Monday, 18 July 2011

Five Hours In Vancouver.

In Vancouver, the old blends with the new.  In the above photo, the old high-rise is named, 'The Marine Building' and is symbolic of the prevalent type of architecture of the 1930's.  The building, as a matter of interest, was featured in the film, 'Timecop', starring Jean-Claude Van Damme.
You may have seen Vancouver in many a film or television show disguised as Seattle, or San Francisco, or Los Angeles, or New York, or even Washington, D.C.   I can be sitting here watching my television and a movie comes on, that to me, is obviously Vancouver.   'Hey!', I think, 'I recognise that tree!'

Out of thirty five days in British Columbia, I only spent five hours in Vancouver.  I recall getting off the light rapid transit system to meet up for lunch with my brother.  I looked all around and was completely lost.  I did not recognise anything.  Vancouver was a city I lived in for twenty five years and here I was, lost and bewildered.  The changes in the city have been nothing short of incredible over the last few years.  
And so, with so little time, I boarded the 'SeaBus' to go over to the city of North Vancouver to get a better view of the Vancouver skyline. 

In the above photo, directly in the centre front, is 'Canada Place', complete with the 'sails' on the roof.  Canada Place is one of the remaining landmarks from the world's fair in Vancouver named, 'Expo 86'.  Canada Place has been compared to the Sydney Opera House.  The building off to the left that looks like an alien space craft has landed on it, is named, 'Harbour Centre'.  You might just notice it the next time you watch a movie or television show that is supposed to be located in an American city.

Here is a SeaBus heading over the Burrard Inlet to North Vancouver.

The Vancouver skyline as observed from Lonsdale Quay in North Vancouver.  If you click on this, or any photo, you can see much more detail.  

The Vancouver skyline in the background of a North Vancouver harbour.  

I shall now leave you with a few photos of  Vancouver.

And for five hours out of thirty five days, I spent a few fleeting moments to reflect and reminisce on the Vancouver of now and the Vancouver I once knew.  Yes, a lot has changed in this beautiful city, the 'Evergreen Playground', also known as, 'Hollywood North'.  It is a city that has been brought to worldwide attention for all the right reasons, Expo 86 and the Winter Olympics.  It is a city that has been brought to worldwide attention for all the wrong reasons, the taser shooting of a man by the RCMP at Vancouver airport, which sadly led to him dying and the riots after the Stanley Cup finals.  
Vancouver, a city of great diversity, will always have a special place in my heart.  Until next time, Vancouver. It's see you later,eh......


  1. You're sounding a wee bit homesick Gary.

  2. Hi Gary,
    What a beautiful tribute to Vancouver. I absolutely loved it when I visited! Awesome Mountains, water, flowers, and recreation paths, not to mention the normal city stuff like museums, architecture and of It was sunny nearly everyday that we were there. It didn't hurt that our hotel upgraded our room so we got a view too. I see why you might reminisce. Look! You got me going to now, eh.

  3. What a phenomenal video! And a superb tribute! It's obvious, this city means so much to you. It truly has changed much over the years, and yet it still stands tall and proud, and with good reason. Sorry you couldn't visit longer, I'm sure you'd have loved much more time there. Vancouver rocks, eh?!

  4. I might bitch and complain about a lot of the people who I have to live with here in Vancouver but I wouldn't want to live anywhere else

  5. Vancouver by day looks beautiful surrounded by the mountains and the water!

    I worry it's smog I'm seeing passing low over the city! I hope not! I tell myself, they're clouds - just really dark and very low! LOL!! Music was lovely!!!

    I know many Jackie Chan films are set in Vancouver doubling as New York - or some other American city!! I know it's Vancouver cos of the mountains - you can't miss the mountains!!! Take care

  6. Hi Gary .. I had a few more hours there .. but didn't see much - except I'd love to go back sometime and have a good look around .. it seems like the ideal city.

    Good to see your views .. and I think I too would be a little homesick ..

    Cheers for now .. Hilary

  7. Well you've saved me a few dollars here Gary. If I should ever make it to Vancouver I won't need a guided tour of the've done it all for me ;) Looks a great place.

    Take Care


  8. Funny that Vancouver is used in filming for the U.S. I've also recognized bits of Minneapolis when the movie is claiming it's Canada!


  9. I've been gone since 1979, yet I thought of myself as a valley girl for years. Then one day I went to a concert to see Bruce Springsteen. Yup, not only got lost going there, but got lost leaving. The place still awes me though, and reading your blog has brought back all those feelings. Couldn't wait to leave, can't bare to witness the changes, and yet, someone says "Vancouver" and I get misty-eyed. Go figure.

