Somewhat confusingly we stayed in Vancouver on 3 separate occasions on our month long North America trip – the first weekend, a night in the middle (after a sideways trip to the Rockies and Banff) and a night at the end before we flew home. For ease of writing up for the blog I’ve decided to do the Vancouver posts in one go (see here and here for the previous posts).
We stayed in the municipality of North Vancouver the night before we boarded our Alaska cruise. We had booked an Airbnb house along with our travelling companions – it was just a quick ride in the car down to the water front or about a 20 minute walk (one way downhill, but back uphill!). Tired after the drive back from Banff (though we did overnight halfway at Kelowna), we took the driving option and found parking surprisingly easy though we did have to use the paid multi storey car park near the Lonsdale Centre.
Situated on the Burrard Inlet, which separates Downtown Vancouver from its northern neighbour, we had been told that there were wonderful views to be had across to the cityscape, especially at night time. The long hot spell had finally broken and it was a rather cool, damp and grey late afternoon.
The information signs were a good way to learn more about the local history and the old port. The area’s history is naturally tied up with the water and ferries regularly ply the waters across to Downtown Vancouver and back again carrying commuters and tourists alike. We had hoped to take the ferry across but time was of the essence so we admired the somewhat brooding view as dusk fell along with some light drizzle. In the distance we could just make out our cruise ship, docked at Canada Wharf.
The Lonsdale Quay Market has become the hub of activities in the area and apart from the fresh produce is home to many cafes, restaurants and a kids play area. Just to the west of the market is the Waterfront Park, which on a finer day would have made a lovely picnic spot. Further round again you come to the start of Stanley Park, a wonderful antidote to Vancouver’s urban skyscrapers. Alas we didn’t have enough time to walk round though we did drive through some of the leafy avenues en route back to the city the next morning.
As the sun set we headed off in search of dinner and ended up at Pier 7 right on the waterfront, which had the most spectacular view of the city illuminated at night (excuse the extra background lights on the flash!).
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