Wednesday, February 3, 2010

welcome to vancouver...

Ready or not...the games are about to begin.

What fun we had spending a little time in the city...and catching Olympic fever!

I'm thinking they will be totally the end of next week. But everywhere we looked the crews were busy...building stages...removing graffiti from existing structures...polishing eagles...and what have you. You know how it is...before the company arrives...there's always lots to do!

From Robson Square one can look up at the art gallery...and see the eagle polishers hard at work. Though we may have no snow...and none in the forecast...the decals on the stairs make a lovely snow scene!

Many of the large downtown buildings have been totally transformed for the Olympics.

The Royal Bank tower is proudly Canadian...

...and around every corner they've been busy painting the town red.

Most everything we did while in the city was free (other than eating). Most of the pavilions won't open until the games begin...but the northern Canada pavilion was open to the we took that in. We learned a lot...about Canadian diamonds...and the beauty of the far north.

We walked the Granville Street Bridge to Granville Island...where I'll take you on another day.

Water taxis and RCMP boats were the only vessels out and about on False Creek yesterday morning.

We saw RCMP officers arriving by the busload from back east...and noticed police vehicles at every turn along the way. We chatted with a friendly young officer from Montreal...who is quite happy to be stationed in balmy Vancouver for one month...and being housed on a cruise ship. Seven thousand police officers are being brought into Vancouver for the games.

The new Olympic Line has been running for some ten days...and it's free... of course we had a test run.

It's a Bombardier from Brussels, Belgium for the duration of the games...and runs along tracks that were once part of the CPR line.

We exited the Olympic Line right near the Athlete's Village...and had a peek from afar. We wondered about the kangaroo flag flying from the eighth floor of one of the buildings...and learned later that the Australian athletes unfurled their flag just this week. Who knows what VANOC will make of that!

We walked...for miles. It really is the best way to experience the city! And there's no better way to meet the people. The chances of meeting anyone we know in Vancouver aren't that great...since we don't really know many people who live there. What a surprise to meet a friend on a street corner in Yaletown...a friend who moved to the city a few years ago to pastor an urban church. We happened to be right in his neighbourhood!

And then we met these two gals...who were having the time of their life. Home for them was Moscow...but they heard there was a party in Vancouver...and so they came to check it out. From the hot the hospitality...they gave Vancouver a good score.

And of course we checked out the Hudson Bay Company...official sponsor of the 2010 games and the best place to buy souvenirs of any kind.

Towards evening...

...we made our way towards the waterfront...and Canada Place. Everything looks so different at night.

I knew the snow on the stairs was the work of an artist...

....the ice nearby was the real thing. The ice rink at Robson Square is open to the public...and always a hub of activity...after being closed for a decade. It has been renamed GE Plaza for the Olympics...which will also house an International Media Centre just next to the rink during the games.

The lantern forest on Granville Street... part of Lunar Fest 2010.

School children from Canada and Taiwan have joined together to create the lanterns...2010 of them hanging from forty steel trees.

The official Olympic countdown clock is situated in front of the art gallery...with not much counting left to do!

At Canada Place...everything looked ready...and secure!

We checked things out...from a distance...

...and carried on to the historic Gastown area and dinner at the Old Spagetti Factory.

That's it for today's tour...but we will return!

Have a wonderful day...


  1. Looks like you had a wonderful day. I wish I could be in Vancouver just for a taste of the excitement.

  2. What a lovely tour. Makes me want to take a little drive north and brave the crowds...we'll see. Great photos Judy!

  3. So pretty! Like a fairy tale. Must be tough to host the Olympics and have to welcome so many all the while rooting for your own, of course. It's going to be great!

  4. Great tour! Lucky you to see it in person.

    Re: a trip to Granville Island at another time: Would you do me a big favor and take pictures inside the hats in the hat shop for me? I love that chic and fun!

  5. I meant the hats INSIDE the hat shop, not the inside of hats!

  6. Judy. . you really captured it all so well. I didn't know that the northern BC pavillion was open. . shoot. . that would have been interesting. It is a lot of fun and it would have been so fun to run into you time we'll have to coordinate a bit better.

  7. Wow, thank you for the exciting tour of the Olympics preparations! I'm eagerly awaiting those opening ceremonies on TV, and then all that lovely figure skating!

  8. Oh Judy, this was wonderful! I think we will have to do this tour soon...and it's so helpful to have you point out certain things to which I'm oblivious. I must say Vancouver looks ready for a party.

  9. I thoroughly enjoyed your tour. Every time I watch the Today Show and they talk about the upcoming Olympics I can feel the excitement. However, your excitement level must be really high about now. Vancouver looks beautiful and well prepared for the Olympics to begin.

  10. Vancouver looks spectacular, Judy! Bright and shining and ready to be a great host for the Olympics!

  11. Such a beautiful city Judy. My goodness everything looks ready to go to me. Your photos are so great, thank you so much for taking us on the tour. It's been many years since I've been to Vancouver and I loved it back then also.

    I bet you guys are so excited for fun to be a part of it.


  12. Thanks for the tour. I think that's as close as we will get to the Olympics, other than on television. It's going to be exciting!

  13. It is really great to see your city since we will get no closer than this for the Olympics. Thank you for the wonderful show.

    I think Vancouver is beautiful: we have been there for several weekend visits. I can just imagine the excitement mounting for the games!

    On the news last night we saw truck loads of snow being brought in to the Olympics "just in case".

  14. Love the lantern trees! Thanks for the phototour!

  15. I really love reading your blog and looking at your wonderful pics that you post. Vancouver is on my list of places to visit someday. It looks like a great city!

  16. Wonderful tour Judy. Really enjoyed it!!!!

    You Canadians seem to be marvelous hosts.

    Very much looking forward to the games.

  17. Trust the Aussies to get the flag flying first! Let's hope we manage another first before the games are over !!!

  18. I cannot express to you how thrilled I am that you are sharing Vancouver and the Winter Olympics in such a personal way, with all of us. Wow! What a gorgeous city! Every picture was amazing to me. The artwork, the lanterns, the colors, the all is so very beautiful! It really makes me want to visit Vancouver and see it all in person. I look forward to all that you share on this worldwide event.
    The picture of you and your husband is so good! I like that you included some personal touches.

  19. that was great to see! i am not a huge olympics fan, but you've managed to help get me excited! we don't have a tv, so i think i will head over to the in-laws to see some events now :)

  20. Thanks for bringing our city alive with the Olympic Spirit. You did an amazing job..and I love watching it through your travels. It won't take long and we'll enjoy the travels together.


'The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it.'
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson