To my surprise, I woke up naturally before the alarm rang at 7.15 am, two and a half hours before my pick up for the city tour. I was hungry, but luckily within two stores next to Ramada Hotel, there is a café selling croissant and tea. I had my breakfast there and waited for my guide to arrive. Her name is Megan, a chatty girl in her 20’s who is responsible for picking up all the guests.
View from the Eastern Part of Stanley Park
The next guest we picked up was Mark and Lisa, an Australian couple that I became quite close to in the following few days. After all the guests were present, we were transferred to a bigger bus and headed to Stanley Park, our ﬁrst stop for the day. Tim, our new guide will accompany us throughout the day. Tim is even more chatty than Megan and is quite a funny guy.
View from the Northern Part of Stanley Park
It was a clear, bright day, although the wind was very strong in the morning. We passed through few sites downtown while Tim talked about the history of few sites such as the Terry Fox statue, Fairmont hotel downtown and the public library. At the eastern side of Stanley Park, you could see the cityscape during the sunrise and the Olympic stadium. There are also totem poles made by the First Nation people and a souvenir store nearby. Walking north from the totem poles, you could see the north Vancouver across the river.
Lions Gate Bridge Taken from Stanley Park
Our second stop at the Stanley Park was at the northern point of the park overlooking a bridge and the Londsdale Quay. There is a nice and warm café up on the hill, a place I could imagine spending hours in if I had the time.
North of Vancouver from Stanley Park
Lions Gate Bridge from the Observation Point in the Northern Side of Stanley Park
We continued our tour to Granville Island, where we had our lunch. Granville Island is triangle-shaped district that was used as an industrial site back in the day and is now converted into a local market. However, there is still an operational cement factory within the complex. Other buildings operate as a toy store, clothing stores, souvenir stores and art center. There is one big building acting as a market where locals buy cheese, ﬁsh, vegetables, etc. That same building also houses a small food court providing variety of meals such as Thai and Japanese among others. The weather was nice outside and there is a man singing French songs on the center of the patio, so I decided to have my lunch outside despite the seagulls ﬂying around.
North of Vancouver
Soon after lunch, we drove back toward downtown, circling Gastown and Chinatown before stopping at the Vancouver Lookout to see the city from height. The tower allows 360 degrees view of the city and is a perfect place for photographers to capture the cityscape during both day and night. And the glass and lighting is designed such that it doesn’t reﬂect the lights inside the tower.
English Bay Beach, Vancouver
Rainbow Over Burrard Inlet, Vancouver
It was around 1 pm when we came down from the skyscraper and walked back to our bus. Our next destination was a salmon hatchery nearby Caspilano suspension bridge, north of Vancouver. A stream of river lies next to the hatchery, but there is not much things you could do in the hatchery itself. However, there is a bridge in front of the hatchery’s entrance; you could cross it and walk for another 3 minutes to see the dam on the eastern side of the forest.
North of Vancouver from the Lookout Tower
Around two thirty, when we completed our little hike to see the dam, Tim told us that Caspilano Bridge was closed for the whole day due to the strong wind throughout the day. We were disappointed, but we got refunded for the entrance fee, which is fair. Tim, cheery as always, asked us where we wanted to be dropped at and I asked to be dropped at the Lookout tower again to watch the sunset from there.
Cityscape from Vancouver Lookout
Cityscape from Vancouver Lookout at Night
The cityscape was even better during the dark, where red lights emitted from the cars moving down the street captured in my photographs. The city is very much alive at night, even on the river I could see the sea-bus moved back and forth to Londsdale Quay.
I spent a little more than an hour on the tower, before I decided to walk toward the West End to eat Marutama Ramen, a noodle chain store I used to eat back home in Jakarta. I knew it was totally worth the effort once I sipped on the broth of the soup. Alongside the road toward West End, I found many familiar stores that exist in Jakarta such as Muji, Miniso and other branded goods.
Downtown Vancouver During the Blue Hour
Gassy Jack Statue at Gastown, Vancouver
Gastown Steam Clock at Night, Vancouver
I visited some of the other stores, passing by Swarovski, Nordstrom and other luxury retailers. I wasn’t tired yet, but there was nothing that excite me that night so I walked back toward my hotel on the Southern part of Granville Street and slept.