Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A Twelve Hour Jaunt

Today I successfully pulled off a One Day Wonder, or, as most people would say, a trip to Vancouver. I had to go down to the Italian Consulate to drop off my passport and all the other stuff I need to get a visa to Italy. Now some of you might be thinking, "why call it a wonder?". Well the reason is, since I live not on the mainland of North America, but in fact on Vancouver Island, It is about a five hour journey to door to Downtown Vancouver. 

This morning I took the 10:30 ferry from Departure Bay to Horseshoe Bay, but first had to drive an hour and a half to Nanaimo, then buy my travel insurance for the trip at BCAA, then drive down to the ferry terminal. I ended up at the terminal a bit early, so after getting the ticket for leaving my car, and the ticket for the ferry, I grabbed a very tasty white cafe mocha from a little coffee bar in the terminal. 

The ride over itself was uneventful. I took some pictures though, and since I can, I think I will share them with you.

This is just leaving Departure Bay.

A few minutes more puts the ferry close to Snake Island.

Yay Canada flag!

Just a few minutes after the scheduled arrival in Horseshoe Bay, the foot passengers disembarked, many running to get in line for the 257 Downtown Express. I count myself in that number, and I got a seat. Then I promptly gave up my seat to an elderly couple.

Even with the title "Express" the bus takes almost an hour to get downtown, only stopping at Park Royal, just on the north side of the iconic Lions Gate Bridge. I soon stepped off the bus, back in the familiar city with more people on one sidewalk, then you would see in one day in Courtenay. 

Looking down towards the harbour.

I had a few hours to kill so I nipped down Georgia a ways to check out how the new roof is coming along at BC Place Stadium. They are replacing the old air supported Teflon roof for a new one supported by big prongs sticking up from the crown.

You can kinda see them there. I think they are adding more of them all the way around.

The next stop I needed to make was at the post office. Since coming down to pick up my passport and visa in a week or two really wasn't an option, I picked up a pre-paid express post envelope from the main post office in Vancouver. It has a gigantic crest of Canada on the side of it.

Kinda cool if you ask me.

Here are some pictures from the random wanderings I did after that. 

A random bus.

A cool looking alleyway.

Some freight trains, commuter trains, and a Skytrain.

The iconic Canada Place.

Inside Waterfront Station.

A clock in Waterfront Station.

The Canada Line platform in Waterfront Station.

A cool edifice.

Outside elevators.

All the random wandering out of the way, lets get down to business. Getting my visa.

The sign.

The ornate elevator hall.

The entrance to the place itself.

After a bit of a wait, I dropped all the papers off, and all went well, so hopefully I see my passport again in 10 days! 

That done, I had to catch the bus again, several blocks away. A short time later, back on the ferry I took some pictures for those unfortunate enough to have never visited my homeland. 

Horseshoe Bay.

Trees are nice with fall colors.

Looking out of the bay.

Looking back, you can see the ferry to Bowen Island.

BC Ferries. Islanders love them. Islanders Hate them.

The Promenade.

Wheelhouse close up.

Wheelhouse from afar.

Little Island with houses on it. Vancouver in the background.

Looking towards Vancouver Island

The Queen of Oak Bay passing us half way through the crossing

I just liked the look of all four rings.

Getting close to sunset.


Twelve hours and 14 minutes after I left home, I was back. A nice day.

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