Once again I've ventured to the west coast bringing back several photographs, though this time I traveled even further north to the city of Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada. The trip's full gallery can be viewed at https://pavloskaralis.smugmug.com/Travel/Vancouver-2015.
Given the amount of activities that were packed into the schedule, this was without a doubt my most ambitious trip to date, and as a result, I will be posting 3 follow-up posts as opposed to the standard 1. Overall, this just goes to show how beautiful a city Vancouver is with its numerous wildlife attractions. It's also worthy to note that the residents there were among the friendliest I've ever encountered.
Since our arrival was the night before Canada Day, we thought it would be appropriate to spend the first day venturing downtown. The drive from the hotel was an interesting 6 mile straight shot down Granville Street, which at one point transforms into an overpass overlooking the downtown skyline. Once there we stopped by the Vancouver Art Gallery to see an entire floor dedicated to the collage work of a local artist, Geoffrey Farmer, and afterwards proceeded to the top of the Vancouver Lookout Tower for panoramic views of the city.
After spending the rest of the afternoon walking around the waterfront, we decided to add a beach near the hotel onto the itinerary: Iona Beach Regional Park was by far one of the trip's best surprises, though I will save the details for 1 of the 3 highlight posts. The following day was again spent downtown, though this time we visited the Vancouver Aquarium at Stanley Park, followed by the enormous Vancouver Library, and lastly the cobblestone Gastown District. Like Iona Beach, the Vancouver Aquarium is worthy of its own follow-up post.
Our 3rd day was reserved for an ambitious drive along the cliffside curves of Highway 99, where we stopped at a total of 8 locations between West Vancouver and Squamish. The details of this venture will be shared in the final follow-up post. Moving on to the 4th day, we started by visiting Spanish Banks Beach and were surprised to find that the tide was low enough where we could walk out hundreds of feet and still be in knee deep water. Afterward, we went to the Museum of Anthropology and the nearby UBC Rose Gardens, and then took a calming walk through the enchanting trails of Pacific Spirit Regional Park. To end the day, we decided to go to the Richmond Night Market which boasts the title of "Largest Night Market in North America."
The 5th and final day of the trip was the most laid back, and began with one last visit to Tim Hortons for donuts. Afterward we headed down to the George C. Reifel Bird Sanctuary, where we managed to hand feed dozens of bold ducks and geese, while spotting an occasional sandhill crane. The rest of the day was spent with a quick stop at the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, Playland Amusement Park, and lastly returning to Iona Beach to reach the end of its 2.5 mile pier. All in all, a very fast paced agenda in a city that has lots to see.