. I didn't know the Olympics even had things like this!! I can't wait for more posts, please take more pictures! What's a sky train? I'd like to see one. My favorite picture has to be the lanterns. How wonderful and colorful! If you hadn't said, I'd never have known they are paper. The shape is so perfect, they look like covered drink cans. And I love the wall garden. The sculpture is funny, looks like crumpled up foil, I can't make anything out of it, but it makes a good picture. The Dutch in those clothes is a scream!

Lushe said...

Great vertical garden panels.


Rudee said...

I've enjoyed watching the Dutch skating fans. They have the best costumes and their enthusiasm is contagious.

Thanks for the tour. If I lived closer, I'd be their touring with you.

Vancouver seems to be a superb host!

Stephanie V said...

Peggy - check out the link left by Lushe for more info.

Ginny - Sky Train is what we call our elevated transit line. I'll try to take a photo tomorrow when we travel again.

Rose, Rudee - more tours to come. We're having fun, too.

Catherine said...

Lovely post and great to see the backdrop to the olympics - funny about the Dutch speedskaters - we watched it last night as Dutch hubby's fanatic about the sport - they were tipped to do well but were pipped by Korea I think. Don't follow the end results too well. Typical supporters though in full regalia! The arena was fabulous - Vancouver looks lovely. Saw the snowboarding half-pipes too in Cypress mountain - is that far from town? It's a nice window to the world of Vancouver to see your post and then the games themselves.

Mimi said...

Sounds like a good day, Stephanie.
I love the paper lanters- I love all of it!


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