Day 23 : Vancouver – perfect choice for our longer stay

Just as in Monument Valley three weeks ago, and in a Barbara Kingsolver that Lesley has just finished, our fourth and final day in Vancouver brought home to us the extent to which, all over the world, Westerner’s are trying to make some amends for the terrible arrogance with which they set out to obliterate the cultures of indigenous peoples.

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Having proudly mastered Vancouver’s excellent bus service we put our $1.75s into the coin counter by the driver of the C23 into town and then used the same ticket to transfer to a 14 trolley bus (electric) for 33 stops to the University of British Columbia’s beautiful, park-like campus. (Google Maps’ route-finding app once again invaluable)

Rightly hailed as one of the great museums, this building preserves a wonderful collection of artefacts, keeping alive, at the eleventh hour, traditions which had developed over something like 10,000 years in this area

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Walking back through the UBC campus to our return bus everything was geared up for the day of the graduation ceremony. We followed one joyful family group with the mother slipping off her unfamiliar formal shoes and walking barefoot between what must have been two sons.

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In the afternoon we hired bikes to ride the 8km circuit of Stanley Park and stopped at the group of reproduction aboriginal poles preserved there.

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Back to our lovely Sylvia Hotel…

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Art Arntzen ( Arntmusic.com )

…for dinner in the evening. Followed by live music in the bar which turned out to be a solo singer accompanying himself on banjo and guitar. No amplification, just him. Just perfect.

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And this from Lesley’s hand-written diary of the trip:

Our holiday has divided into three parts – the first in the national parks – amazing, challenging walks which we both love. Swim and hot tub afterwards.

Secondly, 3 cities (well 4 if you count Las Vegas on Day 1) – SF, Seattle and Vancouver. Good to see them and lots of interest – but they can’t compare with the natural history and geology. They are consumer-led, lots of shiny new tall buildings everywhere – and people all tell us that prices have shot up so they are unaffordable – due to foreign investors! Just like London. So real people have to live out of town and contend with commuter traffic jams. Also a lot of vagrants and beggars in all three cities. But people all friendly and public transport good.

And the third part starts tomorrow with our journey on the Rocky Mountaineer up into the Rockies. What fun. We are so lucky.

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