Vancouver, et al.: Day 2: Granville Island and More

Given that both Di Yin and I are huge fans of Granville Island, it's no surprise we spent much of the day there and it dominates the day's photos. Di Yin also took pictures. The latter link goes to her first picture from this day (picture #26). When you see a picture of the insde of Agros Cafe (picture #53), you're done with her pictures for the day.

To start the day, we grabbed for breakfast a light snack at a local Asian mall and food court (Parker Place in Richmond). Then we caught a bus to Granville Island to browse the countless shops and markets. We mostly spent our time in the food market, assembling a complex and tasty lunch. Granville Island is as cool as I remembered. Incidentally, on the north end of the island, I spotted countless residential towers--recall that Vancouver has many modern skyscraper apartment buildings--overlooking the market and was jealous of all the people living a short walk/boat ride away.

On a friend's request, I visited a sake producer to pick up a bottle for him. However, they were out of what I thought he wanted--the premium blue label (Junmai Nama Nigori)--so I didn't buy him anything. While there, I tried the red label sake (Junmai Nama); its taste changed over time and ended with an unpleasant vodka-like finish. While I tasted, the woman at the counter complained about the number of licenses they needed to open the distillery on the island and provide tastings to customers. They have a stack of licenses framed on the wall.

I spent some of the afternoon browsing the Model Train and Ships Museum, a museum that I was sad I didn't have time to visit during my previous trip to Vancouver. It was decent, with one remarkably large model train layout, but nowhere near as impressive as my memory of the massive model train setup I saw years ago in Victoria.

After I went to the museum, Di Yin and I met up again, sat and snacked in a cafe for a while, then decided to go downtown to kill some time before dinner. We walked across the bridge to Vancouver proper and found a cool Korean mall with a large Korean grocery store (H-Mart). From there, we headed west down Robson through downtown's main shopping street. Finally, we returned along Granville Street, walking past clubs, bars, xxx places, and joints selling food for drunk people. Granville Street had more beggars than Robson Street.

As we headed back to a bus stop, we peeked inside a restaurant advertising "Hedonistic Nocturnal Feasting" and "Foodgasms til 1:30am."

Once back where we parked our rental car in Richmond, we went to Seto, a reasonably good Japanese restaurant. The decor was unusual for a Japanese restaurant (at least judging by the states), having many secluded booths with high walls.

We intentionally ate a small dinner so we could head to No 9 Restaurant, a brightly-lit, 24-hour Chinese diner that Di Yin likes. There, I had a reasonably good bowl of won ton soup.

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