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.

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