Thursday, 24 February 2011

Flames and Flowers

Originally posted to Multiply on March 21, 2010
We missed the main Olympics, but on our latest weekend trip to see the offspring we got to see the flame, yeah! It had been rekindled for the Paralympics.
No trip to the coast would be complete without a visit to the Dutch Cheese maker between Cherry Ville and Lumby. We stocked up on a whole wheel of Gouda, which will be gone by the next trip at the end of summer. Grass-fed real food. It still does not taste quite like Dutch Gouda. I finally figured out it has to do with the grass. Ask any wine maker how important the terrain is!
Daughter's household is car-free by choice, so she is a master at getting the most out of public transit. She was a great guide. Some trains have this great seat right in front.

The journey started with a sky train trip to Waterfront, a beautiful old railway station that has a new lease on life as urban transit hub. Daughter took this picture of the hall.

The cauldron was just West of there on the harbour.

Below: containership getting ready to deliver its Walmart-bound goodies from China. Or whatever.
Funny, I had always pictured the flames near the Science Center on False Creek. The cauldron was fenced off, alas, but there was a viewing area with a huge ramp leading to it.
I am childish enough to request a "yes, we were really here!" picture.

The next 2 pictures are taken from the same place, but looking in a different direction.
Looking down the ramp, notice the barge with Olympic rings!
The rings again, and standing with your back to the cauldron you see this. The treed area is part of Stanley park.

It was still pretty busy and the crowds were being hustled along. Is this an example of Quebec language use or a poor translation? Flâner in regular French means strolling, not loitering. As in Yves Montand's song "J'aime flâner sur les grands boulevards". I guess strolling was too slow. MOVE, you camera-toting-posing-with-the-flames multitudes!
Back on level ground we see the viewing platform behind one of the many volunteers who made the games possible. All over town and suburbs people were proudly sporting their bright blue jackets, still basking in the after-glow.
Cauldron duly admired and documented, DD noted that we had 20 minutes left on our transfer to catch sky train in the direction of the next adventure: a visit to Granville Island Market by water taxi. This was my favorite part of the whole day. I love being on water, especially in a tiny boat.
View East towards the science centre. We are traveling from Yaletown West towards Granville Island.

Top picture: some weird architecture, below it floating homes.
I finally got the bridge to stand still long enough for a decent picture!
The vessel, on Granville Island.
I had never been on Granville Island yet. Our downtown expedition usually takes us to English Bay to smell the salt water.
Granville Island is a great place to shop for serious foodies, a little world of its own. Best enjoyed by oneself, with money in pocket, or with one like-minded female companion. By the time the four of us got there we were a bit tired and more than a bit hungry. There were no tables available in the food court and it was cold outside. DD remembered a fish place. We had to wait for a table at Tony's but it was worth it. Fortified by the best fish and chips and clam chowder ever we followed our intrepid guide in the direction of her home. We first made our way to a free trolley that took us back to sky train. I love good public transit!
This is the Fraser River seen from the train near New Westminster.

Meanwhile it was spring there. Here are some images of random urban greenery and abundant flowery pinkness.

Son Alex is temporarily living in the same area, so we had the the whole family there. This doesn't happen very often. B.C. may be the best place on Earth to live, but when it comes to maintaining family ties it can be too big for its own good. The kids may think it is just right, :). I had hoped for a vigorous session of Catan, but alas, the man was too swamped with exams to stay long. He did make a special contribution to dinner, in honor of the date.
A cake in honor of international Pi day. Pi, as in, that thing that has something to do with circles. I knew it once, but math doesn't stick. Fragments of Greek poetry can be dragged up, but science doesn't come easy.
It is hard to see at this angle, but the top clearly said 3.14. All in all, a good day.


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