Vancouver, et al.: Day 7: Lots of Nature

This day Di Yin and I had different priorities, so we split up. On my own, I took a ton of pictures.

First, I went to VanDusen Botanical Garden and wandered around for two and a half hours. It's lovely, as you can see from the pictures. I also liked the garden's many educational plaques and its hedge maze.

For lunch, I headed to the Richmond Public Market. Unlike the malls throughout Richmond, this really was a market: the lower level contained produce stands, butchers, fishmongers, a Chinese bakery, a frozen dim sum place, as well as places like art shops and clothing retailers. The art store had many very good paintings, none of which I photographed because I feel weird taking pictures of paintings for sale. Upstairs was a large food court. Many places sold steam-table stuff--I avoided those and ended up having an okay (though freshly made) lunch at Tian Jing Northern Cuisine.

I grabbed a drink and drove to Granville Island to attempt again to pick up a bottle of sake for a friend, and to pick up some bagels for Di Yin and I for the following morning. (I now knew what type of sake he wanted.) I, however, was foiled--the store was closed. I did get the bagels and got some buffalo pepperoni while I was at the market. I also took a moment to stick my head in a glass art store and spotted a fish swimming in a bag of water. The fish was glass; the water was glass; the bag was glass. It's quite a feat getting all those types of glass fused together without cracking and while making it look realistic.

I headed back south through way too much traffic and construction to the Bloedel Floral Conservatory. Due to the dense, indoor, cozy nature of the domed conservatory and the sounds (and sight) of its birds, it was much more atmospheric than the botanical garden. (See the pictures.) Because it's smaller, I saw and read everything in an hour.

As the conservatory is in Queen Elizabeth Park, I decided to explore it as well. The park's vistas were pretty, though not like the vistas of water and skyscrapers one gets from False Creek or Stanley Park. The park is similar to the morning's botanical garden, just with additional open fields, as well as picnic areas and a small golf course. It would be a nice place to run. (Yes, Stanley park would be a nice, albeit different, place to run, too.)

I met Di Yin for dinner at Chen's Shanghai Kitchen. It was terrific! The dumplings and buns I had were uniformly better than anything I've had elsewhere, bay area or otherwise. In addition to my pictures, Di Yin took one at dinner (pictures #186).

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