I can’t believe my time in B.C. is over, but what a great time it was.
After packing up at the hostel this morning, I walked to Waterfront Station to meet Rukshila for lunch at a restaurant she’s been telling me about all week: Meat and Bread! While I got a little turned around (i.e. — distracted when I saw something I’ve been looking for a few blocks down), when we finally met up we made our way into Meat and Bread’s Gaston location. It certainly lived up to the hype! I had a fantastic Korean BBQ chicken sandwich, their daily special. So good!
After lunch Rukshila took me on a little walking tour of Gastown, which is Vancouver’s historic district. It’s a striking difference from the rest of the city, the majority of which is less than twenty years old. Vancouver is, one the whole, massive glassy skyscrapers, so to see older buildings in the area was pretty cool. There was a steam clock that apparently plays music every once in a while, but I didn’t get to hear it. While we were walking, we saw an artist on the street using a magnifying glass to burn his images into wood. There were lots of artists working on the street, actually, but he was definitely our favorite.
Rukshila and I walked back into the main part of downtown and she left to keep working on her schoolwork. I’m glad we were able to hang out as much as we did while I was in town, especially since she’s still fairly busy with school. I’ve missed her so much since she moved back out to B.C., so it was really great to make up for some lost time!
Once she was jetting back, I decided to wander back towards where I got distracted in the morning. I ventured over to Canada Place and saw a big Princess Lines ship docked nearby, so at least now I know where the port is should I get assigned to the Pacific Northwest itinerary! I made my way along the Seawall until I came to the Olympic Cauldron, which was very cool to see. I sat by it for a while, writing postcards and enjoying another beautiful day before taking a few steps to my right to see the Digital Orca statue. I took a quick picture and enjoyed a musician who was playing nearby before setting off down the Seawall again. I walked past some big marinas and the seaplane terminal before hitting around where I started my walk yesterday and turned towards downtown to catch the SkyTrain to the other side of the city.
I took the Canada Line from Waterfront Station to Olympic Village. The village itself (or at least the area I saw) wasn’t too distinctly “Olympic” anymore, but I tried to picture what it would have been like when all the athletes were staying there. It did, however, have a great view across False Creek of BC Place and Science World, so I sat down on the Seawall to enjoy my last apple from the Granville Market.
I still had lots of time to kill before catching my train, so I decided to take the long way back to the hostel along the Seawall. I walked past lots of marinas (including some that had cute house boats) and parks before finally stopping for a rest at Sunset Beach near English Bay. I took the time to take a little nap in the sun and finally crack open the book I brought on the trip with me, The Eye of the World, which is Book One of Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series. My friend Thor recommended the series tome back in my first year of uni, but I haven’t had any time to really tackle them until now. The series has seventeen books in it (Robert Jordan actually died before he finished writing them, leaving Brandon Sanderson to complete the series with the help of Jordan’s notebooks) and they’re all about 800 pages long (not including the massive appendices in the back)! There are a lot of characters and locations to keep track of, so they’re not really books you can start casually and then leave off for too long. This is actually attempt number three for me to get through just the first, but I’m determined to get through this time. I mean, if I can read all five Song of Ice and Fire books in a month, I think I can handle this.
A little after 6:00 I made the hike back up to the hostel to grab my bag, then marched to Burrard Station to catch the Millennium Line to Pacific Central Station. After standing in line for a while, I was finally able to board the train. And who would greet me on my way back on but Mussolini herself! I must admit, she seemed in better spirits today than last I saw her. Hopefully that bodes well for the next day or so.
Once on the train I made camp just like last time; I’m feeling like a real pro now. It was so dark by the time we starting moving out of Vancouver that I chose to forego the dome car for the night and read more until they turned off the car lights, then tuned into the first J.J. Abrams Star Trek.
Now it’s time to try to get comfortable for another night of train sleeping. I’ll wake up in Kamloops in the morning, then on to Jasper!