  10. my son and i do that while watching movies made in DC we will point out things we saw on our visit. great pictures would love to visit there one day

  11. Hi Gary,
    I have always wanted to visit Canada (mainly for the wildlife) and your recent posts have made me want to even more! A very beautiful looking country with stunning scenery, buildings, history, it has it all!
    Wishing you a peaceful week, my friend.
    Follow me at HEDGELAND TALES

  12. Hey Delores,
    Slightly homesick and slightly sad that I couldn't spend more time in Vancouver.
    Take care and thanks.

  13. Hi THE SNEE,
    Thanks Rebecca and thanks for recalling your memories of Vancouver.
    Speaking of the North Shore mountains, unfortunately the day I was there, it was cloudy and the mountains were hidden. Thus, no photos of the mountains. That was a pity.
    Seems I go you got you reminiscing, eh :)

  14. Hey Kim,
    It surely is a phenomenal video. Vancouver means a lot to me and I have fond memories of growing up, there. I'm sure I will soon get another opportunity to revisit Vancouver and savour all it has to offer. Vancouver rocks, eh :)

  15. Hi The Wolf,
    Dude, I hear you. I know, despite your occasional rant, you'd rather live in Vancouver than anywhere else.
    I thought you and me were going to sort out the folks who piss you off, eh :)

  16. Hi Old Kitty,
    Vancouver sure does look beautiful by day and by night.
    I'm fairly sure that was some kinda' fog in the video. Then again, low clouds are known to happen in Vancouver. Wait a sec, low clouds are fog. Never mind.
    And sometimes you actually get to see the mountains. That would be when there aint all them darn clouds hanging around, eh :)
    Take care and keep smiling.

  17. Hi Hilary,
    I do so hope you get another chance to get to Vancouver and have wonderful time exploring the city.
    I'm a little bit homesick, but I know, well at least I think I know, that I'm welcome back :)
    Cheers, Gary.

  18. Hi GEM,
    Indeed, you will feel right at home in Vancouver and there's plenty of landmarks for you to cast your eyes upon. For instance, the great big dome you see in the opening credits in the TV show, 'Highlander' was called 'Science World' as a part of Expo 86. Exciting stuff, eh :)
    Take care, GEM.
    With respect, Gary.

  19. Hi Pearl,
    One of the reasons Vancouver was used in the past to be disguised as a U.S. city was because they took advantage of what was once, a weaker Canadian dollar and thus saved money using local Canadian production talent.
    And I think it's wonderful that Minneapolis has been used as somewhere in Canada. What next, the Minnesota Vikings playing in the Canadian Football League?
    Take care, Pearl.
    With respect and good wishes, your way, eh, Gary :)

  20. Hi Joylene,
    Hey, thanks for your recollections of Vancouver. And I do know what you mean. Despite all the major changes, I too get misty eyed when I hear the name 'Vancouver'. I was a wreck watching the Winter Olympics back in England. And really annoyed at the BBC commentators for all the geographical mistakes they made when referring to Vancouver and surrounding areas. Apparently, Mt. Baker in Washington State, according to the BBC, is actually Mt. Robson. Go figure, eh.

  21. Hi becca,
    Aha, so you and your son are like me. You notice all those little points of interest in the movies.
    Thanks for liking the photos and I hope you get to go to Vancouver, sometime.
    In kindness, Gary.

  22. Greetings John,
    Thanks for that and I do so hope you manage to make it to Canada and see the abundance and variety of wildlife. I also appreciate you had a look through some of my previous postings. You may have noticed a couple of birds, a squirrel and ummm..a black bear :)
    All the best, my friend and may you have a most peaceful week.
    With respect and positive wishes, Gary.

  23. Dear Gary,
    Vancouver looks like a beautiful city. A little reminiscent of Stoke, methinks. Mmmm, then again, no.
    Glad you had such a wonderful time over there, Gary, and seeing how the city has changed so much must have reminded you of your joyous youth (or how old you are now! Only joking, my hirsute pal).
    With Very Best Wishes, and hoping to see you soon,

  24. Dear David,
    Aha David, me thinks you are awake at such an unearthly hour. What am I saying? Good grief, I'm responding at gone three in the morning!
    Within the heart of Stoke, lies a hidden beauty to be caressed, to be shared to an eagerly awaiting world.
    And yes, oh how I longed for my distant youth as I spent but a few fleeting moments in the city of Vancouver. The city that was once my home. Yes sir, back in my youthful days when everything was in black and white and folks moved around really quick like. Ah yes, I recall the stagecoach that used to take me to the old wooden school...memories, eh :)
    And you, you intellectual giant have to use the word 'hirsute', whilst us mere mortals might use the word, 'hairy'.
    Hope to see you soon. Give my regards to the merry men as you ride through the glen....
    Take care and get some sleep, eh....

