After our experiences being unable to find either Chinatown or Gastown on Friday, we decided to hire a car and guide and let someone else do the thinking. I tried contacting a couple of guides listed on Tours By Locals, but we couldn’t make a time work on such short notice. Daphne, a really excellent concierge at the Rosewood Hotel Georgia, secured a guide with no problem at all. I expected to pay through the nose due to the hotel markup, but I think the price was competitive with TBL.
Matt, our guide, was a very nice fellow who was able to show us a good time, and also show us his picture on billboards and store windows around town – he also works as a model, runs competitively, and does other things to make ends meet along with guiding. We got the four hour city tour from the back seat of a long-wheelbase MB S500. Instead of walking for hours, we probably walked for 30 minutes (a real advantage given Sally’s ankle) and listened to Matt describe what we were looking at.
Stanley Park: Sally @ Totem Polls, Bassman @ Lion’s Gate Bridge, July 2018
Here’s what you see in Vancouver: Stanley Park, Yaletown, Chinatown, Gastown, Granville Island, the West End, West Vancouver and Downtown. We saw them all. I took a few pictures, but honestly, it’s hard to find interesting pictures when all you do is stop at the photo-op stops for a couple of minutes and otherwise ride in a car.
Thai Festival, July 2018
This weekend there’s been a Thai Festival in the park across the street from our hotel. So we walked over to see what we could see. In addition to the obvious things – some people in traditional dress, Thai food, etc., there was a stage with Thai dance, singing, and a classic rock band singing songs with a Thai accent.
We didn’t want to chance the food at the Thai festival, we we wandered around and found a pub that gave us some salads around 4:00 for “lunch”. Which pretty much killed Sally’s appetite for dinner. So later I went out and walked down Granville Street, which turns into a very funky neighborhood. Lots of dive bars, cheap restaurants, people hanging on the street, marijuana dispensaries (1), nightclubs that patted down patrons before entry, some less fortunate people who obviously needed care. This was way more visually interesting than the four blocks of trendy restaurants in Yaletown.
Granville Street, July 2018
I found a decent enough bar, and got a salad with some grilled chicken, and had a local draft. Suited me fine.
(1) Marijuana will become legal across Canada on October 17, 2018. Right now medicinal marijuana is widely available at least in BC