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Wow, what a stunningly gorgeous city Vancouver is! We planned to get up really early to go exploring, but after a LONG flight across the Pacific Ocean from New Zealand, we slept in till 9.15am! When we finally woke up we skipped breakfast, caught the number 19 bus into town, jumped off along the way when we saw a stop for SkyTrain because Ferhad Junior thought it was a monorail and he loves Monorails, discovered it was really a train, but did sort of feel a bit like a monorail, so the youngest giraffe was happy, and we disembarked on the Vancouver waterfront.
When we arrived downtown we were really surprised to discover that the city doesn't seem to wake up on a Sunday, and most of the shops were shut, which is kind of nice. New Zealand used to be like that when all the humans would spend Sunday's with their families. Now they spend Sundays trying to stockpile little pieces of paper, which is a bit weird if you ask us animals. We'd rather spend it with friends and family. I was the only one who would pose by the little waterfall outside the shopping mall ... the others didn't want to get their hooves or paws wet. Wimps! Ferhad Junior was most upset the bookstore was closed or he soooooo would have bought the Wookie book.
Because we only had a day to see ALL of Vancouver, we decided to catch the Big Bus, a Hop-On, Hop-Off bus that does a big loop in about two hours. Ferhad Junior wanted to go to the Capilano Suspension Bridge, but it would have been really right to fit it in to our schedule as it's really a day trip in itself. Plus our human is not terribly well off financially at the moment, and the weather was a bit dodgy, so we decided to just stick with the bus trip. It really is the totes best way to see the city. Plus Ferhad Junior scored an interview with our super-friendly bus driver, Ken, which we'll post on the website when Kaz has time to type it up.
LEFT: Yup ... CANADA!
MIDDLE: Little Peppe bags a front row seat on the Hop-On, Hop-Off Bus .
RIGHT: Ferhad Junior sat on the lap of a moose who works ina souvenir shop on the waterfront and chatted to him about life in Canada.
LEFT: Little Peppe and Ferhad Junior check out the Olympic torch sculpture from the Vancouver Winter olympics a few years back.
MIDDLE: Little Peppe, Rebek, Ferhad Junior, and Dover get up close and personal with the biggest Lego-like orca they have ever seen. ...
RIGHT: ... which left all of them a tad soggy! The day was only a little overcast, but the animals suspect it had rained heavily in the night.
One of the highlights of our day was the bus trip through Stanley Park, which took about 15 minutes, and didn't even cover a quarter of the Park. That place is big! Being a huge sci-fi fan, and being as most sci-fi is filmed in Vancouver and at one time or another does outdoor shoots in Stanley Park, Ferhad Junior was beside himself with excitement as he recognised landmarks from alien worlds. He stayed glued to the window the whole trip hoping to spot a Jaffa, and was sadly disappointed when one didn't appear. He did, however, squeal with delight at the totem poles that he thought had been placed there by aliens. Dover set him straight with a quick history lesson.
LEFT: Little Peppe and Ferhad Junior get some travel advice from Sven, a delighfully helpful human at the Westcoast Sightseeing Information Booth.
MIDDLE: Ferhad Junior really wanted a Canada T-shirt, but was heart-broken that they don't come in small giraffe sizes.
RIGHT: However, he soon forgot about the Canadian T-shirts when he saw a spaceship parked on top of a building in downtown Vancouver!!! "Oh my gosh" he cried, "I knew they filmed Stargate here and Once Upon a Time and Fringe and Sanctuary and Eureka and Arrow but I had NO IDEA that real spaceships came here too! AWESOME!" The other animals didn't bother to set him straight :)
LEFT: Little Peppe reads all about the Vancouver Convention Centre.
MIDDLE: Little Peppe poses with Gassy Jack in Gastown ...
RIGHT: Bwa ha ha - spot the small giraffe!
Overall, this was the best start we could have had to our 2014 Canada and USA Tour. The people we met were all lovely. Well, except for that one chap who forced his way onto the bus at one of the stops. Hop-On, Hop-Off? Ha ... he could barely stumble. Why do some humans get like that? He did manage to slur out that the cops had taken his car off him ... we were very surprised that they hadn't locked him up as well. He was loud, and swore a lot, and Ferhad Junior was quite scared of him, but Ken handled the man with aplomb and managed to get him off the bus before he could hurt anyone.
Five Fun Facts about Vancouver
- Vancouver is home to Canada’s longest pool, measuring 137.5 meters (451 feet), it is nearly the size of three Olympic pools.
- Vancouver has the highest real estate prices in Canada. The average selling price of a detached home in January 2016 was just under $1.83 million, a gain of 40% over same month in 2015.
- Vancouver is the largest film production center in North America after Los Angeles and New York City, and LOTS of sci-fi is filmed there. That's why a hatch in the middle of the woods outside Vancouver goes to Warehouse 13 and Stargate Command!
- Greenpeace, one of the world's oldest and most successful environmental groups was established in Vancouver.
- The Whole City Burned Down!!! In 1886, most of the newly incorporated city was burnt to the ground by the Great Vancouver Fire. Originally started to clear land near Main Street, this fire destroyed all but a few structures.
Learn more about Vancouver
City of Vancouver
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