Granville Island

We were hoping to borrow bikes from the hotel to help us get out to Granville Island by ferry. However, no one had told the other guests and all the bikes were loaned out!

Not to worry, the concierge said it was only a 20 minute walk. All we can say is he must run faster than Matt. It was uphill most of the way and our feet complained – we’ve managed to walk at least eight miles each day and we’re not used to it!

It was a relief to catch the aquabus, taking us across to the island in a couple of minutes

Granville Island started life as a sandbar in False Creek and, in 1915, became the focus of a land reclamation project to create an industrial area of corrugated tin factories. In the 70s and 80s investment in the island created a large public market, artisan shops and thriving arts community.

John was particularly taken with colourful displays of fruit

Matt identified the restaurant for dinner, a recommended pizza place back in Gastown – another blooming long walk!

We’ve seen a lot of homeless people in Vancouver, congregating on the coast where the weather is milder, mainly on the streets as a result of a government policy to close mental health institutions. Sound familiar? Each day we’ve been approached several times but tonight’s walk was an experience. We saw so many more people living life very differently to us. We’ve almost become immune to the smell of cannabis but it was shocking to see those sitting on the pavement openly injecting.

The pizza restaurant was bright and shiny and we had a lovely meal, a real contrast to what was going on outside.

Our final walk took us back past the Steam Clock which was working tonight. We were treated to the steam whistles blowing out a Westminster chime. There are some people you can’t please – Kim could only grumble that it had chimed half past and not quarter to!

The evening finished with ice cream from Perverted. Matt had found it on the first afternoon and it seemed a fitting way to (almost) end our visit to Vancouver.

We’re off to Vancouver Island tomorrow, for one night in Victoria, before heading to Seattle

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