After dropping off our trusty bikes on W Georgia St, we made our way to Granville Island. We decided to walk, not really taking into consideration how far it was from one side of the city to the other and forgetting we has just cycled 20km! The sun had finally decided to break through the clouds, making the city feel warm and sticky after the deluge of rain in the morning. I can only image what we must have looked like to passers-by – windswept hair, accompanied by soaking clothes and makeup migrating down our faces – in comparison to the fashionable, well-groomed city dwellers. Tired, weary and in need of some food, I could think of no better place than Granville Island for our very late lunch.
The walk, albeit long, was a perfect way to see all this vibrant city had to offer. Everything seemed radiant, as the sun began to break from the clouds and activity resumed after the heavy drizzle that morning. The gigantic glass skyscrapers were even more impressive close up and many had rooftop gardens and, what I can only assume, trees growing out of their roofs, in-keeping with the Canadian love of nature and the great outdoors. There is such architectural diversity, showcasing Vancouver’s rich heritage, as well as their pioneering and modern mindset.
Every street offered something different and unique with such architectural diversity showcasing Vancouver’s rich heritage, as well as their pioneering and modern mindset. There was a combination of chain stores and independent retailers, although I noticed most streets had one thing in common – Starbucks! Coffee is big business in Canada, which was clearly evident by the strategically placed coffee shops dotted everywhere. A caffeine fix was always within walking distance and the notorious green beacons of these caffeine sanctuaries seemed to hold a dominant position, cleverly positioned on every street corner. For the coffee lovers out there, you will never go without in Vancouver!
After the short Aquabus ferry ride, which docks just below the market entrance, we arrived at the market, hearing the hubbub of activity inside the entrance – I couldn’t wait to explore.
The market is a charming assortment of everything you could wish for – handmade crafts, food, jewellry, clothing – you name it, you’ll probably be able to find it. I loved the variety of homemade, organic and natural products, both food-based, skincare and homegoods. The array of skilled craftspeople was inspiring and it was tempting to buy from every stall!
For any food lovers out there – this is heaven! Fresh fruit, vegetables, meats, fish, cakes and of course, multiple stands full of maple-based goods and… fudge – yes FUDGE! Tables were laden with huge slabs of ‘the good stuff’ in every flavour imaginable, which reminded me a lot of home, as the south west (Devon in particular) is well known for this sweet treat.
The building was bursting with colour from the bountiful spread of fruit and vegetables. Seasonal, local produce is evidently celebrated and more importantly, accessible, making it almost impossible to buy anything imported. I found this refreshing, as it is a topic close to my heart and something that really jarrs with me about the UK, who import produce from all ends of the earth, rather than celebrating some of the best produce growers right here on our doorstep.
As well as the market there are, it seems, hundreds of hot food stands with everything you could possible want from every culture. Spoilt for choice and someone known for being notoriously indecisive when it comes to food (I want to try it all!), I finally opted for Thai food. Taking a seat on the dock overlooking the creek in the now gleaming sunshine, we were surrounded by such activity, with live music playing in the background, the general chatter of fellow market-goers, children playing and seagulls flying overhead, looking out for any unsuspecting victims to dive-bomb. This was something I could quite easily get used to and reflecting on the day, it struck me that Vancouver was turning out to be one of the only cities I could quite happily live in. It was our last full day in the city and I was sad to be leaving, but by now, I knew I’d definitely be returning in the not too distant future.