Sunday, January 31, 2010



it's been swell.

it's also been mild and dry(-ish) during my stay, for this I thank you.

alas I must away to the ski fields of the interior.

alrighty, enough of that.

Today = drove out to Richmond (south, and near the airport)

if you ever get the chance to head to the Richmond centre mall, here's some free advice; Don't

enough said.

some pretty pictures on the return journey.

- north arm of the Fraser river, separating Vancouver and Richmond

- more of the same

- and one more

I'm off to the airport in the morning - return the rental car and fly to kamloops (about an hour), to catch a shuttle into my first ski village in over 6 years...

wow, has it really been that long... I guess so.

Unsure of my Internet connectivity in town. For a little while today, I was also unsure of my accommodation. I've been convinced that all is well, and I won't be camping out under the overpass.

if I get net, see you soon, otherwise; catch you in a week.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

too much...

...of a good thing.

sometimes, a good idea can be strangled in its execution.

in our over-litigous society, warning signs have become a guilty pleasure of mine.

the sheer number of warnings on display at the enterance to the Lynn Valley Park in north Van; is just astounding.

to be completely clear - I'm all for warnings. If these over-blown and quite-frankly ridiculous signs can result in the saving of even one life, then great. But sometimes, you just have to laugh at the poor execution of a great idea.

Lets start with a good one

- displayed at various places where people might think about jumping a fence
- very straight-forward in it's message. go beyond here at your own risk
- don't do it.

however if we return to the warnings at the enterence of the park; alongside the trail maps and other information boards, we get the following...

to be fair, all of these were accompanied with text describing the actual warning, but it's certainly funnier if we just look at the pictures.

- careful of the cliff, you might fall... good advice

- ...and need to go swimming... ok.

- ...but it's cold... again, thanks for reminding me (this could actually be useful in summer)

- ...and you will drown... wow, bummer.

- ...unless you have magic shoes, in which case you will float... say what now?

- ...If you are a girl, your magic shoes will cause you to drift into the cliffs... ...well that's strangely specific



- ...the...


- you're just messing with me

- WHAT! seriously - you have to stop. why decapitate a harmless dog? he wasn't doing anything, that's it - i'm out of here...



- ...if you climb a fence, you might hurt your nuts...

Once I'd recovered from the humourous signage, and moved into the park; I found the suspension bridge

- first built in 1912... with a span of 48m, hanging 50m above the creek

- the bridge, back in 1915

- is it scary?

- not really

- the supports are anchored pretty well into the rock

- and as you can see in this detail shot - the bridge cable is mighty and strong

- shot of the trail, with raised walkway (couldn't tell if it was to protect me from the forest... or the forest from me)

- moss on the trees (oooooh furry...)

- cool tree-stump

- reflection = pretty?

- scary waterfalls!

- massive cliff (actually about a foot high, but the macro makes it look HUGE)

what else... Oh, I saw fantastic mr fox last night - 'twas pretty good. nice use of the stop-motion-style.

Last day in vancouver tomorrow - probably spend it packing... for the snow!

see ya

Thursday, January 28, 2010

looking down...

...on the world

I spent most of the 27th Jan hanging around downtown, taking photos; before the big hockey game in the evening.

What better way to see the city, than from the big circular look-out-thingy that's been in almost all of my downtown photos thus-far.

It turns out they have a revolving restaurant. So; that's where i chilled-out and had a tasty lunch (lasagna for those of you who wanted to know)

- Shot of the table - imagine that it's slowly moving... it takes about an hour for the customer area to make one full revolution, so it's not too queasy (pretty important for a restaurant).

- the view. GM place (hockey central) is in the middle of the photo, between the buildings. BC-Place is the BIG inflated stadium on the right, where they'll have the opening and closing ceremonies of the olympics

- 2nd view. Roof-top car park where I took my downtown photo, for the post entitled "jet-lag-sucks"

- another view. This time of the Vancouver film school (middle building) and park (where I took the war memorial photo featured in the previous post)

- Utilising the map-book (referdex) I was able to get a nice understanding of the entire downtown area. I really should have done this on day 1

- looking out towards eastern Vancouver (and Burnaby over the hill). I'm currently staying somewhere toward the right of the photo, off in the back-ground...

- pretty shot of the lions-gate bridge.

with lunch finished, 'twas time to go for a walk, and snap some more photos with my awesome new camera (which is producing bloody-good photos for a point and shoot compact)

Walking around the area known as false creek (slightly south of GM place), I found:

- A kiddy playground (under the cambie st bridge...)

- Some weird sculpture in the water

- a cool water feature in a local park

- a blockade that they've used to separate the Olympic athletes from the rest of the city. Yes that's right, they've sealed off part of the 'creek' (fairly contentious political move from the locals point of view)

Moving a little further north - I came across perhaps the strangest "park" I've ever been to in my life.

- Yaletown "park"

- It's completely paved, and although it's tricky to see in the photos - the paving rolls up and down in 'waves' where ever there's a tree.

Moving north, I found:

- the Vancouver Public Library (think, state library in Brisbane)

- it's BIG, and funky in design - even on the inside (atrium with cafes)

Time to head back to the arena for my first live hockey match in nearly a decade.

- GM place has a current record of 292 consecutive sell-outs for canucks games (at around 18,800 tickets). No joke, that's two-hundred-and-ninety-two CONSECUTIVE sell-outs...

So how did I get a ticket? Ticketmaster has a web-site where season pass holders can opt to miss a game, and "sell" their ticket.

- face-space photo from the very expensive, but totally worth it, seat.

- during warm-up (1/2 hr before the game), fans are invited to move down to the glass and "get close". Very good if your tickets are a little farther back. Oh, and photos are no longer frowned upon (as long as your lens isn't too long - they don't want you sniping better shots than the local news service.

- closer shot of one of the camera guys shooting ice-level coverage...

- octo-screen (4 side video, 4 corners High-resolution graphics) - most seats can see 2-sides of the video screen; it's all pretty well thought out.

Oh, and the sound system rocked... amazingly clear with little re-verb, and bass to shake your soul... in fact, post-game I had to seek out a headache tablet at the local 7-11.

- Vancouver fans are quite vocal, and the atmosphere is electric (sounds cliche but there isn't really another way to describe it).

When anything good happens, the place erupts.

If something bad happens, you can cut the near-silent tension with some kind of blunt object.

Look-out when the local team scores... Wow! I've got video of the crowds reaction, when the winning goal was taken half-way through the third period. I just need to figure out a way of trimming its size (currently a few hundred meg - ie. very big).

The sound of 18,000 people all screaming within a contained stadium - is truly something special.

Today (28th) was spent checking out a little more of the north van area - and dropping in on the sound team from fringe (big hello's and many-thanks for the lunch go out to eric, danny and miller).

only 2 more days in town until I head off to the snow...

I'm starting to get excited, and also starting to realise that all the good work (fitness-wise) I put in before leaving Australia, has come undone since I landed in Vancouver :( I may have lost weight on this leg of my trip (haven't been hungry - and my sleep patterns are way-off), but I've also lost a lot of muscle-tone, especially in my legs = double :(

see ya


Bonus shot

- poster in a shopfront window of the little island/hill/thing that I climbed out near horseshoe bay.

for anyone curious about the photo from the head of the post - it's a shot of the single most amazing feature i've seen in a car in a long time.

the rear-view mirror has a compass built in...

I know, small things - but I've found it VERY useful. .