By Land, by Sea, by Foot, by Ferry…

4 July 2017 – It’s the Canada Day weekend, I’m off to Granville Island to enjoy the celebrations with family, and I consider modes of transport.

I could be part of the by-foot brigade, walking west along the False Creek seawall and curving myself onto the island: I’ve done it a few times already since moving here, and it’s mightily tempting.

But I’m even more tempted by the ferry!

So I bounce down to Spyglass Dock instead, admire yet again that piano with its “Jazz Cats + Mice” motif, and jump onto an Aquabus, just about to push off from the dock.

The ferries are not only frequent, inexpensive & efficient, they make you smile. They’re right up there with helium balloons, they just make you smile.

That’s the cartoon drawing on the captain’s T-shirt, but it’s true to life.

Fifteen minutes later (with one stop in between), I’m on Granville Island.

Me and many others; people are gathering. We — and a sky full of sunshine — are celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday. Official maple leaf flags and insignia all over the place, but my favourite is this very wonky chalk rendition on a sidewalk.

Granville Island isn’t really an island at all, it is a sandspit on the south shore of False Creek, home to factories & sawmills in the early 1900s but now entirely transformed, a magnet for Vancouverites & tourists as well: a huge indoor public market, home to theatres, artisan workshops & studios, retail outlets, a sake maker (Canada’s first), 2 breweries & a distillery, a community centre, and the Emily Carr University of Art + Design.

We weave among the crowds, buskers & music on all sides. Perhaps because my niece drove & I came by ferry, I start ticking off modes of transport.

Cars, of course, tucked up in mural-bright car parks …

bicycles, up-ended in their own lock-up along one wall …

a kayak!

Well, no, not the mode of transport, but on display, and what could be more fitting? There are scads of them in False Creek, along with dragon boats & canoes.

Down by the Emily Carr buildings, I see a transportation triple threat, bing-bang-bong, all in a row: a boat awaiting its launching, a school bus, and (left of the bright yellow school bus) a white chartered bus.

One more means of transport: magic carpet.

And “magic” is the word. It is quite magic to walk that carpet-strewn entrance: once inside the shop, you could be in a souk, the textures & colours delighting the eye, the complex aromas of all those carpets quivering the nose.

Part of the holiday fun is, adults get to be 4 years old again.

We take turns playing on the swings …

and we are as breathless as the children, all jammed together to watch a latter-day Houdini (the sunlit head under the awning word “organic”) step free from his shackles.

Time to go.

I move slowly past the various outdoor solo performers, here a dapper francophone improvising on “La Mer,” there a Cape Breton fiddler, and ‘way down there, the far end of this quay, a young woman crooning jazz to her keyboard.

I find the Aquabus dock; I hand in my return ticket; I watch a little girl — her eyes large & serious — carefully hand in the tickets for her entire family, and then relax happily once aboard, giggling, responsibility discharged.

A tip of my Tilley to “Jazz Cats + Mice” back at Spyglass Dock, and home I go.

 

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8 Comments

  1. My son went to Emily Carr. I hope I can make it out to Vancouver someday! Thanks for this. Keep on truckin’!

    Reply
  2. Sounds like you had a great day. We didn’t make it over to Granville the one time we visited Vancouver, but we probably will next time. I don’t remember seeing the rainbow-painted ferries, either, but I’m sure they were there. Sunday we’re heading north and east, to the Nelson, BC area – the Kootenays. I hear it’s really hot over there, but I know it will be gorgeous.

    Reply
  3. Thanks for a Penny-excursion, especially that bright ferry. I’m a ferry addict too: they shape my visits wherever I go.

    (I’m Canada-ed up at the moment: I just spent time with my niece who’s off to live near Toronto for a year – her husband’s on exchange with the fire brigade.)

    Reply
    • Off to Toronto! I hope they dive into the adventure & it rewards the handsomely. If they’r living downtown (or even not, I suppose), and if this isn’t too shameless of me, you could suggest she flick through any of my posts pre-Feb 2017 — they are heavily about walking around & enjoying Toronto. Anyway, safe happy travels to her & her husband.

      Reply
      • They’ll actually be living in Guelph, and you’re certainly not shameless. I was thinking about doing it anyway.

  4. Wonderful spaces and glorious Vancouver sunshine most beautiful city ☀️😎 looks like you’re enjoying it Penny!

    Reply

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