Adventures in Wonderland

.......not just a travel blog

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Location: Canada

In our sixties, with apparently no other authentic option, my husband Don and I sold our car and apartment, sold or gave away all our stuff, and set off to discover the world. And ourselves. We started in Italy in 2011 and from there have travelled to Spain, India, Bali, etc. - you can see the blog archive. We will continue travelling until it's time to stop - if that time ever comes. So far it suits us very well. We are interested in how the world works, how life works, how the creation of experience works, how the mind works. As we travel and both "choose" our course, and at the same time just let it unfold, we discover the "mechanics" of life, the astounding creativity of life, and a continual need to return to trust and presence. Opening the heart, and acceptance of what is, as it is, are keystones for us both.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Travels in Vancouver

Since I'm not travelling at the moment I thought it would be fun to write about Vancouver as if I'm a tourist here. When I'm travelling everything is seen through "new eyes", or at least (if it's a place I've been before) through "holiday eyes". (That's "vacation eyes" for you Americans). Everything seems fresh and fun. During the Olympics I noticed that all the people I was hanging out with, who were from out of town, were taking lots of pictures, of just about everything, the same as I do when I'm in a new place, or on holiday. During the Olympics I didn't take a single photo. Well the city is all just ordinary to me, and anyway I see it everyday. But most of you who read this don't live in Vancouver, and have probably never been here, so hopefully you'll find it an interesting travel blog, and maybe it will inspire you to come visit. So this entry is the beginning of posting about Vancouver as if I'm on holiday in a new city, seeing it with "new eyes", or at least with "holiday eyes".

Two weeks ago the annual "car free" day on Main St was held. And everyone came out to play. Prior to that we'd been seeing the signs that Main St would be closed from 33rd Ave to 16th Ave on June 20th but didn't know why (sometimes I think we live under a rock). Anyway we decided to go for a walk and since it's right in our neighbourhood we stumbled straight into it. This was my cue to race home to get the camera - a real camera, an SLR, my first, a gift from my sister. Having so much fun with it.

Car free day is when anyone and everyone sets up stalls on the street, and people dress up crazy, and ride weird hand built bikes or a big black mechanical spider, or do street performances, or play music. There was an African choir, and some blues musicians, and a great rock singer, and a singer who sounded like a young Joni Mitchell. There was a group of kids doing a performance with giant muppets. Roller Derby girls giving demonstrations. Spinners spinning in front of the wool shop. And a sound system powered by riding a bicycle. I saw a woman well into her seventies totally rocking out to the blues music (as I did myself), and a big crowd singing along with the African choir. Lots of food stalls, and jewellery stalls, and clothing. A stall promoting backyard chickens (once again legal in Vancouver), and all the different "Land Rights for Gay Whales" and save the environment stalls. And the crowds wanderd up and down taking it all in, like a big party.

A sunny day would have been magical, but this is Vancouver and we have learned to simply feel blessed that it is not raining!

Aaaaarrrrrgh! It sure is hard to pick just a few photos when there are so many interesting ones.




African choir members


Singin' the blues


Powering the sound system


Blowing bubbles


Roller Derby rules!


Mechanical spider - this is a truly amazing contraption, having 8 legs that rise and fall in sequence so the whole thing moves along.


I didn't realise this was a man until I saw the photo on the computer





Since we live under a rock, and didn't even know this was happening, it sure turned out to be a completely unexpected, and interesting, and fun way to spend a Sunday afternoon.


About a week ago we went for a hike in Pacific Spirit Regional Park, better known as the Endowment Lands (though the endowment lands are much more than just the park). In the early 1900's the government of BC endowed the land to what would become the University of British Columbia. The park is acres and acres of forest, with hiking trails all through it. It's unlikely to ever be developed since (according to wiki) the following groups must be consulted beforehand: university students, university staff, university faculty, environmental groups, businesses, residents and the general public. Phew! So this means that right in Vancouver we have this huge forest to play in.

Don and I love to hike and often go over to the north shore mountains to the many trails in the forest there, but if we don't want the longer drive, the Endowment Lands are just 20 minutes away.


Low tide at Spanish Banks. We start our hike here.


Summer in the city (even if it is only 19 degrees Brrrrr)


Forest trail


Forest foxglove








Forest fungus

It's a beautiful place to get some good exercise and soak up the stillness of really old trees, and the beauty of nature.

Next blog - I've just heard that there is a hammock high in a tree that stands in the wide boulevard in the middle of Cambie St.
Don and I plan to find that tree and climb up to the hammock :-)

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2 Comments:

Blogger Robyn T. said...

Hi,Alison. I live in Vernon, B.C., but was born and raised in Australia and went to Sydney Uni with John Woodrow, who has been forwarding your blogs to me. I have met two of your sisters, Suzanne and Carol, and John and Carol have visited me here in Canada, where I have lived since 1966. I have enjoyed your blog on Asia, since I travelled there a year ago, and also your travels in Australia, as I have never visited West Australia or Ayers Rock. I enjoyed seeing your blog on Vancouver, but think you got the date wrong. It must have been June 20th, not July 20th, that Main Street was open. I love your photos, Robyn.

July 12, 2010 at 9:17 PM  
Blogger Alison said...

Hi Robyn

You know I think we may have actually met at some point over the years. I've at least seen a picture of you! That's it! I remember now -it was some pictures Carol and John showed me of their visit to Vernon. Glad you're enjoying my blog. And thanks for the tip on the date. Oops! I'll fix it now. Cheers, Alison

July 21, 2010 at 4:58 PM  

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