Tuesday, July 14, 2015


Capilano RV Park
We have been off line for the last week because we were visiting Vancouver, British Columbia.  We crossed the border at Blaine, WA and it was about a half hour wait with an abrupt, dare I say hostile, border patrol guard who was a bit in your face with questions about what we were going to do while in Vancouver and how long we were going to stay, but after we were asked the same questions over and over with nary a smile, it became insulting.  

After negotiating the border hurdle, we had smooth sailing to the Capilano RV Resort which is located in West Vancouver, just across the Lions Gate bridge from Stanley Park.  
Capilano River, men lower right corner waiting for a salmon.
The park is located on tribal land and is right on the Capilano river.  It was an easy walk to the mall across the river where we could go to the Whole Foods Market or catch the bus to downtown Vancouver.   We could look down on the river as we crossed a small bridge and see the native men who were sitting on the rocks every day with nets to catch the salmon as they came upstream.  The men were there from early in the morning until about dinner time and placed the salmon in little pools created with the rocks.  By the end of the day, there were about 60 or 70 salmon in the little pools.  Supposedly the natives were allowed to catch salmon for food... but it was a little suspect to see the same guys there every day, drinking beer and smoking dope? which was passed around in a little pipe.  

We had been to Granville Island in 2006 but wanted to return and peruse the public market and visit some of the artisans who have studios on the island.  This time we got to see a public art project by two Brazilian street artists known as Os Gemeos.
Detail photo
 They painted the Ocean Concrete Silos at the concrete plant and the close ups of the art work show show how they achieved the wrinkles in the clothes and other details to make the clothing look just like fabric from a distance.  There are many street performers throughout the district but the big draw is the food. 

 Another day we went by bus to downtown Vancouver and then walked to Gastown where we just browsed some of the shops and had lunch.  But mostly we wanted to visit a used bookstore by the name of MacLeods. 

The place was run by two old guys and they knew where every book was.  
All you had to do was ask for something and they knew right where to find it.  We had been looking in other book stores for a long time to find Winston Churchill's book "The River War".  They had a rare copy for over $300. and then they had a less expensive copy which Allan snapped up right away. 

By the way... if you are in downtown Vancouver, you should make a point of eating lunch at Meat and Bread.
 I had the best Porchetta Sandwich I have ever had in my life and Allan had a Corned Beef Sandwich which was eaten by him at the speed of light.  It is just a walk up and buy a take away lunch but we found a place outside at an office building's patio which worked out great.

One of the places I really wanted to visit was the Vancouver Art Museum, which they call the Vancouver Art Gallery.  
They have over 1000 of Emily Carr's paintings of British Columbia forest lands and I was really looking forward to seeing them up close.  Unfortunately, all they had of her work was some of the tree paintings, no totem poles at all, which she is known for painting. It was really a disappointment but I was happy to see what they did have on view.  
I had no idea that her paintings were so musical and almost spiritual.  Seeing her work in a book does not convey the lightness of her strokes and the mystical nature that she has given to the trees in the forest.  
At the time when she did these paintings, the natives lived almost exclusively on the edge of the forest in order to access the bounty of the sea.  The forest was dark and forbidding and she managed to capture that aspect as well.

These paintings were practically hidden on the 4th floor of the museum and the remaining 3 floors were holding special exhibits.  If you think that I might have taken a photo of a workroom where we had gotten lost, you would be mistaken, this shelving unit with all the junk is the exhibit.  I guess I am just not that enlightened.... because I could look at my own closet at home and see plenty of this kind of art. 
One whole floor of the museum was dedicated to this nonsense.
  In addition, there were some other completely terrible ideas of art designed to provoke the viewer.  The tables where Allan is standing have figures cut out of a book entitled "The Last Two Million Years".  

And my personal favorite is the Banana.
We actually paid $15 each to see these exhibits and the exhibit that should have been given some prominence was relegated to the back room, so to speak.  

Large Quarry Garden in Queen Elizabeth Park
On our final day in Vancouver we went to Queen Elizabeth Park which also houses the Bloedel Conservatory.  This was a great finale for our visit as the garden was exquisite with a duplication of the Busch Gardens in Victoria, filling some quarry areas with walks and floral displays.  
Although the day was overcast and sometimes drizzly, it was still great to be out walking and being inside the Bloedel Conservatory was a delight with over a hundred species of birds, all fairly well familiar with humans, so we were able to take oodles of photos close up and personal.  
Of course Allan couldn't resist goofing around with the statuary before we left the park.

I am also happy to report that our border crossing back into the US of A was welcoming and friendly.  We did have to wait in line for about half an hour, but we got a smile on our return.  

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