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Return to Vancouver

When we returned to Vancouver after visiting Victoria we stayed in the Days Inn Hotel again. This time we got a much better room, much quieter.

On our first full day back we went to Lighthouse Park. We got to Lighthouse Park by taking bus 250 from Burrard Street. We asked the driver to let us know when to get off, which he did, but he also told us that we should get off at the stop when the bus electronic information system said Beacon Road. From the bus stop cross the road and keep going straight. It is only a couple of minutes walk to the park entrance. If you come by car there is a large carpark at the entrance. An information board at the park displayed a map showing walking routes in the park. There were also leaflets with maps to pick up. In Vancouver's early history a lot of its original forest was logged, but the Lighthouse Park area was not, so it is home to some of Vancouver's oldest trees. The walk to the lighthouse itself was easy and only took about ten minutes. We also explored a few short paths just off this route. Two went to viewpoints; one went to a beach which was also a viewpoint. If we had had longer I would have liked to do the walk of the giants which has the oldest and biggest trees in the park. Near the lighthouse there was a campsite with toilets and picnic tables. This is a pleasant place to spend a couple of hours. Some paths are harder than others and involve clambering over tree roots and rocks. The main path to the lighthouse itself was very easy.

Lighthouse Park.

Lighthouse Park.

After Lighthouse Park we went to Lynn Canyon Park. Normally to get to Lynn Canyon Park you would take the sea bus from Waterfront Station to Lonsdale Quay then take bus 228 or 229. We did it differently because we combined it with Lighthouse Park so from Lighthouse Park we took bus 250 to Park Royal and changed to bus 255. We got off at Lynn Valley Shopping Centre and caught a 228 from there. Lynn Canyon Park has an ecology centre which we did not visit. It has a suspension bridge which is quite good fun to cross and has lovely views over pools and waterfalls.

We took a walk in both directions from the suspension bridge. In one direction the path leads to a big pool where you can swim in summer. I loved this walk because all the trees surrounding it were absolutely shrouded in moss making it quite spooky and atmospheric. Walking the other way you come to a bridge with twin waterfalls. This was also worth doing. One thing we did notice was there were an awful lot of stairs to go up and down on our walks here, not easy on the knees. Near the suspension bridge there are toilets and picnic tables.

Walk to the pool.

Walk to the pool.

View from bridge.

Peter on the suspension bridge.

Moss covered trees.

Lynn Canyon Park is free entry so if you don't want to pay out to go to Capilano suspension bridge this is a much cheaper. I liked the park especially the moss covered trees which I thought were quite amazing.

After we had visited Lynn Canyon Park we arrived in Lonsdale Quay. I thought there would only be a shopping centre, bus station and ferry terminal in that area, but we also took a walk to Lonsdale Park and Mosquito Creek and found this area to be very scenic and pleasant.

North Vancouver.

Lonsdale Quay has a shopping centre with its own brewery, shops, a food court, restaurants. I actually really liked it. In fact I preferred it to Granville Market truth be told. We took a walk away from the shopping centre. If we were at Lonsdale Quay facing the sea, we went right. There was a very pleasant park, followed by a very pleasant marina. There were also great views towards the mountains.

Around this area there was a marina, a naval monument, lots of First Nations monuments, houses built right on the waterfront and lovely views. While we were in the area the longest train I have ever seen passed by. It was a goods train and passed by for around 20 minutes before it was finally gone.

Around Lonsdale Quay.

Around Lonsdale Quay.

Around Lonsdale Quay.

Around Lonsdale Quay.

Around Lonsdale Quay.

After our first visit to Lonsdale Quay we returned to do the ferry ride again because my husband's camera had stopped working on the first trip. We enjoyed a stunningly beautiful sunset on the return trip.

