Monday, February 22, 2010

Olympic Fever - Granville Street and surrounding area

My best friend and I were over in Vancouver for the Olympics last week - Tuesday and Wednesday. These pictures are from Day 1. We went on the Tuesday to attend the USA vs Switzerland game and the Canada vs. Norway game. Apparently, many people for Nanaimo had the same idea, because the boat was full of people in red jerseys. I think I saw 3, maybe 4, people I knew within the first half hour. I'll write about the games later; I need to sort my photos.

We got the 6:30 a.m. ferry out of Nanaimo and just walked on the ferry. With all the road closures and regulations about where people could park in Vancouver, it just made more sense, and I am SO glad we did it that way. It was very easy; I have got to give props to TransLink. I have always said that the transit system for a person with a mobility impairment is better in Vancouver than Nanaimo, and they proved it once again. They had a supervisor at the terminal helping people figure out which bus was best and communicating with the drivers to ensure space was left for wheelchairs. We got off the ferry and were almost immediately on the ferry.

We took the Express bus and we were downtown before 10:00. We wanted to explore a few pavilions before we went to our games. Sadly, most weren't open that early, and so we realized we wouldn't have time before we had to be at GM - I mean Canada Hockey - Place. Plan B was to head to the Bay and check out the Olympic store. Since it was early we thought we would have no problem.

We thought wrong. We were very, very wrong. This photo isn't great at showing it, but the line went all the way down to the corner, and then around at least half way down the street. It was something like a 2 hour wait. Even if we had the time, I lacked the patience. I don't need an overpriced hoodie that badly.

So we just wandered along some of the streets. It was surreal to be out in Vancouver between 9:00 and 10:00 a.m. and see NO traffic. Just bizarre. Downtown Vancouver and it was quiet. It definitely makes me a proponent of putting more restrictions on cars.

These church photos have nothing to do with the Olympics, per se. I just happened to see this gorgeous old Catholic church on Dunsmuir, across from the Power Smart Village, and I couldn't help myself. I'm a sucker for architecture in general, with an affinity for churches in particular. When I was younger, and didn't really clue in that one should technically agree with the doctorines/theology of the church one attends, I wanted to be Catholic, because I so loved the churches. So many of the modern church buildings just don't have the same 'feel' that these old buildings do. But I digress...

One thing I did find really interesting about Dunsmuir was the contrast between the older buildings, like the church, and the more modern look and feel of the Power Smart Village.

I think this sculpture was on Granville. It was one of the ones I really liked. I'm not big on modern art, mostly because I so often find myself scratching my head going, 'what IS that supposed to BE?' I do love funky fish for some reason, so of the more modern pieces on display, I think it was my favorite.

The kids loved this cut out; it made for a great photo op. They had a second one, but I couldn't get a good shot of it. I am not entirely sure what sport this one is meant to represent; I would say snow boarding, but I am pretty sure the yellow one (not pictured) was a snowboarder. I pondered trying to wheel through one of them but I figured with my luck I'd get stuck, so in the end I thought better of it.

These lanterns were very cool. Still not 100% sure what they were meant to represent; loved the way they looked like trees, however. I may at some point post some of the close ups I took, or at least make an album of the shots that don't make my blog and link it.

Some very cool First Nations carvings, with the lanterns in the background.

Modern art/sculpture on Granville. I confess I don't quite 'get' this one. Again, I have no idea what it is supposed to be.

These are First Nations themed. Still not sure what they actually are... three dimensional oars?

Loved all the different Olympic banners that were hanging around town.

There were at least a couple different buildings downtown adorned with shots of the athletes. I think these are on one side of The Bay. Unless they were across the street from the Bay... I don't remember now.

Also the near the Bay, on the other side... the only reason I am fairly confident of that is due to the sky walk, which I recall is part of Pacific Centre.

In the next few days I'll post about Robson Square. The energy was very different there. In the Dunsmuir/Granville/The Bay area where were were initially, it was very high energy, but it was more a peaceful, happy energy. There was just something mellow about it, because although there were many people walking about, because they were just exploring and there were no line ups, it was very mellow. Not so as one got closer to the Art Gallery...

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