Today, I had the great joy of showing my friend some of my favourite sites in the Vancouver area. How lovely it is to stay long enough in one place to go back and re-explore sites you enjoyed!
We had a really, really full day. The weather cooperated beautifully, being just warm enough to be comfortable, with a mix of sun and clouds.
Late morning, we took off for Lynn Canyon. It was warmer today than the last time I went, but not by much; it gets cool up there in North Vancouver in the rain forest! It was wonderful hiking weather and we earned the picnic lunch I’d packed.
We then headed to Stanley Park via the Lions’ Gate Bridge. The park was very full this time around, so I felt very fortunate to find parking quickly. We were just heading up to the aquarium to see the killer whale statue when my friend noticed a horse drawn trolley that seemed just about ready to take off. We learned that it was a one hour tour that would take us to all the sites we wanted to see, so we decided to get on, figuring that it would easier than trying to find parking at each location.
I’ll pause here to address the issue of horse drawn tours being exploitative. I had a theory about this before I got on and it was confirmed by the driver who addressed the issue head on. The horses pulling these trolleys are big draft horses which have very little use in our day and age. A lot of these older animals get sent to the glue or jell-o factory. The company running the tours rescues these horses, gives them purpose and needed exercise, and allows them a dignified retirement.
The tour was fantastic and well worth the 28.50$ per person. Our guide was funny and an excellent storyteller. We learned that Stanley Park was originally called Duck Head Point (because it really does look like the head of a duck!) and was home to ‘squatters’ consisting of minorities–Chinese, Hawaiian, Métis, etc. The government used this point as a strategic military location for a long time and when that purpose was no longer required, they wanted to develop the land seeing as Vancouver (population 2,000 at the time!) was booming. Real estate speculators were worried that the introduction of so much new land would devalue other properties, so some backroom dealing was done to turn Duck Head Point into a park. Of course, all the ‘squatters’ were expropriated without compensation. It is a sad story with a happy ending. Also, as Stanley Park used to be a logging area, all of the forest there is second regeneration growth, not primeval forest as some romantics like to believe.
After Stanley Park, we drove to nearby Denholm Street. My friend wanted to try sushi and I was eager to go back to Tanpopo, so I decided that its proximity to Stanley Park meant that was where we were destined to end up for dinner. We walked up and down Denholm for a bit, popping into a bookstore where I found a remaindered book about the Chilkoot Pass!
Dinner was just as good as it was the last time I ate at Tanpopo and I added spicy tuna rolls to my repertoire. They are soooo yummy. My friend liked everything but the teriyaki salmon because it was too dry for her taste. Otherwise, she bravely sampled everything. I must say I didn’t get anything too ‘weird’ as I didn’t want to turn her off suishi from the get go, and I’m proud of her for having several pieces of salmon sashimi and ordering the prawn tempura on her own.
We ended our night with a dip in the park’s hot tub.
I put up some new pictures, including lovely shots of Vancouver’s skyline that I missed because of fog the first time I went to Stanley Park.
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