Thursday, October 13, 2011

Alaska and Northwest Trip - Day 16

Today the ship pulled into Vancouver!  This is where we get off, and start the second land portion of the trip.  Most of this portion will be self guided, and much of it had not been planned at this point.

We passed under the Lion's Gate Bridge (officially the First Narrow's Bridge) and then got a view of the city skyline at night:

We cleared customs and then walked to our hotel, the Fairmont Waterfront.  The room was extremely nice, with a good view of the harbor and the cruise ships.  We caught a cab to the Dr. Sun Yat Sen Chinese Garden.  This was the first garden of it's kind in the new world.  It was built by artisans from China working in collaboration with local workers.  The materials were all imported from China.  It is a truly beautiful place.

These were part of a display on Japanese flower arranging

The gardens usually have some form of cave and also a pagoda.  The caves are under the pagoda.

The guy in the hat is a master gardener, pruning the garden to enhance it's natural beauty

This is a view of the free park across the pond.

More Japanese flower arranging
These rocks can only be found in Lake Tai in China.

They are called Chinese Scholar Rocks.

The pH of the water forms them over thousands of years.

If you look at them in the right frame of mind, you can see almost anything in them.  I saw a VW bug!
After the park, we walked back to the hotel through some sketchy parts of town and also the Gastown distrcit - a good place for food and shopping.  We stopped at The Spaghetti Factory for lunch - this was a favorite of Kari's childhood.  They still have pasta with Mizithra Cheese and Brown Butter.

For dinner we ate at a place called the Lion's den - enjoyed it - will review later after the trip is caught up!

Good first day in Vancouver!

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