Back in Vancouver we had a quick look at Roedde House, an old Victorian house located on Barclay Square in Vancouver's Westend. Barclay Square has lots of lovely old heritage buildings. This square has been beautifully restored. I originally had a visit to this museum down on our first full day itinerary, but we did not make it. It is only open from 1pm to 4pm Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday. I moved it on to the next days itinerary, but we also did not make it. We eventually got there on our last full day, but way after it had closed so we only viewed it from the outside. Roedde House was built in 1893 for Gustav and Matilda Roedde. Gustav was Vancouver's first bookbinder. The house was designed by Francis Rattenbury. Gustav Roedde was born in 1860 in Thuringen, Germany. He trained as a bookbinder in Leipzig, but immigrated to the United States in 1881. In the States he met his wife to be Matilda Marie Cassebohm. She was originally from the island of Heligoland, Germany. The Roeddes moved several times before they settled in Vancouver. They had six children. On Sundays you can tour Roedde House and have afternoon tea there. Entrance on Sunday is $8 including afternoon tea. On other days it is $5. Roedde House is located at 1415 Barclay Street. We got there by taking a number 5 bus along Robson Rd. We got off at Broughton Road, crossed the road, walked straight, then turned left, then left again.

Roedde House.

Next day we visited False Creek, a sea inlet that separates Downtown Vancouver from the rest of Vancouver. There are walkways around it, but we decided to explore it by ferry rather than walk. There are two companies that ply little ferries up and down the Creek. One is aquabus, the other is Granville Island ferries. Their fares are the same but Granville Island ferries go further. They go all the way to the Maritime Museum. Aquabus stops at Hornby Street. We boarded a Granville Island ferry at the Village/Science Museum and took it to Granville Island. It was quite a pleasant journey. Sights on False Creek include the science museum, the stadium, Yaletown, Granville Island, the aquatic centre, the maritime museum.

We got off the ferry at Granville Island Public Market. It is also possible to get here by bus. The first thing I liked was the view of the beautiful Burrard Bridge from Granville Island. The first place we visited on Granville Island was the public market. The market is an indoor market selling an assortment of things such as fruit, vegetables, flowers, a wonderful assortment of breads, cheeses, cold meats, honey, ice-­cream cakes. It also sold non­-edible things. We tried some of the breads. We ate them outside overlooking False Creek and were soon joined by some very eager seagulls.

Approaching Granville Island.

Our unwanted dining companion.

Granville Island Brewery.

Granville Island Brewery.

Burrard Bridge.

Burrard Bridge.

Peter in front of the Burrard Bridge - Vancouver

Peter in front of the Burrard Bridge - Vancouver

A little aquabus ferry - Vancouver

A little aquabus ferry - Vancouver

I quite liked the public market though it was not the best market I have ever been to. At the seating area outside the public market there was a young girl singing. She sang really quite old ­fashioned style songs, the sort of thing someone like Jim Reeves would have sung, but she had a really nice voice.

Our entertainer.

Granville Island used to be an industrial area. Apparently there is still a cement works here, though I did not see it. There are several sights other than the public market. There is Railspur Alley with its craft shops, a distillery, a brewery and a children's market. There is also a hotel. One negative thing I do have to say about the area was there were too many cars. An almost continual line of them getting in the way and spoiling my photos!

There were two things I liked about Granville Island. One, as I said earlier , was the views of Burrard Bridge from it. The other was the marine market. The reason I liked the marine market was that it was on a lovely picturesque marina. Also there was a working boat repair place in this area. I found this interesting to have a look at. It is busy so be careful not to get in the way or knocked down, but it was fascinating to watch people working on repairing or cleaning the boats.

Marine Market.

Boat Repair Works.

Railspur Alley.

We could have gone to Kitsilano from Granville Island by taking a ferry to the Maritime Museum but we decided we would like to walk. It was a pleasant walk around the marina and the first sight on route was Fisherman's Wharf. This is an area where you can apparently buy fish straight from the fishing boats.

If you keep walking along the front at Fisherman's Wharf, you will reach a fence that you cannot pass. To get to Kitsilano you have to follow a path leaving Fisherman's Wharf, then turn right and walk along a path directly in front of several residential buildings. At the end of this path you will enter Vanier Park. Near the place you enter the park you will see a totem pole. Vanier Park is home to the Maritime Museum, Space Museum and Vancouver Museum. We did not visit the museums. We walked along the front looking at views.


