Let’s just walk – (Vancouver, B.C.)

75 degrees felt like 100 walking down Great Northern Way toward downtown Vancouver. Alaska had certainly ill-prepared us for the hellish temperatures of these tropical latitudes. When we reach Nevada I will surely burst into flames. Regardless, we began our multi-day trek around this beautiful port city, its beaches, and parks.

From the onset of our time there, Vancouver seemed to be putting on a show for us. Event after special event after free special event left us planning and re-planning our 3 days over and over trying to fit in as much as possible. Friday started a three day Viva Vancouver street festival boasting some of the best buskers around, street performers, and vendors. Break dancing and some sort of sexy, modern dance fusion captivated Natalie’s attention most.

In the afternoon we walked to Granville Island, (though it is now technically not an island due to it’s land bridge connecting it to the road system of the city. Had the market floors been slightly dirtier and you threw a few butcher’s tables in the mix, with severed cow heads and the stench of freshly gutted fish, you might think you were in Latin America – this Northern version of the indoor market was wonderful, colorful, and smelled of baked goods and spices. It was a joy to simply wander the crowded pathways as we people watched and sampled a fresh baguette and local berries.

A view of downtown Vancouver from a beach on the west side.

Our couchsurfing host, Romanda brought us along to a friend’s going-away party in a smaller suburb just outside the city, closing our first day with friendly conversation, drinks, and a delicious potluck, where I mistakenly ate a particularly tasty bite of fish curry – luckily not enough to trigger anything more than a slightly uncomfortable allergic reaction, though it upset Natalie all the same – I tell myself I’m desensitizing myself, but who knows if that’s even possible.

We made plans to meet up with a couple we met at the party at part one of a three part fireworks competition that Vancouver was annually known for; of olympic grandeur; and an event we “ought not to miss” during our time here. Indeed they were a spectacle: loud, bright, and original – a decidedly difficult achievement as fireworks tend to be a somewhat straight-forward, large, colorful set of explosions (more is usually better). However firework technology has apparently advanced in recent years. One firework, for example, spun in a circle like a flying saucer, then, when it reached a certain height, it began to descend slowly before, once more, rising again, and exploding.  A magic feat of shinny, fiery, beauty.

Unfortunately we were not able to find our friends, which was a product of international cell phone surcharges and the fact that thousands of people turned out filling the beach and grassy areas adjacent with a huddled mass of friends and family bodies – an impenetrable mine field of accidental hand-stepping and “excuse me’s.”

Natalie and I, whether for good or bad, enjoy the quiet simplicity of walking, people watching, and the understanding we have developed that allows silence – usually at the perfect times; (though sometimes when I can’t stand it, particularly in time of philosophical rant!). Extra folks walking with us, particularly and especially those who we have just recently met, interrupt this comfortable silence, obliging our attention, conversation, and thoughtfulness. I of course love conversations, friends, and new experiences with those aforementioned, but when the stars align (even slightly) to wander on our own, we tend not to argue.

Our second day's walk! Approximately 13 Miles.

Covering more than 35 miles in three days, we were excited to climb back into our Jetta, though sorry to leave the homey, tree-lined streets and abounding water fountains of Vancouver. It was remarkably welcoming, walkable, and relaxed. The scent of cannabis, sea salt, and restaurant-grills filled the air; friendly faces and public consideration were visible everywhere. From the historic Chinatown to the old growth forest in the city’s Stanley Park, we walked ‘till our feet were sore and our faces tanned by the summer sun.

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One Response to “Let’s just walk – (Vancouver, B.C.)”
  1. Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way I’ll be subscribing to your feed now.

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