Sunday, 1 September 2013


As explained in a previous post, half of our planned trip to Canada and Alaska was cancelled due to ill health.   We missed the first two weeks of travel around parts of Canada which included Lake Louise, Banff, Jasper and others.   We joined the rest of the tour in Vancouver, the day before the proposed cruise into Alaska. 

A day in Vancouver gave us a mini-view of this pretty city.  Vancouver is  quite  'young' being established in 1886 and  I was impressed by some of the architecture, the cleanliness but perhaps a   bit disappointed in the apparent lack of pavement culture in the city.  I realise however,  that these observations were restricted to the immediate area near to our hotel.   The suburbs could of course prove be very different.   The coffee was also disappointing but friendliness and the 
excellent service, more than made  up for this! 

We visited The Nitobe Garden - a small Japanese garden opposite the University of British Columbia - a quiet hour spent in this lovely space was uplifting for our jet-lagged souls and below photos of this garden. 

Nitobe Memorial Garden

Below - a couple of photos of the  Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia a visit which proved to be fascinating

Ancient Totum Poles

The Nanai people of Siberia, Russia used fish as their primary food source.  They used fish skins to create traditional-style clothing as is the case with this salmon-skin coat below.  These coats were light, water repellent and durable.  The skins would have been dried, moistened and kneaded to make them soft before being sewn into a garment.  The aplique embroidery and fabric were also added for embellishment.

Circumpolar clothing was manufactured from skins of local fish and mammals, was functional and often carefully crafted using intricate embroidery and delicate needlework.

I thought this coat was magnificent and I'm sure designers like Ralph Lauren have drawn inspiration from these garments as well as garments worn by the early indigenous people of the USA.

Vancouver Art Gallery

These beautiful lights inside the Vancouver Art Gallery are manufactured from paper.

Street Art - some of it quite superb

We also strolled through Gastown on the evening before our cruise even though we were warned by our hotel that we should be careful as this area could be 'dangerous'?..  Gastown was the Vancouver's first downtown area and was named after "Gassy" Jack Deighton, a Yorkshire seaman. 

Gastown is a mix of "hip" shopping, souvenir and home furnishing boutiques. The architecture is very attractive  as are the street lights,  trees and there is a trendy atmosphere. 

Gastown typical building style - note the street lamp

Steam clock in Gastown

As we leave Vancouver

Vancouver is overlooked by mountains

I will talk about Alaska in my next couple of posts.  I was very disappointed to have missed the Canadian component of the trip but as Vancouver is "only" a 14hr direct flight from Sydney,  we will definitely make a point of revisiting Canada.



  1. We went to Vancouver when I was 10, I have vague memories of it - the main part of our trip to Canada was to travel to Banff and Lake Louise. My father had looked at the map and estimated it was 2-3 hours away from Vancouver. Not so. It was a loooong drive (but stunning scenery!). We stayed at the beautiful Banff Springs Hotel, which we loved. I'd love to go back to Canada one day too, and I'm really looking forward to hearing about Alaska - it's my dream to go on a cruise through there! xx

    1. You are so right Heidi... the distances are vast ... I have also heard that the Banff Springs Hotel is superb! Alaska coming up soon... feeling a bit lazy about blogging at the moment! xx

  2. Gorgeous pics J! Getting a hang of the camera for sure. I still havent made it to Vancouver and Canada in general. I keep hearing that Vancouver is the Northern American version of Melbourne so I then think I just want to go back to my Aussie hometown instead you see. It was voted top 5 most livable city again though right? I can't wait to see your Alaska trip pics bc like Heidi I want to do an Alaska cruise. PS those tribal clothes were very chic and you are right that Mr Lauren got inspired by them for sure!xx

    1. Thanks Naomi.. actually my new camera was on some horrendous setting (which I couldn't fix) and all of the photos were over-exposed. I had to adjust most of them on my computer. I was actually very worried about the quality of the pics ... (I really HAVE to do a photographic course)...The day spent in Glacier Bay which was the highlight, was very bright and reflective, making photography very difficult too! Vancouver was pleasant if not a little bland! xx

  3. Hi Jenny,

    I see from the comments that you're getting to know your new camera. I think your're doing a great job! I'm looking to buy a new one as mine just crashed and burned on Saturday just when I needed it. It's funny how you described Vancouver as it's what most people say. But at least it was pleasant :) Looking foward to seeing your Alaska photos. Have never ever thought about visiting but you might just change my mind.
    Enjoy the rest of your trip!

    Marj x


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