It is only $16 for a day pass and I love the water – so thought I’d take advantage of the Vancouver local water transit. As I was going to Kits, it had to be False Creek Ferries.
Granville Island? Well I’d give that a miss – but if you like New York’s Chelsea market and Kensington Market, Toronto, you might get something out of it. But if you know me, you can guess that I had sensory overload almost immediately and was in and out of there in thirty minutes. It’s kind of Coney Island, fishy stalls meets a Sunday craft fair, all a bit tired, fishy ( I repeat myself) and extremely sticky with people. It might be more pleasant in winter but definitely needs an upgrade.
After a quick salmon flax wrap, (risky) I headed for Kitsilano as I still didn’t realise I could walk there this at this stage. Dismbarking, I thought – ooh what a quiet unspoilt part of the city – a few logs – a few dogs and just the lapping tide. Lay down on the sand for a bit. When I walked round the corner I met …. the real beach. Lots of volley ball youngsters, students, back packers. Families are further up. A broad stretch of waterfront sand and dry parkland – pleasant enough. There didn’t appear to be much happening in the urban part – just a smattering of bars and restaurants. Walk back the same way, if you can, as it’s gets worse – ending at the lido. I walked a long way to find a pen, and in the end, a lady in a flower shop sold me her own – now that’s business acumen.
But in the opposite direction, back toward Granville, you have a large grassy, now drought crisped expanse that’s lovely and largely empty. I couldn’t understand why a group of hot dog stands would set up there with no customers. It appeared they were expecting crowds for the ‘festival’. The festival turned out to be an annual firework competition and that this area was a prime viewing spot.
I’d been to David Lam park already, so I headed for The Village, once the Olympic village -pretty, clean and with a market square of sorts. Beautiful landscaped water park and ergonomic outdoor seating – a bit Feng Shui I suppose. And a tiny little peninsula that you can get to with stepping stones. I liked this area although some might not see the point of it. But I’m kind of a bit aimless anyway – so what would I know? I had a snooze and that’s always good.
So ready for tea, (remember I’m on a budget) I returned to the hostel deciding to make full use of my day pass and head back to Kitsilano for the fireworks festival. It was team GB’s night. As I boarded the ferry at David Lam again, I saw the crowds of sunset beach already amassing, and to my complete surprise, also the beaches of Kits – even the dog beach which had hitherto been largely deserted. There was a small and entirely unnecessary police presence, as there was a real serenity and sense of something cultural about this event – and perched up above the beach, it felt like Henman Hill or an outdoor Philharmonic performance at Chatsworth. Families on blankets – seniors in camping chairs, keen photographers and tourists. All for a thirty minute firework display. Team GB – they did alright! Although the smoke from the wildfires was still a problem it did not interfere with the delight.
Fireworks are always such a source of wonderment and magic to people and this was no exception. I hadn’t realised there were no ferries back from Kitsilano at that time and for the third time that day found myself walking down to Granville Island (not really an island) in time for the last ferry back. All those lucky enough to have been able to watch on boats, were also making their way back to the arbour in a noisy and enthusiastic flotilla. All in all, good value for ten quid, I’d say.