Thursday, July 07, 2005

We had the best vacation beginning in Vancouver and traveling by ship [Volendam-Holland America] to several ports in Alaska. I had never been further than Seattle. The whole experience was fabulous. No disappointsments along the way. If anything, every port, person, park, and plethora of wildlife exceeded our expectations. And we have pretty high expectations.

Vancouver is a great city in all respects. My favorite? Tough call, but I am going to go with Stanley Park.
How they managed to plan the park and make it work so beautifully, as if it just grew out of the landscape, is difficult to imagine. I had thought what could be so great about a city park? We went to see for ourselves. And we did! This is one terrific park.

We walked over to the park from our hotel [Fairmont Waterfront--great hotel] along the harbor promenade. Took about 30 mins. Walking past a variety of boats, mostly sailboats, and a few restaurants, we looked for breakfast. We found it at Bojangles which offered a pretty full breakfast menu for such a modestly small looking place. The scones and bread throughout Vancouver were always more than satisfying. I want to go back to Vancouver just to have lunch at Bojangles. Actually, I want to go back to Vancouver for many reasons.

After the coffee kicked in and the carbs were loaded, we finished our walk to Stanley Park. It didn't take us long to figure out we were going to need a lift 'round. In fact, right at the Totem Pole of Wisdom we began to look for transportation. Sure enuf! A free trolley comin' round the bend picked us up and carried us deep into the park.

Trasportation around the park is free, in a motorized trolley. The trolley drivers are top notch at giving you the skinny on what you are looking at and what you'll see if you get off the trolley for a walk. They encouraged walking, but were delighted to have you ride with them.

We road as far as Prospect Point, where we hopped off the trolley and enjoyed the view. Visitors can rest at the cafe for a snack or lunch overlooking Lion's Gate bridge. Also available are souvenirs in the shop. We walked to the lookout and met a not so unfriendly, more curious, racoon who was the photo op for many visitors. In the bay below, I saw a BIG fish, probably a fish, and an otter (best guess). Our quest for wildlife had begun.

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