Heritage Harbour.

Beach and View.

Romantic Spot.

The Maritime Museum is near a small harbour with lots of heritage boats. Apparently the boats moored here change. When we visited one of the boats was an Arctic explorer. One of the boats belonged to the Roedde family whose heritage house is now a museum and one of them was one of the first boats to travel round the globe. Near Heritage Harbour there is a small beach. On the other side of the Maritime Museum there is a very tall totem pole. A short walk past the Maritime Museum will bring you to Kitsilano Beach. When we visited it was filled with people playing beach volley­-ball.


Kitsilano used to be the hippie area of Vancouver. It is where Greenpeace was formed. A big plus point of Kitsilano is it has a huge heated swimming pool. This was not open when we visited, but it looked great. If I was in Vancouver in the summer I would love to swim here.

Gastown grew up around a lumber mill known as Hastings Mill. The store building from this mill was one of the few buildings to survive the great fire that swept Vancouver in 1886 and thus it is the oldest building in Vancouver. In the past, as Gastown went into decline, effort was made to rescue this historic building. The old mill building was floated on a barge to a site now known as Hastings Mill Park. It is quite close to Jericho Beach. We walked here from Kitsilano in around twenty minutes. The mill is now a museum. It was not open when we visited. It only opens twice a week on Saturdays and Sundays from 1pm to 4pm. Even though it was closed, it was still interesting to see and there were good views back towards the Vancouver skyline on route.

Hastings Mill.

That evening we ate in a pub called Cedar Cottage. We lived in a hotel in Kingsway on our visit to Vancouver so this pub was around 15 minutes walking distance away. We only went once, but should really have used it more. This pub had a good selection of draft beers. It was here we tried Gypsy Tears another favourite for the first time. To eat we both had fish and chips. This cost $11 and was enormous ­ two huge pieces of fish on each plate, coleslaw, lots of chips. It was so big I had to ask for a doggy back and it became dinner the next day, too. The fish was good quality and very tasty. Service here was good. Upstairs there is a related liquor store. By eating in the restaurant we got a bit of a discount there, so we stocked up on a few Granville Island lagers. Address: 3728 Clarke Drive Vancouver, BC.

Cedar Cottage.

On our last full day we went on a fairly epic journey to Langley to see the historic Fort Langley, because it is a place that played an important role in Canadian history. We got there by public transport and to be honest it was a bit of a trek. I liked Fort Langley itself, but did feel the journey, especially on the way there, was too long.

Outside the fort, Fort Langley.

Fort Langley.

Fort Langley is a village and has a population of around three and a half thousand. It is located on the Fraser River. Fort Langley takes its name from its old fort. This fort was once a fur trading post belonging to the Hudson's Bay Company. In 1827 George Simpson, Governor of the Hudson's Bay Company, ordered his Company to construct the original Fort Langley. It was located 4 km downstream from the present fort's site. He did this because he was afraid the Americans would lay claim to the area, as the border between American and British territory had not been fully decided. By 1830, Fort Langley had become a major export port. It specialized in salted salmon, cedar lumber and shingles. Most of which it exported to the Hawaiian Islands. Later Governor Sir James Douglas chose Fort Langley to be the colonial capital, but Colonel Richard Moody, commanding officer of the Royal Engineers, disapproved of Douglas' choice in location saying that Fort Langley was too easy to attack. Moody selected a new site for the capital New Westminster. Fort Langley was moved from its original location to its present one because more trading ships could access it safely in this new, more sheltered position and because there was more farm land available at the new site. In 1857 when gold was discovered in the Fraser River Valley, Governor Sir James Douglas declared British Columbia part of the Canadian Federation for fear the U.S. would lay claim to this area. This declaration was made at Fort Langley. During our visit we went to the historic fort. We were able to get in for half price as we were given a 50% discount for Fort Langley when we visited the Gulf of Georgia Cannery in Steveston. As well as the fort we had a quick look at the Fraser River from Marina Park, the old houses in town, the town's lovely old churches, the town's historic graveyard and the community hall.