  25. Hi Gary. You certainly have captured Vancouver in a way that most travelogues fail to do. It's a beautiful place (at least it was five years ago!). The video at the end was very unusual but your pictures were better. Thanks for the memories!
    Click here for Bazza’s Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

  26. The old saying is true, you can't go home again...and find your way around!

  27. I often see movies and see an afro, and I'm like, "I've seen that afro before..hey, that is MY afro!" This is when I learned that my coif has been moonlighting as both a stunt afro, an afro stand-in, ad an afro extra. It's time my afro started paying some bills around here.

  28. Hi bazza,
    Thanks for the compliment. Travelogues don't really capture the personal essence. That video was a bit dreamy. I'm pleased you liked the photos. Wish I could have taken some photos of the mountains. Much to my 'surprise', the mountains were covered in clouds...
    Glad it brought back some memories.
    Cheers, Gary.

  29. Hi R. Jacob,
    Very true. I got off the rapid transit system, looked around and had no idea where I was. The city has changed that much.
    Take care and thanks.

  30. Hi there Mr. Static,
    Good thinking, dude. I reckon you should hire out your afro for the latest remake of that blockbuster movie, 'The Mod Squad'.....

  31. Love the mesmerising video clip. I like how the speeded up version shows the jiggling of the boats that you wouldn't normally notice. Would live to visit Vancover sometime. That must have been weird being lost in a city you once knew so well. I enjoyed the virtual visit with you Gary :O)

  32. Nice photos. I've never even considered Vancouver. Now I will

  33. Hi Y'all!

    Beautiful pictures! So glad you are sharing with us. What a beautiful city!

    Too many years ago hubby's job took us to Toronto for 3 years. I thoroughly enjoyed the city even if the weather was too cold for my bones.

    One thing few people understand, but we had to privilege of seeing first hand, is how the same news is viewed by others in other countries.

    The novel thing in Toronto, and probably Vancouver, is that you can get US and Canadian radio and TV stations.

    Watch, for example, the closing of auto plants on Canadian news, then switch to US news and you realize other countries don't fully understand why the US does what it does.

    Other countries see US actions from their personal perspective and how it affects them. By the same token the self centric US fails miserably to understand the unintended consequences of their actions to/in other countries.

    Hugs to Penny...
    BrownDog's Human

  34. I think I spotted a whale penis in one of those photos.

  35. Hi Madeleine,
    Yes, it sure is a mesmerising video clip and I do think it captures a rather dreamlike ambience of Vancouver.
    I hope you get the chance to visit someday. It was very weird getting off the transport system that was underground and going up to street level and not recognising anything. It has changed that much in only the three years since I was last there.
    Thanks Madeleine.
    In kindness, Gary :)

  36. Hi Donna,
    Thanks for that and I do hope you get there. If you do, maybe you could inform the Vancouver Tourist Board of all my promotion. Maybe they might pay me some money or send me a souvenir fridge magnet or something...
    Take care, Gary :)

  37. Hi BrownDog's Human,
    Hey y'all, thanks for liking the photos. And it sure is a beautiful city.
    Ah yes, Toronto. Quite a nice city. I know it can get very cold there in the winter. However, I bet you remember the hot, humid summers in Toronto.
    I know exactly what you mean about how the news is viewed in other countries. It's just the same in Vancouver. In Vancouver, they get all the Seattle stations.
    That's a fascinating insight you have given of the American perspective on news affairs. I believe that the world would like to see the US as not being so insular and realise, more profoundly, the consequences of its actions in foreign lands.
    And hugs back to y'all from Penny and her human, Gary :)

  38. Aha Static,
    Now then, what sort of spots did you put on the whale penis? :)

  39. Funny, I've heard about Vancouver, mostly when I resided in Toronto for 18 years. I knew someone who had lived there. I heard and still do here, that it is extremely expensive. It looks beautiful, thanks for the tour, now I don't have to visit! But, it sure sounds like you miss it. Later.....

  40. Hi Manic Chef,
    Yes, Vancouver is pretty darned expensive. A very beautiful location, but darned expensive! :) It would be a pity if you don't go to Vancouver. Your legion of adoring fans in Vancouver would be most disappointed :)
    I miss Vancouver and I shall endeavour to visit a bit longer than five hours, next time.
    Take care eh, Gary


I do try to comment back to each commenter individually. However, I might have to shorten my replies or give a group thank you. That way, I can spend more time commenting on your blogs. Thank you and peace, my friend.