John and Trish, our Australian traveling companions, arrived from Toronto by train about 1 pm. They had never been to Vancouver, British Columbia. Ruth and I had been there many times and offered to show them around since we live in Washington and go to BC often. I had asked John to make a list of attractions they wanted to see.
“Where first?” I asked.
We walked to the Hornby Street Aquabus Station and were on Granville Island in 10 minutes. The Aquabus map showed 8 False Creek pick-up places for these “little rainbow ferries” that cruise its waters daily. At False Creek’s far end were stops 7 & 8, Edgewater Casino and The Village built for the 2010 Winter Olympics with Science World in between.
We all wanted to start at Granville Island’s Public Market. Its stalls sell everything from asparagus to ziti, and it’s the kind of place you don’t want to enter if you haven’t eaten much that day.
The ladies wanted to shop and John and I wanted to browse the marina and commercial moorage on Broker’s Bay behind Public Market. I knew from past visits that it had boat rental places at either end and every type of private and commercial floating vessel and fishing charter opportunities in between. I asked John what his #1 priority was.
“Granville Island Brewing”. Shopping could wait.
Almost directly under Granville Island Bridge, GIB was Canada’s 1st microbrewery when it opened in 1984. Today it’s so popular that it’s hard to find a seat even at midday. But that was OK because it gave us a chance to note the beer choices and see that at almost every table males and females had 4 to 8 small glasses of beer lined up in front of them. Here in the original Taproom, we eventually selected and sampled several beers, some rather exotic like Raspberry Ale, which is actually better than it sounds.
While Ruth & Trish shopped, John and I studied boats. There seemed to be an envy-inducing yacht in every slip. Many of the businesses providing marine services were still family owned. The Granville Island Boatyard, since 1978, seemed to be a successful operation with vessels of every description except for cruise ships (they’re at Canada Place) being repaired, pressure washed, etc. John reminisced about past boating experiences. I peered at boats I couldn’t afford and watched small groups of Asians study price lists in serious efforts to decide which luxurious crafts to buy.
#2 on John and Trish’s list was Stanley Park. No surprise there.
ps. This is a follow-up to a July 5, 2012 blog. If you want more info about Granville Island, check it out.