I got a bit sidetracked by the launch of Secret Dumfries but here’s the second post about my trip to Canada.
My two-week visit to Canada – specifically, Vancouver – went by like lightning as I tried to see as much as was possible in between visiting and reminiscing with my aunt. Here are some of the highlights.
I loved Vancouver’s Lookout Tower (which I first read about in Tess Karlinski’s How the Cookie Crumbles blog. I went with my cousins Grace and Helen. The lift takes forty seconds to whiz you 553.16 feet (168.60metres) to experience a 360 degree view over the city. Grace, who hadn’t heard of it until I mentioned I’d like to go, loved how it gave her a completely different perspective of her city. I rather liked that it took someone from Scotland to introduce her to this view of her city!
Grace and I visited the Burnaby Village Museum. It’s a 1920s village (which Canadians view as really old) with restored houses, shops, businesses and school. There was a rather scary teacher in the school who told me off for wearing nail polish!
Gastown is described as Vancouver’s most dynamic neighbourhood. It owes its existence to Gassy Jack and the saloon he built when he arrived in 1867 with a barrel of whisky and a knack for telling tales. Loggers and mill-workers followed the whisky and Gastown was named to honour Jack. Vancouver grew out of this rough neighbourhood. Today, Gastown has been cleaned up and is one of the main tourist areas with shops and restaurants. It also boasts the steam clock, Gastown’s most famous landmark. It was built in 1977 to cover a steam grate, part of Vancouver’s distributed steam heating system, as a way to harness the steam and to prevent street people from sleeping on the spot in cold weather.
Capilano Suspension Bridge is 230 feet high with a 450 feet span over the Capilano Canyon. I didn’t mind the height, or the distance across the bridge but having two-way traffic meant it did have quite a sway – and when someone stopped to take a selfie everyone got jammed up and the bridge did a bit of extra swaying, especially if impatient people tried to walk past the selfie-taker.
Most of all, this visit to Canada was about family – getting to know some of those I’d never met, catching up with those I had, like Aunt May and my cousin Janis, who I’d kind of hero-worshipped when I was growing up so it was wonderful to meet her again.
One of the most fascinating outings was to the Museum of Anthropology – but it needs a post to itself – next time.