Friday, September 4, 2015

A Taste and Feel of Vancouver, Canada

Vancouver, public transport amazing. Within the city, car unneeded. I ride my bicycle everywhere, taking in the great summer weather.
guitar circle on "cold wet sand"
There's an undeniably pleasant, hippy feel around town, from the marijuana dispensaries, the yoga studios on every corner of the Kitsilano area, to the guitar circles on the "beach"- a term I use generously, really more appropro would be: "cold wet sand."

Near downtown is Stanley Park- 1,000 acres of land devoted to recreation for Vancouverites, you can bike around the lush green area in about an hour, but do stop and partake in some activity, whether it be photographing geese, doing pull-ups on rec equipment, tossing a frisbee, or toppling a totem pole. 
Lord Stanley welcomes to you his park, trees + totem poles
Canada's entire population is 10 percent smaller than the state of California, but spread out over an area substantially larger than the entire United States, which is, how to say, ample room.
Given that non-summer temperatures approach zero Kelvin, Canadians are highly incentivized to take advantage of the precious little time it is, in fact, legal to go outside.
They walk their dogs, bike, swim, paddle board, hike, and run, all government mandated training regimens designed to keep their citizens fit and fast so they can run from wolves (and sometimes bears) during the winter.  
alternate Canadian flag
Seriously though, if your goal was to come to Vancouver and watch obese people waddle around town, you've got "slim-pickings" ... mainly because the wolves got 'em first.
This level of fitness is directly correlated to the nearly 40% lower healthcare bill Canada spends per person versus their bloated cousins south of the border, and indirectly explains why the wolf remains such a cherished national symbol.

Downtown as viewed from Stanley Park
Canada Place

Canada Place, a popular tourist attraction lies at the edge of downtown and the bay. The architecture is stupendous, and it's the heart of Canadian patriotism, as signs proudly exalt the country's contributions to the world-"Hockey."
Gastown, Vancouver
Gastown old timey-clock

Vancouver's compass- merely look towards the mountains across the bay and head in their direction.
When you reach base of the mountains you've arrived in North Vancouver, where endless hiking trails and mountain streams are surrounded by arrays of blackberry bushes, delicious summer fruit on their branches making it impossible to starve. 
Vancouver's compass- the mountains of North Vancouver

On the whole, Vancouver is a stunning city, well worth the visit during the summer. Get a bike and ride it far and wide, go on some hikes, have a beer at a local bar. You'd be hard pressed not to enjoy this beautiful and diverse town. Just make sure to venture indoors the moment you hear howling. 
the sun sets over Vancouver Bay

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