Fort Langley.

As you enter the old fort building, to your right you will see the trading hatch through which members of the Hudson Bay Trading Company traded with the First Nations people. Most of the time relations between the First Nations People and the Hudson Bay Company were friendly. The Hudson Bay Company encouraged their members to befriend the First Nations people and many ended up with First Nations wives.

Store Room.

Trading hatch.

The cooper's workshop at Fort Langley was where the cedar wood barrels that would hold the salted salmon were produced. This workshop is near the main entrance to the fort. Fort Langley gets a lot of school trips. When we visited, school kids were having a barrel rolling race.

The cooper's workshop

The cooper's workshop.

As well as using boats to travel, people would have travelled by horse so they needed a blacksmith to re-­shoe their animals. The museum employee at the blacksmith's will demonstrate some of the traditional techniques used there.

The Blacksmith's.

The fort has a large store room. Fort Langley traded lots of goods. Salmon would be placed in cedar barrels. Animal pelts were packed into bales using a special wooden device. Blankets were traded. All these items had to be stored somewhere while they were waiting to be shipped out.

The store room.

The big house at Fort Langley was where the important members of the Hudson Bay Company lived. The current big house was reconstructed for the 1958 Centennial of the founding of the province of British Columbia. It houses the living quarters of James Murray Yale and his wife; and William Henry Newton and his wife.

The Big House.

When gold was found in the Fraser River, hundreds of people suddenly rushed to this area to seek their fortunes. This huge influx worried the British causing them to form the province of British Columbia. At Fort Langley they have set up a fun panning for gold activity. If I had found any, I would still be there.

Panning for gold.

Near the big house is the servants' quarters. The servants lived in a house that was much less grand than the big house. Like the Big House the servants' quarters were reconstructed in 1958 for the Centennial of the Colony of British Columbia. They show the living conditions of three different Hudson Bay Company employees.

As you wander around, you will see a few interesting objects such as the boats used by the trappers and traders, cannons and cannon balls. There are also lovely views across the Fraser River from the fort.

The Fraser River

There is a statue of Sir James Douglas who declared the formation of British Columbia and acted as its first governor outside the fort. It is worth making a slight detour to have a look at this statue when you visit the fort.

Statue of Sir James Douglas.

Fort Langley has quite a colourful and pretty main street. There are shops and cafes here. It was quite difficult to take a good picture here as the street was busy with a lot of traffic. It was a pleasant place for a stroll though despite the traffic.

Fort Langley Main Street.

We followed signs for Marina Park which had seats and lovely views over the Fraser River. The river would have been vital to the traders for transporting their goods and so played a big part in the fort's location and history.

The Parish Church Of Saint George is a very pretty little church on Church Street. Its grounds holds a memorial to the pioneers - ­the first Europeans to settle there. It had a lovely stain glass window visible from the outside we could not go inside as it was locked.

Flowers in the grounds of the Church Of Saint George,

Church Of Saint George.

Next we saw the Community Hall, an attractive old wooden building. Again we could not actually go inside.

The Communiy Hall.

Saint Andrews United Church is another attractive church which we passed on the way in. It is next to the historic cemetery. It was also, unfortunately, closed. This is not so easy to photograph due to the road and very prominent overhead wires.

On our last night, after a long journey back from Langley, we ate in Romer's Burger Bar. This restaurant is on Mainland Street in Yaletown. It is not far from Yaletown Roundhouse Station. Exit the station go right then right again. We chose this restaurant because they offered a beer sampler of three beers for $6. We loved Canadian beers and as there are so many we wanted to try a variety. Service here was very pleasant and very efficient. My husband had fish and chips and I had a chicken burger. The food was very good and the beer was great. The restaurant is quiet and comfortable inside. There is also an outside seating area.

Sadly next day we left Canada. It had been a wonderful visit. We noticed both on the way in and out of the country that Vancouver has a wonderful airport filled with First Nations artwork.

Vancouver Airport.

Vancouver Airport.

Posted by irenevt 04:29 Archived in Canada Tagged vancouver

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